Author's Ink

We grow writers!

Peazy's interview with Courtnie Dotson

·        Where are you from?


Great question!  And while I can’t give you the official name of the place, I can tell you that they only let me out on weekends!  LOL. 


Seriously though, I am from a tiny town in upstate NY.  You could call it ‘everytown’ and that would be accurate.  I live in another ‘everytown’ in Florida now.  My place could easily be classified as a mini-farm and I like to refer to it as ‘Meshuganeh Acres’.  I also like to think that my animals understand me.  Now that I’ve admitted that in a public forum, do you think they’ll up my meds?


·        Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?


Sure, why not?  Got my BA in Political Science and decided toote suite that politics was something I wasn’t going to be involved in.  Minored in Fine Art… another exercise in futility.  The obvious next step was to go to work serving and tending bar.  All servers are artists, after all, aren’t they?  Twenty-five years of that and I have more than adequate references for all kinds of wicked stories!  Muahahahaaaa…


·        What do you do when you are not writing?


Honestly?  I hang out and work on new excuses for why I need to take another nap today!  In fact, I sometimes lie awake at night working on excuses to justify more sleeping.  But hey…that’s just me!  I adore puppies, babies and napping.


·        How long does it take you to write a book?


Depends on whether you’re asking about the ones I actually finish, or the stack I’ve started and never got  back to.  Btw…months ago, I ‘inadvertently’, ummm… slid that annoying stack underneath my desk with the toe of my slipper.  Haven’t seen it since. 


I spent about two years writing and revising Meany.  I sure hope the next one goes quicker.  I have a date with Amazon…


·        Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?


Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a deep, abiding love for J.R.R. Tolkien.  This is not even funny, you guys…  Aragorn may well have been my first love!  Shut up!  You do it too, ya Twi-hard buggers!


I have also been known to read a little Stephen King.  Ummm… like every single thing he’s ever written, though I’m no Annie Wilkes!  (okay, okay…maybe a little Annie Wilkes, but I have never actually hobbled another writer.) 

Add Robin Hobbs and Patrick Rothfuss to the list and it’s fairly complete.


·        Do you ever research real events, legends, or myths to get ideas?


Gah!  And yes.  Constantly.


·        Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?


There’s truth in all fiction, and fiction in all truth.  Welcome to my world, where prescription bottles of Prozac come in the handy dandy six-pack.


·        What scares you?


Interviews scare the bejesus outta me.  And stop making all that eye contact, wouldya?  You're really stressing me out here! 


·        Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite horror book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of the horror genre?


Is this a trick question?  Do other people actually choose one?  And if they do, what do they do with all the rest? 


I have this nightmare where I’m standing outside the doughnut shop window trying to choose.  Problem is that if I actually choose one, I have forgone all the others.  That makes me sad.  I just won’t do it!


·        What do you think makes a good story?


I’m all about three-dimensional characters.  If I can blow on your hero and he falls over like a paper doll then your book is going into the stack of unread tomes along with the rest.  I would actually burn bad books if I wasn’t so lazy.


There’s other stuff too, and I’d list it for you if I wasn’t so, ummm… lazy.


·        Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?


I guess Tolkien is my favorite.  He created the world I used to hide in a lot when this one got to be a handful.  For that, I am eternally grateful.



·        What does your family think of your writing?


Mostly, when I try to talk to them about my little ‘projects’, they do that thing—yanno—where they slam their palms over their ears and go, ‘lalalalalalalalalaaaaa’. 

Wait!  Is that a sign, ya think?


·        What book are you reading now?


Just finished 11/22/63 and it was fan-freakin’-tastic! 


·        Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?


Absolutely!  At the risk of being classified a name-dropper I’ll give props to Kristen Selleck, Anthony Miller, Kirsten Mortensen, Heather Bserani, and Jonathan Mogensen. 


·        What are your current projects?


Working on a little venture I like to call ‘Nathanial’s Window:  The Wrath of Jesse Eads’.  If any of you happen to be planning on desecrating a grave, you should probably read this first, yanno…  for tips and tricks and such.  It’s no dummies guide though, so do research the topic fully before you try it at home.  Better yet, don’t try this at home, it’s a really, really dumb idea and with your luck, you’re going to get caught.


·        Can you share a little of your current work with us?


Sure, sure…

Hey!  Did you just slam your palms over your ears?  Stop that!

K.  Pay attention this time…

Jesse Eads’ young son, Nathanial, died in about 1865.  Flash forward to 1976 and enter Tommy Cooper (who’s in love with Beth Riley).  One long and chemical-laced evening, Tommy and his bff  Nicky Freeman break into Nathanial’s tomb and umm…desecrate his remains.  This breaks Jesse’s feel-goods and he comes back to clue the pair of ‘em in on a few things…


·        Will you have a new book coming out soon?


Sheesh!  I dunno.  Will it get in the way of my nap?  (Look for Nathanial’s Window to be up on Amazon within six months…ish)


·        Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?


There’s still time to reconsider…

Still thinking about it?  I’ve heard there’s an order of monks who spend hours each day flagellating themselves.  That would probably be a whole lot less painful than writing is at times and I'd imagine they have plenty of openings. 

If you’re still not swayed, then by all means, go for it.  It’s not for thin-skinned or tender-hearted people though, so definitely drag out those big girl panties.