The Old In and Out: Penetrating the Writer Brain: Courtney Farrell


September 30, 2013 by Renee

Author Courtney Farrell was once a molecular biologist, and she had me at molecular. How cool is that? She turned her habit of daydreaming, which tends to destroy molecular-type experiments, into a serious book writing passion. Writing down the movies behind her eyes was more fun than lab work. Courtney is the author of fourteen nonfiction books for young people, mostly on social and environmental topics. Courtney lives with her family on a Colorado ranch where they support a barn full of freeloading animals, including a fat draft horse and a bunch of crazy chickens. Who doesn’t like crazy chickens?

I met Courtney through our publisher, Crescent Moon Press, and I immediately liked her because she has one of my favorite names, and she was brave enough to sign up for some brain penetrating, so let’s see what we uncovered.




Renee: I firmly believe that every author has a character she’s secretly in love with, whether it’s one of your own, or one created by another author. Give us a name, and what makes him/her so fantastic?

Courtney: I’d have to pick Dillon, the hero from Enhanced. He’s a tall strawberry-blond street kid with a lot of attitude. I like that he’s got his own moral compass, but he succumbs to temptation too, especially if that temptation comes in the form of a pretty girl. Dillon was so much fun to write that chapters in his POV make up almost half of the sequel to Enhanced. That sequel is tentatively titled Run from Iron Torr, and I’m hoping it’ll be off to my editor before the year is out.

I have this thing for Eric Northman from the Sookie Stackhouse novels. **Spoiler Alert** I wonder if anyone thinks Charlaine Harris totally shafted his fine self at the end of her series. Have you ever written a love triangle (or square, or pentagon, or hell, even an octagon) and wondered if your happily ever after couple was the best decision?

Yes! I totally agree about Eric. He’s swoon-worthy for sure. I did write a love triangle in my YA novel, Enhanced, between the gorgeous, genetically enhanced teen Michelle, another enhanced boy, and a half-normal boy named Dillon. Book two continues the tension, and I still can’t decide who she should end up with at the conclusion of the trilogy. Maybe I should toss it out on my website and let my readers vote. I wouldn’t mind seeing “Team Dillon” or “Team Brian” badges for sale in bookstores!

**You should totally do that! Based on names alone, I’ll sign up for team Dillon. I don’t know why, but the name Brian makes me twitchy.**

You find yourself stranded in a dark alley at night. Doesn’t matter how you got there, because it’s too late. You’re there. Shit’s happening. Focus! Okay, you have to make a decision. There is no escape. If you don’t decide, one of your loved ones gets it bad. Okay? We’re clear? Good. So, you’re confronted by a werewolf, a zombie, a god and a vampire. The only way out is to let one of these bad boys (or girls) turn you. Which do you choose? Why?

Oh, absolutely the god. What woman wouldn’t want to be a goddess, or a demi-goddess, or even a nymph or a sexy water sprite? And then I could smite the nasties with my new divine powers. Ha! Take that!

**She earns points for knowing all the things a god could turn a girl into, and also, she said smite. I love that word.**

Writers are often labeled as weird, crazy or slightly strange, but we all know that’s not true. Still, it’s hard not to have some eccentricities when you spend so much time in your head. What’s one strange fact about yourself that readers might find a little crazy or odd?

My sons tell me that, when I think nobody’s watching, I walk around the house mouthing words. What I’m really doing is trying out dialog to see if it sounds natural, but I’m sure I look like a complete psycho.

**I mouth the words as I write, so it’s not crazy, because I’m not crazy.**

Writing routines are recommended by the “experts.” I have some things I always do before and while writing that help me focus. For example, there must be coffee and an ugly housecoat involved. Music is also important. What’s the most important (or strangest) part of your writing routine?

I got this from Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art (which I highly recommend) and it works for me. When I’m feeling blocked, I light a candle and deliberately invoke my muse. I know it’s weird, but after a minute or two I begin to feel centered, and then the words start to flow. My muse is my co-author, but I keep all the royalties. It’s a sweet deal if you can get it

Indeed it is. Thanks for playing along, Courtney. I’ve got your book on my To-Read List. For the rest of you nuts, Courtney’s book, ENHANCED (I’ve included the awesome cover below) is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble or from the publisher, Crescent Moon Press.  


Care to know more about Courtney Farrell? You can follow her around online at her blog, on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. 


Enhanced Courtney Farrel


2 thoughts on “The Old In and Out: Penetrating the Writer Brain: Courtney Farrell

  1. KatieO says:

    Awesome interview, ladies ~ I totally agree Eric got a raw deal, but I disagree and think that authors are all a bit crazy. It’s in the job requirements (didn’t you get the memo?)

    Looking forward to reading Enhanced – sounds like a fun read. Best of luck, Courtney!

  2. Renee says:

    I suppose you’re right, Katie. We have to be a little nutty to WANT to do this, right? 😉

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I like to write stuff. Sometimes it's funny. I've published some novels and short fiction. I also battle an addiction to cake and potato chips, and I sometimes have inappropriate fantasies involving Kevin Spacey.

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