About the Author
Courtney Walsh is a novelist, artist, theater director, and playwright. Change of Heart is her fifth novel and is set in the same town as Paper Hearts. Her debut novel, A Sweethaven Summer, hit the New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller lists and was a Carol Award finalist in the debut author category. She has written two additional books in the Sweethaven series, as well as two craft books and several full-length musicals. Courtney lives in Illinois where she and her husband own a performing and visual arts studio. They have three children.
1. Who or what inspired you to become an author?
I honestly don't really know! It just felt like what God wanted me to do, so I set out to do it! (That's a terrible answer, isn't it??)
2. Who are some of your favorite authors? Do these authors inspire your own writing?
I am trying to purposely read authors who write very differently from me right now... Liane Moriarty is a masterful storyteller, and I want to be her when I grow up. I am also loving Kristy Woodson Harvey, who I've just discovered. But then I have some favorites whose books are similar to mine (Becky Wade, Melissa Tagg, Denise Hunter) who inspire me as well. Mostly when I read a good book, it makes me excited to jump back into my story again!
3. What top 5 books do you currently have on your TBR pile?
Funny! I just posted something about this on my Instagram stories because my TBR pile is SO big! Here are five (of many!) I'm hoping to read:
1) Secrets of Southern Charm by Kristy Woodson Harvey
2) Things I Never Told You by Beth Vogt
3) No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert
4) Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano
5) The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay
4. If you could go to lunch with one of the characters from Just Let Go, who would it be and why?
I think I would like to go to lunch with Judge. He's got so much wisdom, I'd like to soak it all up. But also Grady because...I mean...good-looking Olympic skier?! Yes, please. (But of course I'd bring my husband along!) :)
5. What did your writing process for Just Let Go look like?
Angsty. LOL My writing process is always a little angsty. I'm not a plotter, so I basically have a loose outline and then fill in the blanks as I go. I always, always, get stuck around 30K words. It never fails. I have to go back to the beginning at that point. Sometimes I change the whole story or a major plot point. I am always second-guessing and praying and deleting and praying... you'd think I'd expect this process by now, but I'm always surprised when it happens.
6. What inspired the idea for Just Let Go?
I got the idea for the title first, and I knew I wanted to write about letting go. After that, I had this image of Quinn as a little girl, sitting on the front porch, and I knew she was waiting for something. When I started asking questions--Who is she waiting for? Where have they gone? How does this shape her as an adult, I was able to learn more about her story. I began to fill in the blanks from there. There were very specific themes I wanted to explore, and my characters' journeys allowed me to do that.
7. What did you as an author take away from writing Just Let Go?
Usually I'm writing to learn. In this case, learning about forgiveness and letting go was very therapeutic for me. I learned a lot about how to accept an apology you never got and how to move on, even when people who hurt you aren't sorry. I think that's one of the most difficult things for us as humans to do!
8. What is your current WIP? What can you tell us about this project?
My writing schedule is a little strange, and the book I'm working on now won't release until 2020... but I'll be writing another Harbor Pointe novel to release next year and I haven't quite settled on the details of that one yet because there are two heroines I REALLY want to write about! :)
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