Spotlight Author: Courtney Lynn Rose
Having read Courtney Lynn Rose is like entering so many new amazing worlds. I met Courtney like I do with so many authors, through Facebook. I am so excited to bring you into her world.
- Being an author is quite a journey, what lead you down this path? What have you gained from that journey?
I started writing when I was around ten. During the early teenage years, I attempted poetry because you know, I thought I had so much angst in my life as a thirteen year old, lol. The writing people commented the most on was oddly enough eulogies. I lost a lot of friends in high school, and after writing something for the first one or two funerals, every time someone passed away, I was asked to write something and read it during the next funeral. Eventually, I started writing fiction, and it just felt right. As for what I’ve gained through this journey… well, a lot. I have confidence in what I put into my novels. I strongly believe that being a fiction writer gives me a unique opportunity to bring real life issues to the table in a way that makes people more comfortable discussing them. As an author, I think that is part of my duty. To use writing to open the conversation on things like human trafficking, abuse, rape, and other issues that society would rather not discuss. Even if we get one or two people talking, if a book touches the heart of one or two people and makes them feel understood and not alone, then I’ve done my job.
2. In your books you write strong women, are there women that you base your characters off of?
I would say that the strength you find in my female characters comes from most of the women I know on a personal level. My mother, my cousin Angela, my best friends Erin and Rebecca, my rela life friends Sarah, Brenda, and Suzette. Plus many others. These are women that I’ve watched through the years walk through the fires of Hell and come out commanding the hellfire on the other side. The truth is, every woman is strong. We all have that fire, that power inside us. We just have to find it and bring it out. Sometimes, we lead with it. Sometimes, we reserve it and only use it when absolutely necessary. But it is there. I want to write about strong women because I don’t want young women reading these books to think they need someone to save themselves. Even in romance, my female characters may be in love, and their men will move the planets for them, but these women could absolutely command the world all on their own if they had to, and some of them do, like Motormouth, for instance. I want to create characters that embody the fact that as women, we don’t NEED anyone to save us. We are capable of saving our damn selves. The people in your life, whether romantic or friendship, should be in your life because you WANT them to be.
3. I love that you write in different genres. What is your favorite genre to write? What is a genre that you would like to dive into?
My favorite genre is romantic suspense. That’s why it’s my heaviest genre and I have more books in it than any other. The one I want to dive into more is horror. I’ve been a horror junkie since I was a kid, so I plan to see what I can do with that genre in the near future.
4. In August you announced that you would be opening a new publishing house, Croi an Tine Publishing, what has this new adventure taught you? Is there any insider news you can tell us?
Croi na Tine Publishing is something I’ve worked toward for the last decade of my career. I knew early on that my goal was always to open my own publishing house. I love editing, and there’s something wonderful and fulfilling in being part of the process that helps a writer see their book baby come out into the world through publication, and I love being part of that process. I want CnT to be a publishing house that welcomes all authors, from every genre, path, race, religion, and culture. I want to be able to make sure that these amazing, soul-changing stories get in the hands of the readers that need them. As for insider news, well, while we don’t have an official launch date for CnT right now, my business partner Erin and I will be pushing things forward in 2021, and opening a publishing house is a long process, but we are crossing every T and dotting every I. When we open, we want to make sure we are in the best position possible to sign authors to a great publisher so that we can champion them and their books the way we know they deserve.
5. Not only are you an author, a mother, and a publishing exec, but you are an editor as well. How do you find the time to juggle all these important roles?
I wish I had a magical piece of advice for how to do everything I do, but the truth is – I just hustle. Sometimes, I have to sacrifice sleep or social time to get things done, and for me, that’s okay. The dream is free, but the hustle is sold separately, as they say (I have a plaque in my office that says that). As a mother, my kids come first, always. They’re homeschooled, so during the day, Monday-Friday, it’s all about them. Keeping them on a schedule is important so that we can make sure they get their school work done, and still have time to relax. I make sure that we set aside time to cook dinner together, eat together, have family time every night, and read together at least three nights a week. As much as I have to work, it’s still important that I’m their mother first. That’s why it’s often people see me online late at night because once they’re in bed, that’s my time to work. During the day, I work here and there while they have their breaks and lunch, but after bedtime, that’s my time to sit down and hustle. When it comes to my writing, my editing business, and everything else I do in the book world, I will be real – if it wasn’t for my assistants and editorial team, I probably wouldn’t get shit done. I’m blessed to work with amazing people, from my own editors, to the editors and interns that work at Full Bloom Editorial, I have some strong and amazing women on my teams. Most of the credit really should go to them, because there are days that without them, I wouldn’t know my ass from a hole in the ground. But, for those trying to do this whole book thing – hustle. That’s what I can tell you. Hustle until you can’t hustle anymore, and then hustle for another three hours minimum.
6. You just started to rebrand all of your work, which I know takes a lot of time and energy. How did the new brand come to be? What made you decide to rebrand?
My rebranding is more about having a collective unity in my work. I want people to be able to look at a book, site, or graphic, and know it’s me. I want readers to be able to identify my stuff easily. It also makes things better for me. I have the branding set, so creating things becomes easier when I know the templates I need to use. It’s all about the image, and as an author, even when you write in different genres, you want your branding to reflect what your readers are getting in your work. That’s why my slogan is “Smells delicious and sharp as fuck.” It’s a play on my last name being Rose, which are beautiful smelling flowers but covered in thorns, but it’s also the type of writing you get. My books give you sweetness, love, tenderness, and all that – but they also get dark, gritty, and can hurt the heart like hell. That in turn goes hand in hand with my shattered ice-heart. Many people know me as The Ice Queen because I’m rarely emotional in public. But a heart is a heart, ice or not, and we feel. Sometimes, we shatter. But when ice or glass shatters, it can slice you open, so be wary.
7.It’s no secret that #LoveStrong is my favorite book of 2020, how did you come to decide to write such an emotional book? Did this story deeply affect you while writing it?
#Lovestrong is unlike anything I’ve ever written. I wrote that book after the school shooting in Florida. My cousin lived close, and while she didn’t have a child that went to that high school, I remember her posts and talking to her. That shooting didn’t just change the lives of those involved, it changed the entire surrounding community. That got me thinking about all the school shootings that have taken place in my lifetime, all the way back to the first one I can remember – Columbine. I wanted to write a story that showed people that school shootings weren’t an over and done issue. That the emotional pain to those that survive goes on for a long time. That these kids and their families, their communities, are forever changed by those events. But I also wanted to show that healing from such a tragedy is possible, it just takes time, and often more love than we realize we need.
8. What is something that your fans and my readers may not know about you?
Oh, something my fans and readers may not know… I’m only afraid of two things. Heights and tornadoes. I’ve never been in a tornado, but they’re the only natural disaster that truly terrifies me. Like panic attack inducing kind of terrifies. And I don’t do heights. Like I’m never going to the top of a skyscraper, no bungee jumping, no sky diving. I don’t even do ferris wheels. I like roller coasters, but I keep my eyes closed. I know that sounds stupid, but it is what it is, lol. On the more emotional level – despite the hard exterior, I’m a hopeless romantic. I always say I’ll never get remarried and all that, but there is a huge part of me that still hopes for the happy marriage and all that before I kick the bucket.
9.You have seen the good, the bad and the ugly in the book world, what is some advice you would give to an aspiring author?
Here is my advice to aspiring authors – DO YOU. Write for YOU. Don’t write what others tell you to, don’t write for money, don’t write for the market or the next hot fad. Write the stories that are in YOUR heart. Do that, and I promise, you will write the best work of your life. Then, use professionals. Pay for professional editing and cover design. Don’t be cheap on the important shit. Combine a true, heartfelt story with great editing and a professional cover, and you will build a readership. Also, remember that publishing is one of the slowest industries on the planet. Nothing happens fast here and never has. Don’t rush your writing, don’t rush editing. You’re not going to build a readership overnight. HUSTLE. Never give up, and never forget WHY you wanted to write in the first place. Oh, and know the difference between arrogance and confidence. Stay humble. Don’t let your ego be in the driver’s seat.
10.When this pandemic is over what is the first thing you plan on doing?
When this pandemic is over, the first things I am doing is going to eat at a restaurant that has outdoor seating, getting coffee with some writer friends, and taking a trip to the damn ocean. God, I miss the ocean!
Courtney grew up in Baltimore and is pretty sure she threw her ability to give a f**k into the Inner Harbor long before high school. Like almost every writer on the planet, she started writing at a very young age. Her “way with words” led to her being the go-to person for writing funeral speeches for a long time. She tried poetry during that typical teenage phase when, like most, she thought it was her sole purpose to contemplate the existence of life and love and all the other things she thought she knew about.
For fourteen years she left the writing world behind and worked full-time as a paranormal investigator and demonologist until retiring in 2014. During that time, she had three children, earned degrees in Abnormal Psychology, Criminal Justice, and English Literature, and eventually got back to writing. While all things paranormal will always be Courtney’s heart and soul, closing the door on that career opened up a plethora of ways to use that knowledge and experience to scare the hell out of people through her writing and public talks.
Today, she lives in Middle Tennessee with her children and spends a majority of her time writing things that make people smile while cutting their emotions deep, and running her own professional editing company for self-published authors as well as working in the small press sector of the industry.
Her novels pull from life and bring to light the things she holds fiercely in her DNA— abuse and addiction survival, domestic violence, and above all, the notion and belief that love, loyalty, and friendship are the bonds which hold every relationship together. Courtney also dabbles in the world of cover modeling and is honored and humbled by every cover she’s asked to be on for her fellow authors.