Inkpop Blog

Write, Read, Connect

Creating Kick Butt Female Characters

Posted by inkpopbecki on April 20, 2011

Join us for our live chat with Courtney Allison Moulton at 5 p.m. EST today in the inkpop Live Chat Forum. Courtney is the author of Angelfire.

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How did you come up with the idea for Angelfire?

I grew up watching Sailor Moon and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and had always wanted to write a story about a reluctant heroine who fights monsters. I’d been struggling to find the right story until one day I was watching the movie The Time Machine, which is an old favorite of mine, and I had an idea. In this movie, a scientist’s fiancé is killed and he builds a time machine to go back and save her, but she is doomed to die no matter what he does. I wondered what this man would be like if he had never given up trying to save her when she tragically dies in front of him every time, and then Will’s character in Angelfire was created.

What is your background with writing?

I don’t have any formal training with writing, unlike a lot of authors who have degrees in this field. When I was little, I made up stories all the time—usually involving monsters—and wrote them on whatever I could find, including library books, much to my mom’s dismay. When I discovered the Goosebumps books, I became addicted and decided I wanted to be RL Stine when I grew up. I took a creative writing class my junior year in high school which was the coolest class I’ve ever taken. I just hung out with a couple friends in that class and wrote a play about vampires killing each other, which we acted out (fake neck-snapping, I assure you), and illustrated a children’s book about a baby Pegasus who was learning how to fly. I wrote my first novel that year based on my play about not-so-cuddly, homicidal vampires.

Explain the process of getting published as a debut author. What were the steps you took to securing an agent? What happened after you had an agent? How long did this process ultimately take?

I found an agent the old fashioned way by querying. I had a project about vampires that had a lot of interest from several agents, including my agent now, but the story just wasn’t there. During the phone call with my agent about this book, she told me to send her something else, so I wrote Angelfire and queried her again. This time she signed me. After month and months and months of revising, she sent the manuscript to my editor who offered a three book deal. To show you how long it took, I queried my first book in March 2008, signed with my agent in February 2009, sold my second book Angelfire in November 2009, and was published in February 2011. While it took three long years to get where I am, some people query for years and years, and some people only take a couple weeks to sign with an agent. Every journey is vastly different, so it’s wise to have zero expectations. There’s no standard or average. If you want to become a published author, you just have to go with whatever happens and never give up.

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