A Day in the Life of Courtney Summers

Do you ever wonder what your favourite authors get up to when they think no one is looking?

Today is a very special day.
I’m kidding.
Well, not really…. it is my birthday.
[The big 2-3]
But no, that’s not the only reason why it’s special, because today I am extremely excited to welcome the wonderful Courtney Summers, author of books such as Cracked Up To Be [My review], Fall For Anything and the ridiculously brilliant soon-to-be released-oh-my-god-you-have-to-get-your-mitts-on-this-book-even-if-it-requires-nefarious-deeds, This is Not a Test. [My review] to my blog.

Also, I get to eat cake and the calories don’t count.
Join us won’t you?


When Jo asked me if I’d be interested in writing about A Day in the Life of.. for her blog, I was like, “Sure!” But then I was like, hmm. This could be hard. I mean, I already don’t meet the general guideline for this–I don’t often work in the day! (Okay, I’m splitting hairs but oh well.) Sometimes I’ve been known to work in the day, but the general rule of thumb in our household is if you see me in the morning, the world is quite possibly coming to an end. That aside, not a lot happens during a typical authory day. At least MY typical authory day. And by that I mean, I am boring.

So you see my predicament.

But I will do my best to recount what DOES happen during my day in a way that is hopefully interesting.

(No guarantees!)

My day typically starts way later than everyone else’s does unless they’re night owls like me, in which case–high five! And the first order of business upon waking is this: COFFEE. Coffee is such a huge part of my typical day as an author, it bears mentioning here. This is how I feel about coffee:


Once I have (beautiful, wonderful, lovely, life-saving) coffee, I feel ready to tackle my email. Something I knew I would have to be prepared for–but was never totally prepared for–when I became an author was how in touch I would have to be with other people. I spent the years before Cracked Up to Be’s release letting email threads drop and then picking them up again after socially unacceptable amounts of time. I am a lot better than I used to be about this particular aspect of my life, but by no means have I mastered it. At first I spent more time emailing than I did writing, and now I spend a little more time writing than emailing but I’m still looking for that perfect balance.

Please do not ask me to divulge how many emails currently starred in my inbox awaiting reply. I would render you speechless if I told you. LIKE SO:


The emails I get are usually from my agent, editor, publishing people (depending on how close I am to a new release) friends, family, readers, notifications from social media sites, and all of the publishing related newsletters I am signed up for so I can stay on top of industry stuff. Once I am done replying to the emails that can’t wait, I leave the rest until I feel guilty about them (do I owe you an email, someone who is reading this? I AM SO SORRY) and check up on Twitter and Facebook and GoodReads. It’s easy to get overwhelmed in a constant barrage of tweets and timelines, but I really enjoy it, generally. It’s a nice way to stay informed and keep people updated. Also it is sometimes wonderfully amusing. For example:

Internet, you are so funny.

There are a multitude of ways a person’s day can be interrupted or put mildly off course. You know, with the general life-stuff. Phone calls, unexpected guests, unexpected business stuff, outings, the day job (or in my case, a flexible evening job) and so on. Let us pretend I talked about them all in-depth here and they were really interesting and move right onto the nitty-gritty: that point in my day/evening (what time is it again?) where I start thinking about doing my job.

That’s right–thinking about it.

At some point in the day, I think I should start writing.

And then I do this:


And then I think about writing some more.

And then I do this!



Don’t judge too harshly, please! Procrastination is a huge part of my work process, for reals. That makes it sound like I am trying to justify what is actually playing video games, but it really IS. If I feel I have time to write–I won’t. If I spend my day putting it off, and putting it off until the last minute, OUTPUT! Miraculous, frenzied output!

It is a glorious thing.

And it usually happens at night, with my headphones on, after everyone else is fast asleep.

They say if you listen closely, you may hear the clack-clack-clacking of my fingers typing in the wind.

And then I go to sleep.

And that is a typical day as an author for me!

The not so typical ones are more like this:

But that is a story for another time.

Thanks for having me on your blog, Jo!


Thank YOU, Courtney Summers. Also, I would like to hear the Ke$ha story….

You can find Ms Summers lurking in various corners of the Internet.

Stalky Stalk.

Her website.

Until next time…

13 thoughts on “A Day in the Life of Courtney Summers

  1. Firstly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY JO YOU AWESOME CHICA *YOU*!!! *throws glitter*
    And secondly, Courtney Summers! Love her. But she owes me an email and I am very angry that she hasn't yet replied. (Kidding) (I am too scared that she won't reply and I will look like a total loser) (can't believe I just admitted that). Ahem.

    ANYWAY, yay procrastination! And I would totes like to hear about that Ke$ha story… ;) Thanks for the post, Jo and Courtney!

  2. This sounds remarkably like my day only without the whole agent/editor/publishing people stuff. And with much, much better writing output. All I want in life is to wake up late, chug coffee, procrastinate, and eventually come up with something that reads exactly like CRACKED UP TO BE. Is that really too much to ask?


  3. @ Iffath – Thank you! And yes, Ms Summers is brilliant!

    @ Dahlia – Mate, I know, right? I think I'd be happy with something HALF as great as CUTB! ;)

    @ Catie – SCIENCE IS NECESSARY. And so are video games.

    @ Anna – Thanks Anna! Definitely agree. Next time I spend a few hours on Twitter doing Sweet FA, I will smile and think “Well, if Ms Summers can do it….” ;)

  4. Happy birthday, Jo! 23 is a great number, maybe even the best. :D

    And after reading this post, I must agree, Ms Summers is brilliant(ly funny).

  5. Hooray for procrastination! I'm a firm believer that there's nothing like some sheer panic to get the get the creativity following :)

    Great post!

  6. Happy birthday…I guess. ;-) I really hope you got a dinosaur costume.

    It made me so happy to know that CS plays video games. KINDRED SPIRITS OF THE WORLD, UNITE! Maybe we should get some Captain Planet rings or some shit?

    You need to finish the rest of her contemps, Jo. That is an order.

  7. @ Maja – Thank you! I hope so! I have a good feeling about 23. And yes… she's just great, isn't she? :)

    @ Rey – Ha, YES. Panic is scientifically proven to get the creative juices flowing… Ms Summers says so. It's FACT.

    @ Flannery- Mate, I have t'others lined up and I'm gonna devour them asap. ;)

  8. Happy belated birthday Jo! ;)

    Great post! Procrastination pretty much defines my typical day. I don't even know what I do half the time.

    I just finished This Is Not a Test and LOVED it. So different and amazing! :)

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