Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Howl in the Night by Courtney Rene Interview & Giveaway

Sweet Sixteen is supposed to be a turning point in your life.  The world is before you in all its glory, just waiting for you to reach out and grab it.  Right?  For Abigail Staton, no.  Not so much.  Not only does she suddenly lose her best friend due to a fight, but out of the blue her mother expects her to believe that the father, she has never met, is actually a werewolf.  With that revelation, Abby is thrust into the world of two wolf clans who are not only fighting each other, but also fighting for Abby, one of the few females born to the shape-shifters.  Her father is determined to pair Abby up with Derek, a very dominant and overwhelming shifter.  Abby vehemently balks at this union to disastrous results.  When war is declared between the two clans, Abby has to decide what side she is actually on. 

It's my pleasure to have Courtney Rene here today!

Courtney, tell us about yourself...

This is always such a hard question for me.  I can never decide on what information to share.  What do people really want to know?  So here’s a grab bag of information.  I’m the mother of two daughters:  Sidney, almost 17; and Seren 10.  I am married to my high school love and plan to stay that way.  I am a lover of animals, any kind and every kind.  Currently I have one dog, two hamsters, and a plethora of fish.  I enjoy gardening both in flowers and veggies.  I have an orchard that is extremely time consuming that consists of peaches, pears, plums, cherries, and one sad little apple tree that the deer keep trying to eat to death.  I spend my free time, what little there is, reading. I read anything and everything that catches my eye.  I am always looking for recommendations to good reads, so if you happen to have one, shoot me an email.  I have a kindle and it’s always ready.

As a writer I have written for magazines, both fiction and non; I have several contributions to anthologies; and I now have three published novels, Shadow Dancer, Shadow Warrior, and my newest release, A Howl in the Night.  If you are interested, you can find a complete listing on my blog (

Do you prefer

Milk chocolate or Dark?
Milk Chocolate.  Oh I know dark is better for you but, that doesn’t change my taste buds any. 
Coke or Pepsi?
Neither, I prefer Mt. Dew.  If I have to choose between Coke or Pepsi, then I choose Coke. 

Almond Joy or Mounds?
Bleeeackk.  Neither!  Don’t like coconut at all.  It’s a texture thing.  Ew.

Romance or a Thriller?
Both.  Some days I am in the mood for romance…some times I’m in the mood for some thriller action.  Some days I want both in one, which is when I turn to….Catherine Coulter.  She has a good romance/thriller series.
Mystery or Horror?
I prefer horror over mystery.  I like monsters and mayhem over trying to figure out the game.  Mysteries are one of the few genres I am not a huge fan of.  I know, its weird.   

Did you always want to be an author?
Yes, in some form or another. There were periods of time that I wanted to be other things like a flight attendant in the fifth grade, and a veterinarian in the eighth.  But as it was more fun to tell stories about flight attendants ingesting mold and turning into zombies or a vet getting bitten by a werewolf, I would say being an author has always been in my future. 
What authors had an impact on you growing up and as an adult?
VC Andrews
Stephen King
Anne Rice
Dean Koonz.

Did anyone in your life influence you or encouraged you to be a writer?
Not particularly.  I did have one teacher that almost turned me away from it, but only because I struggled so hard with grammar.  I could tell or write a great story, but it would come back to me dripping in red ink and a big fat ‘F’ across the top almost every time.  It frustrated me almost to the point of giving up.  It took me a long time to realize he was trying to help me.  He did. 
What is your writing atmosphere like?
I don’t really have an atmosphere.  I can write just about anywhere.  I write in the midst of a loud, music blaring dance studio several times a week.  I write at the park sprawled out on the grass or at a picnic table on my lunch break.  I write notes and story lines while standing in line at the bank.  I write in front of the tv.  As long as I have pencil and paper or my laptop, I can write. 

What is your favorite aspect or writing? Your Least Favorite?
My favorite aspect is the writing down of the story.  That’s the best part.  Seeing where it will go and how it will all end.  I love that.  I am a seat of your pants writer.  I don’t know where the story will actually go until I sit down and write it. 

My least guessed it, the grammar part.  Uck.  I struggle and struggle with that.  I fix and then second guess.  I comma then remove.  It takes longer to grammar up my manuscripts than it does to actually write the thing!  I hate grammar. 
Your current book your promoting is:
My newest release is:  A Howl in the Night.  It’s a shape shifter story about love, power, friends, and best of all, werewolves!  Now this is not the usual “Oh no!  I’m a werewolf,” story.  This is a “Woo hoo!  I’m a werewolf,” story.  Is this an offshoot of me?  Of course it is!  I personally think being a werewolf that could control when they shifted, would be so awesome.  The strength, the power, the fierce instincts, oh yes, that would be extremely fun. Can you just imagine?

There is not, tear your face off, violence in this book.  It really is a coming of age story with a paranormal twist.  Add in a love triangle, two warring families, one headstrong girl, and you have the fun, romp in the woods story, that A Howl in the Night, is. 
How did you come up with the story line?
I was sick of the stories where the main character, spends the entire book trying to not be a werewolf.  It annoyed me.  Here they have this great gift and they want to get rid of it?  So I wrote a story that didn’t annoy me. 

How do you choose your characters names?
Usually on a whim.  I have had a thing for the name William, since Heath Ledger in A Knight’s Tale, so my use of that name is not surprising to me.  In another of my books, there is a group of fire people.  They needed to have fun fire names or red names.  So I came up with names like:  Cinder and Brick.  For normal places and times, I use normal everyday names like Brian or Tara.  I don’t have any set method for name choice.  I just play with names until they sound right to me. 

Then a new thought crashed into my brain.  “Wait a sec.  If my father is a werewolf . . .,”

“Not a werewolf, just a wolf,” my mom said interrupting me.

“Okay fine,” I said.  If her story was true though, I had to wonder, what did that make me?  It was my turn to pop up off the bed and pace around.  What about me?  Was I going to grow hair and fangs and run around trying to bite people?  “Oh, God.”

It felt as if my life was over.  How was I supposed to finish school if I turned into a wolf every time the moon was full? 

Would it hurt to change?  It always looked like it did in the movies.  I had seen that werewolf movie where the guy runs around London eating people.  The change was always accompanied with screaming and pain.  Was I going to hunt down my friends and family and eat them?

I didn’t know if that was really how it worked or not, but before I could work myself up into a real freak fest, my mom said, “I have watched you all your life Abby, and I have never seen anything wolf-like about of you.  I promise.  That worry has always been in the back of my mind, but nothing has ever come of it.  You’re fine.  Come on, you don’t even like meat.” 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
 Courtney Rene lives in Ohio with her husband and two children.  She is a graduate and member of the Institute of Children’s Literature.  Her writings include magazine articles, short fiction stories, several anthologies, and her Shadow Dancer series, published through Rogue Phoenix Press.  For a complete listing, visit www.ctnyrene.blogspot com. 

 Feel free to contact her at


Courtney will be awarding $5 Amazon GCs to two randomly drawn commenter during the tour. 
For a chance to win just leave a comment ith your email!
For more chances to win follow Courtney's Goddess Fish Tour.


  1. Awesome interview. And love the extract you chose: "You don't even like meat." Hhahaha! :)

  2. Thanks for coming over today Carrie! Glad you liked the interview.


  3. Great excerpt. I definitely have to read this.

  4. Great interview! I'm with ya, Courtney as I hate grammar too. That's also my biggest weakness. I don't think I'm ever going to get it! But it doesnt stop us from writing and that's what's important.

    I've read you newest book A Howl in the Night and it's my favorite so far of your books. The Shadow Dancer series is wonderful too though and I can't wait to read your last book of that series. Keep em coming, Courtney!

  5. hi courtney. mandi can't wait for the next shadwo dancer either. she loved howl in the night.

  6. Ah, grammar, it always cracks me up with how many writers struggle with it. And I'm a part of the legions who do.

  7. Hi Courtney, Can't believe the last day of your tour has arrived. I've enjoyed following you around and getting to know your work.

    You said you just go with the flow and where your characters take you in the story rather than plot it all beforehand. Do you do outlines to detail the characters themselves? How do you keep track of their traits, both physical and personality?

    What characters are the hardest/easiest for you to write: The hero, the heroine, the villain (or villainess), the secondary male & female characters? What are the most fun to write?

    Thanks again for a fun tour.

    kareninnc at gmail dot com