Courtney Summers is the debut author of Cracked Up to Be (St. Martin's Press.)
INN: How did you break into publishing?
CS: It took a lot of time, a lot of writing, a lot of querying and a lot of rejections before I broke in (I'd call it chipping in, really!). Cracked Up to Be was my fourth completed novel. As with my other novels, I researched agents, made up a list of those I thought would be interested in it and queried them. My agent responded within a couple of days of my querying her, requested the full, and shortly thereafter, made an offer of representation. We worked together to clean up the manuscript and she sent it out to editors as the end of August, 2007. By the end of September, we got an offer and my agent sold my book to St. Martin's Press. It was very exciting and amazing to me at the time (it still is!)-- but fairly straightforward typed out like this.
INN: Your novel is about "perfect" Parker Fadley whose "perfect" life disintegrates for a mysterious reason. Where did you find the idea for this story?
CS: The idea for Cracked Up to Be came from the question, "What's the worst thing you've ever done?" Parker's voice came to me loud and clear, but I wasn't sure what her deal was so I built her story around that question. I'm really fascinated by how easy it is for people-- whether they do so intentionally or not-- make the kind of mistakes you can't easily recover from. If you can recover from them at all...
Part Two comes later this week!