Release Day Author Interview and Spotlight: Faking Normal

Happy release day to Courtney C. Stevens and Faking Normal! 
As a special treat, Court has stopped by the blog to chat a bit.


I always wonder what authors were like when they were children. Were you the kid in school who was always telling stories, or did writing come to you later?

I published my first poem in second grade. It was quite simple, but I still remember it. “Springtime, springtime, trees are blooming; flowers are sprouting, too. It looks so pretty, I wish I could walk into the picture.”
I’m not certain what made my teacher submit it to an anthology or what made the selection committee accept it, but I have a copy of the book and find it hilarious. Back then, I thought because I had professional creds before I could write in cursive that my career path was set for life. Who would have thought I’d follow through with that one?

What’s the last book you read and loved?

I’m minorly (okay, okay, majorly) obsessed with Winger by Andrew Smith. Ryan Dean West is a fabulous character, and I’m thrilled to know I will see more of him in a recently announced sequel.

I met Andrew Smith recently- he seemed really great. I need to pick up a copy of Winger.
If Faking Normal was a dessert, what would it be?

I’m going to say Tiramisu (pick me up). Layers! Ones with caffeine and mousse. That sounds like Faking Normal to me.

I like to think that book characters like to read. What book do you think Alexi has read more than once? (I’m pretty sure I know the answer for Bodee.)

Alexi’s favorite book is Voyage of the Dawn Treader because she loves the scene where Eustace is de-dragoned. She’s read that scene and the scene where Harry walks into the woods in Deathly Hallows hundreds of times. I would guess she’s read both books three or four times all the way through.

Yep, you guessed it! Hatchet is Bodee’s favorite book from childhood. However, I’m fairly sure he’s also a fan of The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin. Fun fact: The reason Hatchet became Bodee’s book was because I met Gary Paulsen at an SCBWI conference and was deeply inspired by a talk he gave. I wanted to honor him in some way and it fit Bodee’s personality and needs.

I loved that Bodee and Alexi help each other power through when they are both going through so much. Was it a conscious decision to incorporate characters helping each other, or did the story organically take itself in that direction?

That aspect existed from conception. I knew who Alexi was and what she struggled with before I ever sat down to write a word. Therefore, I built her the boy of her (and mine) dreams. I knew a boy who would love her anyway would have to be one who understood the power of unconditional love. That is usually a feature that comes with age, but every now and again, I meet teens who are older than sequoias—aged by experience and forged by pain that has made them uniquely strong. I tip my hat to that type of resilience and hope.

You and me both. :)
Faking Normal has a lot of emotionally heavy scenes. Which scene, on the other hand, was the most fun to write?

My favorite scene of the book is both heavy and sweet, but it was certainly the most fun to write: the entire time Alexi is in the tent—from finding her voice to being asked for a kiss—is the moment I most wish were real.

Court, it was great fun having you visit us for a bit. Thanks for taking the time to stop by!

For more information about the festivities surrounding Faking Normal's release and participation in tours, please visit


  1. I haven't read this book that the author is talking about, but from what I've heard it looks seriously awesome. Definitely my type of thing... young adult and romance in there. I'm going to look it up more. I also would like to write someday, but I think it's been more a teen dream than a childhood one xD

    Check out my book review of A High Wind in Jamaica:


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