Interview with Courtney Sheets by Jennifer L. Hart for Writers Gone Wild May 10, 2011.
Stolen right off her blog page (Because I’m just that lazy) “I am a writer, director, actor, singer, belly dancer, and all around artsy type chic. I have lived in Lost Wages for most of my life and call the desert home. I write dirty stories.”
Yes, she is certainly our kind of wild woman. Welcome Courtney!
Let’s start with the writing part first. What have you written?
I have written a ton of stuff but most of it lives in the shoebox under the bed. I have one novel published through Ravenous Romance right now called Kona Warrior. It is a paranormal shifter story sent on the Kona coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. The hero is an ‘aumakua or guardian spirit who can shift into the form of a shark. I also have a short story published in an anthology called “Casting Couch.” It’s a dirty little ménage story sent in the golden age of Hollywood.
2.) What inspired you to write Hawaiian stories? (Indulge me, I’ve never gotten my pasty hide to the islands.)
Hawaii itself was the inspiration. I went with my family to Hawaii for the first time when I was 25. It was our one last big family trip. I fell instantly in love with the Big Island. I had always read paranormal stories because I love that little bit of the extraordinary but I was truly getting burnt out on Vampires and werewolves. I wanted something else. So, I decided to write a book sent in Hawaii using their pantheon of Gods. I’m of the mind that there are so many great cultures and stories out there to draw from, why can’t we have books from all over? Plus surf gods are hot.
3.) What’s more important to your stories, characters or plot?
I would have to say plot. I really need the story to go somewhere. I need to have the plotline already completed, or at least skeleton of one before I start writing. I need the framework to lead me on as I write. The stories and the characters will come but if I don’t have the plot ready and raring I get lost and stop writing. Many an amazing idea has died at my hands because of this.
4.) The swarm of flying doubt monkeys is what holds me back from churning out book after book at sub light speed. What do you struggle with the most with your writing?
The same thing happens to me. Sometimes I get really crippling writer’s block where I don’t even want to sit at my computer and write. I just physically can’t do it. In addition, I work a steady eight to five job, go to school full time in order to finish my B.A., and do volunteer work around time. I always feel like time is against me and I never have enough to write how I want. I really need to buckle down more.
5.) I need to stop inviting these freaking superwomen to the blog because I'm developing a gargantuan inferiority complex! LOL! What do you have in the works right now?
I am working on two more Hawaiian Paranormals, one is Daughter of Fire which was in the Textnovel Contest that allowed me to meet my wonderful support system of fellow writers; Liane, Gail, Jen, Candi, Saranna, Valorie, Robin, and Christy. The other Hawaiian, much to Candi’s happiness, is called Curse of the Goddess and deals with Laka the goddess of Hula. It starred hottie Hawaiian police offer Sam from Daughter of Fire.
I am also working on my first mystery tentatively called Hats Off to Murder. It takes place in London with up and coming hat designer Kaitlyn Mulgrew. Kait’s in big trouble when a former pop star is found dead in the back of her friend’s fashion house. High fashion, the Royal Wedding, and a hunky Scotland Yard detective. Should be fun :D
In addition to all this I am working on a new series dealing with the Greek Gods. Zeus lost Mt. Olympus is a shady land deal a few decades back so he ships all the gods off to Vegas where they open a casino on the Vegas Strip.
Plus I write screenplays.
6.) Tells us about your other multitude of artistic adventures. Especially the belly dancing. I always wanted to learn that but I couldn’t hit water if I fell off a boat.
I do a lot of theatre in my hometown. I direct. I make costumes. I do make-up. I act. I sell tickets LOL. Working in the community theatres in town gives me the chance to do what I love. I work in my day job to feed my body and keep a roof over my head. I do theatre and writing to feed my soul and to make me happy.
Belly dancing came as away to do something fun for exercise. I am rather well endowed, so bouncing up and down on a stepper or jumping around in an aerobics class always makes my back hurt really bad. With belly dancing I can have fun and not blacken both my eyes in the process LOL. It started with that and morphed into a passion. I have taken workshops and attended conferences. I just love it!
7.) Where can readers get more of Courtney Sheets?
On the corner of Fremont and Main. Just Kidding! (Hey, you talking smack about my corner? ;-)
My blog, which I have gotten better at updating, is www.costumeharpy.blogspot.com
I also do a cooking blog with my friend called Scroungy Pizza. We watch a movie on the AFI top 100 list and cook something that is related. This is a new blog we are just getting started. Stop by for a dinner and movie if you like. www.scroungypizza.blogspot.com
8.) Wild Card Question: Standing up or lying down? ;-)
On a surfboard ;)