Monday, 8 October 2012

Something Wicked Comes Halloween Tour/Blog Hop with Courtney Summers

Hello everyone welcome to the Something Wicked Comes Halloween blog tour and giveaway hop hosted by Heidi @ Rainy Day Ramblings and Lila @ Babbling about Books. This is hop for blog to showcase their favourite paranormal/supernatural or Halloween related read.

When Heidi asked me to take part in this hop, one book immediately came to mind; Courtney Summers This is Not a Test. This is Not a Test is not your typical zombie book, but a dark, gritty and raw book which tells the story of six teenagers trying to survive. I remember it was one of my first reads of 2012 and it ended up as one of my favourites. You can check out my review for this amazing book here.

Today for this blog tour I am pleased to welcome the lovely Courtney Summers to the blog she has been kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule and answer some of mine and Rachel’s oh so important questions.

What made you decide to take the plunge and move away from your gritty contemporary novels to a post-apocalyptic zombie novel?

I'm a big fan of zombies and writing a zombie novel was always a matter of 'when' and not 'if' for me.  After Fall for Anything, it felt like the right time. I tabled a few ideas to my editor and we liked the sound of the one about teens trapped in their high school during the zombie apocalypse best! The rest is history.

What inspired you to write a main character like Sloane, in This Is Not A Test, who has completely given up on life?

Sloane's perspective was inspired by being as truthful as possible with myself about how I would handle a zombie apocalypse. I realized that survival sounds great when everything else is working out--you're with the people you love, you have food, water, weapons--but what about when everything is gone? When you have nothing, suddenly it doesn't sound so great anymore...

Which character did you most relate to or see yourself in?

I relate to them all a little bit, in different ways. But I think I relate to Harrison the most just because I would probably cry a lot during the zombie apocalypse! More than he did, even.

How does the idea of a story come to you? Is it the general outline of a story or the characters that come to you first?

It depends on the book! Parker's voice was the first thing that came to me for Cracked Up to Be, and a really bad outline followed. Some Girls Are was more heavily plotted. The first draft of Fall for Anything was characters first and a vague sense of story second, but the second draft was very outlined. This is Not a Test was quite plotted out. My next novel, All the Rage, is a psychological thriller and was plotted down to the letter because there were quite a few things to keep track of.

A lot of people love zombie stories. I personally get giddy and excited at the thought of one. Why do you think zombie stories appeal to so many? What’s the fascination?

I can't speak for everyone but part of the fascination for me has always been the fact that they force you to ask who you really are and what matters most to you. They're death! They are shuffling, relentless representations of death and they can inspire a lot of thought about what it means to live. They can be as inspiring as they are terrifying because of this.

A lot of readers me included are dying to know whether you have any plans on writing a sequel to This is not a Test?

I have no immediate plans for a sequel, but I never say never.  :)

How much does music play a part in your writing? And did you have a playlist in mind for This is Not a Test?

I always listen to music when I am writing. I can't stand the silence! (Though I need it when I'm editing.)  This is Not a Test had a playlist but I lost if after my last laptop died. But I remember some of the songs on it--Exile, Vilify by The National, Ghost Wiring by Neko Case, The Funeral by Band of Horses...

Exile, Vilify by The National

What do we have to look forward from you in the future?

My next book, ALL THE RAGE, is a psychological thriller about a girl who blackmails a rich classmate and wakes up on the road the next day with no money and no memory of the night before. Then things start to get bad. It's due out in Fall 2013.

Thanks for having me on your blog, Jasprit!

Courtney Summers has been writing edgy, contemporary YA novels on scrap pieces of paper since the tender age of one. Maybe. Her novels CRACKED UP TO BE, SOME GIRLS ARE, FALL FOR ANYTHING and THIS IS NOT A TEST are available now wherever books are sold. Her next novel, ALL THE RAGE will be out in 2013.
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Thank you so much Courtney for stopping by. I have my fingers and toes crossed that you may consider writing a sequel to This is Not a Test. Also who else is excited about All The Rage? Doesn’t it sound amazing?

So to share my love of This is Not a Test, I will be giving away a copy to one lucky follower. This giveaway is international as long as the Book Depository ships to you. You can check out the full list here. This giveaway will run until the last day of the Something Wicked Comes Halloween blog tour and giveaway hop, so the 31st. Just fill out the rafflecopter form below. Good luck everyone!

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self.

To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live.

But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. 

When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

Make sure you stop by all the blogs taking part in the Something Wicked Comes Halloween blog tour and giveaway hop. There are over 50 blogs taking part and you will have fantastic guest posts and giveaways going on. You can check at the complete list here.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Amazing interview, Jasprit! I absolutely LOVED This is Not a Test, and eeeeeeek! A sequel would be awesome, and even though I don't think This is Not a Test really *needs* one and that the ending would be more powerful without a sequel, I will still buy that sequel the day it's released and read it immediately. And I am *so* looking forward to All the Rage, and really anything else written by Courtney Summers. I've heard amazing things about all of her novels, and I've heard that Some Girls Are is even better than This is Not a Test, which I can't even fathom. Again, amazing interview! You're so lucky to have Courtney Summers stop by for an interview. :) (And I apologize for my incoherent rambling. This is Not a Test tends to do that to me.)

  2. Wonderful interview, Jasprit! I loved your questions and Courtney Summers is such a fantastic author. I've only read This is Not a Test, but I really want to pick up more of her books soon. I don't know how I'd feel about a sequel to This is Not a Test, but I'd definitely pick it up for sure. I loved the ending, but more Sloane? I'm not saying no to that! ;) Anyway, thanks for sharing this interview with us, dear! It's the first one I've seen of Courtney Summers, so I'm even more excited to pick up her other novels now! :D

  3. Jasprit, I have so much love for this post right now. :) I adored This Is Not a Test and I could easily say Courtney Summers is one of my favourite authors, ever, for both contemporary and post-apocalyptic novels (P.S. You must check out Cracked Up to Be and Some Girls Are, asap!) I always listen to music while writing as well! This interview is so brilliant, thanks for sharing. :)

  4. This was such a good book. And great interview. All the Rage sounds like it going to be really good too!

  5. I haven't read this yet but it sounds truly awesome. There's just something about zombies that really appeals to me. Amazing interview, thanks for sharing Jasprit! :)

  6. This is such an awesome post, Jasprit! I have all of Courtney's books but I'm actually yet to read one! I am very excited to start one of them after reading this interview though. So informative and fun - thanks for sharing!

    Steph @ SOOTP

  7. Like Keertana, I've only read This is Not a Test because the rest of the books are so far out of my comfort zone, I doubt I'll ever force myself to read them. But All the Rage sounds fantastic, and I'm convinced it'll be fabulously creepy and atmospheric, just like TINaT.
    Great interview!

  8. I think I might share Sloane's perspective of the zombie apocalypse. Like Courtney said - if I was with my friends and family and we had the means to survive, I would probably be in a pretty good place with a determination to beat all the zombies and live despite the odds against me, but if I didn't have those things? Not sure I would have such drive to continue on the mortal coil. That sounds really bad and quite depressing. Yikes. Let's hope the zombie apocalypse holds off for a while:)

  9. What an outstanding giveaway! I would love to win. I have had This is Not a Test on my TBR list since I heard about it. I love the cover and the description sounds fascinating. I also enjoyed learning more about the author. All the Rage sounds like it will be wonderful- I just added it to my list for next year. :)Thanks for the giveaway.


  10. Thanks for the great interview and giveaway!

  11. Thanks so much for being a part of Something Wicked. You put together a fabulous post! I think I would cry a lot too if the zombies came. I think her next book sounds riveting and I love psychological thrillers so I am definitely planning on reading that one. Wonderful post ladies!

  12. Awesometastic interview, Jasprit! LOVED it and loved Courtney's answer on what we probably love most about zombies. I'm yet to read This Is Not A Test. It's about time I do since the plot fascinates me and I LOVED Cracked Up to Be and Fall For Anything. Thanks for sharing this totally wonderful interview with one of my favourite authors. <3

  13. Brilliant interview, guys! I really appreciate Courtney's answer to the second question. Sloanne's character really spoke to me as I'm almost certain I would feel as hopeless as her had I been in her position too.

    This remind me that I still need to try Courtney's contemporary books. :)

  14. Insightful interview about one of my favourite reads of the year (This is Not a Test). Thanks so much for sharing, ladies! <3

  15. *Sighs*
    I still haven't read This Is Not A Test. I'm convinced that I should after reading Courtney's brilliant answers to your interview question, Jasprit!
    It sounds like there's a lot of her in this book!
    Thanks for sharing, Jasprit! Lovely post! :)

  16. I have only read Fall for Anything by her and really enjoyed it. But I've heard loads of good things about This is Not a Test and I'm very curious to read it! What a great interview, it got me even more excited to read more by her!

  17. Yay, I'm participating in this blog hop later in the month, too!

    What a great interview, I need to get a move on and read this book!

  18. This was such a fantastic post, I've read and enjoyed all of Courtney's books but This Is Not A Test has to be my favourite!

  19. I'm looking forward to reading this book. I love a good zombie novel.

  20. Thank you for this amazing giveaway! :D (Angie Edwards)


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