Interview with Courtney Stackhouse

Published 2014-06-27.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the Washington DC area. People are pretty intense there, so I headed out for a change of scenery as soon as I could, and I think my wandering around has helped spur stories out of me. I just recently came back to the DC area to see if things had changed, and see the family, so we'll see what creatively develops out of that decision.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing as soon as I could string a decent(ish) sentence together on paper ... so maybe when I was six or so. I've dropped in and out of actively writing depending on whatever other creative stuff I'm into, but writing is definitely my main and true love.
What's the story behind your latest book?
A good part of the story came out of touring with a punk band I was in. The landscapes in the southwest had me in awe, desolate but so, so beautiful. It had its own personality, wide open, tough, sizzling, quixotic, it helped create the main character Tiny, and her sneaky counterpart Kyle. I tried to capture the feeling of that place in Desert Nights, just on the edge of wildness. I hope I succeeded.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I don't think I had a choice. I have to write. Have to. I will always find ways to channel my pinball-like kinetic energy into words. And I love to share those words with everyone who loves a great read!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Getting to express my inner-world! I often feel like a bit of an alien, but when I put words together that feel true to me, and they're out there for people to see I feel less weird. And when others read my words, and tell me they feel true to them too, there's no greater joy.
Who are your favorite authors?
Gillian Flynn for writing characters that are sophisticated, terrible, unlikable and somehow incredibly readable. Who wants to read about the down-on-his-luck good guy and tough-on-the-outside good girl again?

Dan Chaon for creating gorgeous, simple prose that skillfully, patiently lead you down a dark corridor you didn't notice was there.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Hm. Hunger? Also I'm most creative first thing in the morning, so usually there's something I want to get down on paper.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I play soccer, work with animals, go for hikes, see live music, try to find great places to eat, and enjoy the heck out of Washington DC's free museums and great mass transit system.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I search by genre. I love suspense books, thrillers, books that keep me flipping the pages deep into the night.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yep! It was called The Lost Girl, and I wrote it when I was about seven. It consisted of a girl, some woods, and running. I don't really remember how it ended, but I think it still exists in physical form somewhere.
What is your writing process?
Generally my stories are born from a single scene, a super-clear visual scene in my head. After I solidify that one, I create maps to and from that scene to whichever other scenes form in my mind. Then I let all the scenes float and tumble around in my mind for quite a while (months), until the connective paths get a little stronger. Then I figure out the final scene, what I'm working toward, and then I start writing.

The rest is just perseverance. Writing even when it's hard, when it's inconvenient, and especially when it's fun!
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Books by This Author

Desert Nights
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 79,140. Language: American English. Published: July 4, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
Desert Nights explores the various substances that can hijack the mind, be they sex, drugs or obsession. Tiny Huff jumps headlong into all three and finds out how hard it is to break free of obsession, and finds those around her are deadly-determined to keep her hooked and complacent. A psychological thriller about a woman attempting to reconcile her past while struggling with a volatile present.