Thursday, 23 May 2013

Interview With An Author - Courtney Giardina

Tell us a bit about your writing – How long have you been writing?  I think I started writing as soon as I knew how to hold a pen in my hand. I won a few contests back in elementary and jr. High school for short stories and poems. I love writing poetry and in 2012 I challenged myself by setting a goal to write a novel. I finished by debut novel Tear Stained Beaches in 6 months and it was published in February 2013.
Do you prefer to write with pen and paper or straight to the computer? I usually write my novel outline with a pen and paper, but when it comes to writing the actual work I like the computer. I find myself using the delete button a lot and it works a little better for me.
Do you plan a plot out in great detail before writing or start with the basics and let the book evolve that way? I don’t go into great detail with my plot outline, but I like to have a lot of the big events down on paper before I start. That way I can connect the dots as I go along. I find my story changes many times from the original thought before it’s actually finished.
Who is your favourite character from all the books you have written and why? I love Haylie in my first book. She shows a sense of strength that I think most women don’t know they have. I think everyone can see a little bit of themselves in her. In my current WIP though my main character is pretty sassy, so I’m starting to dig her too.
How do you create the characters in your books? A lot of my characters are based off of someone that I know in real life. It makes it easier to be able to picture them in my head and place them correctly in my story.
What is your favourite book of all time? My favourite book of all time is The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.  There is so much I love about this book: family dynamics, loyal friendships, action scenes, inner struggles and acceptance of who you are. I can recite the Robert Frost poem Ponyboy says in it like the back of my hand.
What is your favourite film of all time? My favourite film of all time is St. Elmo’s Fire. I’m a huge 80’s movie fan and I love Rob Lowe.
What was your journey to being a published author? It sounds cheesy, but it started with a dream. Then I set a goal and stuck to it and never gave up. I did a lot of research on cover artists, editors and the publishing industry during the writing of the book. I stayed patient and made sure I knew all the steps to take and then took them.
Advice to aspiring novelists? Success of your novel doesn’t end when the story does. There is a lot of effort from your end to make sure you get yourself out there. Spend a lot of time networking, joining in on social media and supporting other authors. This all will help you get to where you want to be.

Tear Stained Beaches by Courtney Giardina
 Haylie Julian wants nothing more than to put her crumbling marriage back together. Chase used to be a fun-loving, light hearted husband who had lately become an overworked attorney obsessed with climbing the corporate ladder.  It isn’t long before Haylie starts waking up next to a man she barely knows. His secretive phone calls and late nights at the office leave her feeling alone and afraid of what he might be hiding.  Ignoring his continuous pleas to just leave well enough alone, she continues to dig for answers and discovers a heartbreaking truth.
Struggling with what she has just learned, Haylie sets off to a quaint little North Carolina beach town to decide if her marriage can survive. It isn’t long after she arrives that her world is once again turned upside down as Chase’s secret stares her right in the face.
Tear Stained Beaches explores what happens when a marriage isn’t the happily-ever-after you thought it was. Can trust be rebuilt? Can a wife forgive the ultimate betrayal?
Author Bio: Courtney Giardina has always had a creative streak and a wild imagination. She has been fascinated by writing and the entertainment industry since she was a kid. Courtney grew up dancing, cheerleading and playing piano before she turned to writing as her creative outlet.  She won an award for her writing in elementary school and wrote countless poems, songs and short stories.
Courtney was born and raised just outside of Rochester, NY. In 2012, she moved to Charlotte, NC and has been focusing on finally doing all the things she said she would do “someday.”  After making a New Year’s Resolution in 2012 to write her first novel, Courtney completed Tear Stained Beaches after 9 months of long nights and wearing out the delete button on her keyboard. She has also started acting and has appeared in 3 short films in the Charlotte, NC area. She has a passion for health and fitness and enjoys living a very healthy lifestyle.

Book extract
I’m not sure what it was that night. Lying in bed tossing and turning, I wasn’t able to sleep. My head was spinning with all sorts of thoughts, and my heart raced at the very fact any one of them could be true. He had been texting often lately; much more than ever before. His phone never seemed to leave his side and you could see the panic on his face every time it was within my grasp. His business trips became more frequent. Yes, work was busy, but how often does a lawyer need to travel when they’re only licensed to practice in one state?

I kept telling myself that I was being paranoid, that he wasn’t like my exes. After all, he wasn’t the high school boyfriend who shattered my heart into pieces; he was my husband of five years. The most trusting man I had ever met. There’s no way the man who proposed in a quaint little bed and breakfast, after drawing me a bath and ordering in room service, would do anything to intentionally hurt me. I must have been crazy to think that.

I tried my best to smile and drew the covers up to my chin, telling myself to relax. He was just a dedicated working-man. A man who worked hard for the house we had, the life we lived and the luxury cars that sat in the driveway.
I closed my eyes, and our Jamaican honeymoon came to life. What an amazing time we had that week. It rained for most of it, but those were the best parts. No one was hogging the Jacuzzi when it was pouring, so we saw our chance and took it. Hell, we were wet anyway, so the rain didn’t bother us. I actually found it romantic. Every evening, at sunset, we headed down to the deserted end of the beach and took pictures of the starfish that hung close to shore. The last memory before falling asleep was of myself: bright orange starfish in hand, turning my head toward the camera, smiling and in love.
It was almost two in the morning when I woke to the door squeaking open. I kept my eyes closed, listening to him move around in the darkness. After a few moments, he lifted the covers to crawl in. He nudged closer to me and wrapped his arm around my waist. I took a deep breath and paused. My eyes shot open as a tear slowly rolled down my cheek. I stared straight ahead, careful not to move and betray that I was awake. A shiver ran up my arm where his hand rested. I lay there, staring into space, my gaze lingering, almost as intense as the smell of her perfume.

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  1. Thanks so much for having me Zanna!

  2. I enjoyed reading about Courtney's writing style and preferences. Looking forward to reading Tear Stained Beaches!

  3. Thanks Pauline! I hope you enjoy it!


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