Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Author Interview: Courtney Summers

Today, I'd like to welcome Courtney Summers, the author of This is Not a Test to my blog. 

A bit about Courtney (as found on her website): Courtney Summers was born in Belleville, Ontario, Canada in 1986 and currently resides in a small town not far from there. When she was 14, she dropped out of high school so she could pursue her education. Now she writes gritty young adult novels. It is the best job ever. 

This Is Not A Test features a group of teens who have sought shelter from zombies at a high school. What do you miss the most about high school? What do you miss the least?
I left high school to pursue my education independently in the ninth grade and there's not a whole lot I miss about it, to be honest. I liked little things, like the funny video announcements the broadcast club put together but I don't really miss them per se.  
The things that I miss the least ... those, I can list! :) I don't miss getting up early, the bus ride, going to class, homework – the usual kind of stuff!

All of your previous books have been contemporaries. What made you decide to write a post-apocalyptic novel instead?
I've always really loved zombies, so it was only a matter of time before I wrote a novel about them. All of my contemporary novels are very character-driven, usually about people coping with extreme situations and I find the zombie stories I'm interested in most are basically like that as well, so overall it wasn't too unexpected or out of my comfort zone to write one myself.

If a zombie apocalypse had occurred while you were a teen, would your teenage self have been a leader like Cary, a follower like Harrison or somewhere in the middle? Oh, and which character from the novel would she have been hanging out with?
I think I would have been a bit like Harrison and a little bit like Grace – some kind of combination of the two. Neither assumed leadership roles and I wouldn't want to either. I assume I'd cry a lot like Harrison, but I also like to think I'd be a little more socially on the ball like Grace. Hopefully!

The zombies are coming and you have no time to grab anything. What do you have on your person and how do you deal with the undead?
Probably just the clothes on my back! And nothing useful. I would deal with the undead by giving them wide berth and running for my life. If contact was unavoidable, I would be willing to take on zombies in a car. And by that I mean I would run over them.

Let's be honest: If a zombie apocalypse ever occurred, I'd either be dead or one of the undead. What do you think would be your chances for survival?
As much as I'd like to think I would be awesome at it, it would surprise no one if I was turned into a zombie or eaten by one the very first day, and if not that, I'd probably injure myself and become a liability to the people I was with and they'd probably abandon me on the side of the road. Maybe having to confront this fact about myself in this answer will inspire me to brush up on my survival skills to better improve my odds, though? That would be nice!

A big thanks to Courtney for taking the time to answer my questions!

Courtney can be found on: [her website] [Twitter] [Facebook] [Goodreads]
This is Not a Test can be bought from: [Amazon] [Barnes and Noble] [The Book Depository]


  1. Haha what a fun interview for a super zombie fan like me! I will def. die when the zombies come. I have no endurance for shit. Unless they're super slow zombies them I have a chance. I'm running to the north pole and hope they all freeze quickly >.<

  2. "As much as I'd like to think I would be awesome at it, it would surprise no one if I was turned into a zombie or eaten by one the very first day, and if not that, I'd probably injure myself and become a liability to the people I was with and they'd probably abandon me on the side of the road."

    Ummmm. Ditto that. Or I'd be in a corner curled in a fetal ball with my eyes closed - hoping that because I couldn't see them, the zombies wouldn't be able to see me either. And then they'd eat me. Sigh.

  3. The way This Is Not a Test is so character driven is one of my favourite things about it -- among SO many other things -- so I love that you mentioned how your other books are character driven too. That means I need to go get my hands on a copy of those too! ;) Haha and I'd probably cry a lot in the face of the apocalypse too x)

    Awesome interview questions, Z! Don't you just love Courtney Summers? :') <3

  4. Yep, I would definitely wait until my fight or flight instinct kicks in before I do anything. Actually, I'll take Option C whatever that is, it's got be to better than running and being eaten. ;)

    I think it's interesting that Courtney didn't high school at all it seems. Isn't it cliche for most people to remember high school as the best time of their lives? I know I don't.

  5. LOL! Yes, my chances of survival are very slim, and it's something I've already come to terms with. I mean, eating brains can't be that bad, can it? Hannibal Lecter certainly enjoyed it, and he didn't even have the whole I'm a zombie excuse.

    Very impressive to have left high school at such a young age. I don't think I could have done something like that. As it was, I didn't feel ready to leave even after they forced me to.

  6. Wow, I had no idea she was so young! And dropped out of high school! I'm definitely going to have to read one of her "character-driven" novels sometime - they sound amazing. Really loved this interview, Zahida! Especially the just for fun questions. Heh, yup I would probably end up a zombie on the first day of the zombiepocalypse too.

  7. I've read a couple of Courtney Summers other books so will have to check this one. Just the fact that it isnt contemporary makes me want to read it.

  8. Great interview! I think I would pretty much be a goner if a zombie apocalypse ever happened too. My survival skills generally suck. :P


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