This week’s interview is with historical fantasy and children’s book author Courtney Williamson Milford. Enjoy!
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I started writing in January of 2016 after a lifetime of being an avid reader. I have degrees in English and secondary education, but I’ve owned and operated an automotive wholesale fleet leasing business since 1991. My husband retired and started working at my business a few years ago, and that freed me up to write.
2. Give us a five word synopsis about your latest work.
Characters have powers called “Graces.”
3. When you’re finished with a piece, do you find that it tends to differ from your original idea, or does the original idea remain more or less intact?
Usually, it differs. For example, I’m currently working on a paranormal fiction novel called Shackledown about two girls living in the same house 100 years apart. The story is told from the girls’ mothers’ points of view, and it’s meant for adults. Initially, I planned for it to be told from the perspective of the girl who lives there currently, and it was to be a middle grade novel.
4. If your book was made into a movie, who would you cast as the main characters?
NOTE: Graced 1943, the first book in the Grace Family Chronicles, has a large cast, rather like a soap opera. These are some of the more important characters.
Annelisa Grace-Betterman, low 20s, writes detective novels, sweet but strong – Alexis Bledel
Humboldt Betterman, professor of astrophysics, tall – Ryan Reynolds
Henri Grace, the Grace family patriarch, age 58, Graced as a Midasian Multiplyer (can Multiply wealth) –John Schneider
Amandia Grace, about 48, but has the ability to stop aging at 30, very glamorous – Amanda Seyfried
Eleanor Grace-Espere, age 26, moody but gorgeous – Lindsay Lohan
Jean-Fils Espere, about 30, part Seminole Indian, bit of a womanizer – Chai Hansen
John Romnel, late 30s, federal agent, stubborn and jealous – John Stamos
Sambria Gates, mid-40s, outdoorsy, bi-sexual but men love her – Melissa McBride
Cy Grayson, late 30s, portrayed as sandy-haired, but could go darker – Ian Somerholder
Carlissa Granero, about 15, stormy – Camila Mendes
5. What’s the best thing about being an author? Worst thing?
The best part is never running out of ideas to write about. The worst part is preparing the book for publishing (editing, formatting).
6. What writer’s blogs make your Top Three list? Why do they stand out above the other flobbity-jillion out there?
The blogs I follow are usually those connected with Facebook groups I’m involved in. Yours is an example. Two others would be Write Away Mommy and The Tribe Builder’s Network. Sometimes I stumble upon amusing blogs when I’m doing research. For example, for Shackledown, the ghost book I’m working on now, I was looking for information on cats’ eyes colors (never brown or black) and I found a cool blog called Catster. I followed it even though I’ve never had a cat.
7. What is your writing-time beverage and snack of choice?
Sometimes I go to bed early so I can wake up in the middle of the night and write. When I do this, I often have a Quaker Oats granola bar and a Diet Coke. This sugar and caffeine rush does not prevent me from going back to sleep.
8. Do you have any useful marketing tips for other authors?
If you can afford it, consider hiring a good marketing company. I’m using one now, and I think it’s helping.
9. What changes do you see taking place in the publishing industry over the next couple of years?
Personally, with the development of self-publishing tools like KDP and Create Space, I think more people will self-publish. Although an author can lose a lot by doing so in terms of support and marketing, there is the instant gratification factor. An author can write a book and have it edited and loaded within a month, if he or she wishes.
10. What’s your next project?
Currently, I’m writing Shackledown, going over edits to the third book in The Grace Family Chronicles, called The Train of Thought, and waiting for illustrations for the tenth book in my children’s picture book series, Tales of Bark Story Land, which is called The Halloweener Ducks.
11. We need a definitive answer to one of Humanity’s most important questions: spearmint or peppermint? Which is better?
Years ago, my now 19-year old son made up a song that he called “It was Mint, Not Peppermint.” In it, he clearly expresses a preference for peppermint, and I agree.
Courtney Williamson Milford lives in Windermere, Florida with her husband and three children. She attended the University of Florida, earning degrees in English and secondary education, and has owned and operated an automotive wholesale leasing company called Courtney Leasing, Inc. for 25 years. Her interests include reading, travel, and exercise. She writes an adult historical fantasy series called The Grace Family Chronicles, a children’s picture book series called Tales of Bark Story Land, and has published four additional stand-alone books.
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2017’s Ours Goes To Eleven series is booked clear through to the end of the year. If you’re interested in being interviewed for next year’s series, drop me a line using my handy-dandy contact form here.