Friends! I'm so excited to be sharing this interview with you all today. About a month or so ago I stumbled upon a book called "Paper Hearts". The author of this fabulous book was, as I'm sure you guessed, Courtney Walsh. Since then I've had the opportunity to read more of her work and let me tell you, she is an amazingly talented author who has written brilliantly heartfelt books. Since I could go on and on about her talent forever 😉. Let's get started with the interview, shall we?
Mercy: Can you share a little bit about yourself?
Courtney: I'm one of those authors who has a day job, but I'm also really fortunate because I'm
equally as passionate about that job as I am about writing. My husband and I own a performing arts studio/youth theatre in Rockford, Illinois. We spend most of our days working with amazing kids and their equally as amazing parents. :) I have three kids--Sophia (18), Ethan (15) and Sam (11) and one crazy Bernedoodle named Luna. My favorite things in the world are comfy clothes (no waistbands!), working out, drinking coffee and especially spending time with my family.
Mercy: When did you first realize you wanted to be an author/playwright?
Courtney: I've always been a writer in one form or another, but writing a book always scared me because rewriting a book scared me. If I could write one draft and be done, that would be great--but it doesn't work that way. The first time I really wrote something creative was over a break in college. I wrote a one-woman show that I've since lost, but just that whole experience opened my brain up in a different way. Creating stories is one of those things I can't imagine not doing!
Mercy: What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Courtney: I'm a bit of a late night TV junkie. I only watch when I'm too tired to work (I really enjoy my work.) But I LOVE watching my middle son run, definitely one of my very favorite past times. I also love directing our shows. We're in the middle of a production of Newsies and sometimes I pinch myself and wonder if this is actually my job! :)
Mercy: How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?
Courtney: I've published nine books plus a novella and am preparing to put my tenth out this summer. I don't know if I have a favorite--each one means something very personal to me. Usually some revelation God's given me leads to the story, so I can look at all of them and remember the lessons I was learning when I was writing them. I think Just Look Up will always feel special to me because it's the most autobiographical one I've written...but the one coming out next February might be my favorite so far. <3
Mercy: Does writing energize or exhaust?
Courtney: Both! Ha! It's such a strange thing--some days I feel like I don't want to stop--there are so many ideas, and my characters are behaving well. Other days I slog through, trying to figure out what in the world happens next. I try not to get lost in the angst during these times, but some days it gets the better of me!
Mercy: What is your favorite under-appreciated novel?
Courtney: I think a novel that absolutely spoke to me is Lost and Found by Ginny Yttrup. I don't know if it was just what I needed at that specific time, but it was a beautiful story and so so valuable. I love when fiction is life-changing and teaches you the same way non-fiction would. I think revelation can honestly be even more powerful woven into a story.
Mercy: What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?
Courtney: Don't compare yourself to other authors who are farther ahead on their journey. Everyone started somewhere. (I'm saying that as a reminder to myself too!) I would also say that there is great value in a good editor, and that can be one of the most important relationships of your whole writing career.
Mercy: Describe your ideal writing space.
Courtney: Outside on my screened-in porch on a 75 degree day--warm with a gentle breeze. That is heavenly.
I also like writing in coffee shops, Panera, Barnes and Noble and even at my kitchen table. :)
Mercy: Do you have a favourite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.
Courtney? Ursula in both Paper Hearts and Change of Heart. She is this crotchety old woman who secretly has a heart of gold. I sort of picture Maxine from the Hallmark cards when I picture her. She was so fun to write. I think it's fun to write characters who say whatever they want because we just can't do that in real life!
Mercy: Where can we find you on social media?
Courtney: My favorite places to spend social media time are on Instagram and Facebook, and I love to make new friends in both places! https://www.instagram.com/courtneywalsh/ https://www.facebook.com/courtneywalshwrites/
Courtney, thank you so much for fitting this interview in. It was an absolute pleasure to have you on my blog and I can't wait to read your book!
Readers, Courtney, as I said above is just an amazing writer and if you haven't read any of her books I encourage you to. You won't regret it!
P.S. Remember to be on the lookout for her new book coming soon.
Thanks for chatting!