26 Jan 2014

A chat with author Cortney Roudebush

Do dreams inspire your writing? What did you last dream about?
I have always had very powerful and memorable dreams. Sometimes I dream about my fictional characters, which is very inspiring.
I self-published my first ebook Where I Want to Be: A Wine Country Novel on Amazon on October 1st, and right before it was released, I dreamed that I was walking by a well-known bookstore in my neighborhood and there was a huge poster of me holding a hardcover version of my novel. I thought it was a sign that I should print hardback books and that hopefully I will someday do an author reading at that bookstore, which would be such an honor.

When did you first start writing? And when were you first published?
My novel began as a blog post for my wine blog, Sip, Swirl, Savor (sipswirlsavor.com), in December 2011. It was about a particularly bad first date (the wine I selected to drink was the only redeeming quality about it). I kept adding to it until I had enough content for a full-length novel. Finding the right editor to work with took a while; I met "The One" at the San Francisco Writer's Conference in February 2013. The polishing and editing and proofreading processes took approximately 4 months. I could have spent many more months continuing to refine each page, but I had promised myself I would publish this novel before my birthday on October 16th. Now I'm working on the 2nd novel in the series called Living with Grace.

What is it about this genre that appeals to you the most? Do you read other genres?
I grew up loving Nancy Drew, R.L. Stine, and the Boxcar Children series. In my early twenties, I devoured Chick Lit like candy. (Since R.L. Stine, I've read few books by male authors.) Then I started reading books more loosely defined as Women's Fiction because I love the diversity within this genre. Now I only read Women's Fiction, mostly because I connect with the female characters and also for research. I'll read bestsellers and ask myself, "What is it about this book that makes it so successful?"

What's the title of your latest book? Can you tell us about it?

Where I Want to Be is about a thirty-one-year-old woman who is craving a change of scenery and a new career. Olivia is very interested in wine, so she takes some time off from her high-stress entertainment industry job in LA and enrolls in a three-month wine education program in Napa Valley. While living in Wine Country for the summer and attending classes, she feels compelled to try new things that she wouldn’t normally do (like online dating). She makes fast friends with three dynamic, young women who work in the wine industry and help her appreciate the many facets of life in a small wine-centric town. The novel is full of real wine and winery references. It's suitable for wine novices and aficionados alike, but you don't have to like drinking wine to enjoy the story.

What inspired you to write it?
I love Napa Valley, so I wanted to write a novel that demonstrates what a wonderful place it is. I met some amazing people and drank some delicious wines while I lived there…Wine Country is an inspiring place. Period.

Is it part of a series?
Yes, the Wine Country Series is a quartet of novels written from the perspective of the four main characters. The second novel is told from Grace's voice, she is a restaurant sommelier in training who grew up in the SF Bay Area. The third novel will be written in the voice of Charlie, who is a female winemaker from North Carolina. The fourth will be from McKayla's perspective who is a wine writer/blogger from the midwest.

Have you ever spotted anyone reading your books anywhere?
Not yet! I hope to once it is in print!

Who designs your covers?
My dear friend and very talented graphic designer, Ariana Faustini. She can be reached atarianafaustini.com

If your latest book was made into a film, who would you cast?
Zooey Deschanel for Olivia, Sara Shahi for Grace, Isla Fisher for Charlie, Lauren Conrad for McKayla.

What's your favourite Chick Lit book that made it to the big screen?
Something Borrowed, by Emily Giffin.

What were the last two books you read?
All the Summer Girls, by Meg Donohue
Finding Colin Firth, by Mia March

Name one female author who you think deserves to be better known.
Patti Callahan Henry

Where do you write?

At my desk which faces my living room and is surrounded by windows. When I first moved into this house in 2012 after leaving Napa Valley, I had my desk against the wall, but I quickly realized I needed to be able to look out the window while sitting out my desk. You would think it would be distracting, but it's quite inspiring.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I knew at the age of 10 I would be a writer. I've been writing ever since.

In the movie of your life, who would play you?
Image courtesy: Richard Goldschmidt
Isla Fisher. I just love her!

Speed Round...
Top drink to make you tipsy?
Shopaholic or shopadon't? ONLINE SHOPPING
Sky high heels or closer to the ground? 3-INCH WEDGES (SUMMER) OR BOOTS (WINTER)
E.L. James or Jilly Cooper? NEITHER
Cry baby or tough cookie? CRY BABY

As a child, Cortney Roudebush was an avid reader and always knew she would become a writer. She grew up in Sausalito and moved to Los Angeles for college. After graduating with a degree in Creative Writing from the University of Southern California in 2005, she returned to the Bay Area. She spent one year as an advertising assistant at Wine Spectator Magazine, which fueled her interest in wine.
In 2009, Cortney’s passion for wine encouraged her to move to Napa Valley. After working in the restaurant industry and passing the Court of Master Sommeliers preliminary exam, she relocated from San Francisco to St. Helena. She began a wine blog called Sip, Swirl, Savor (Sipswirlsavor.com) and wrote about her wine tasting experiences. She also held hospitality positions at various wineries including Chappellet, Merryvale, Cliff Lede and Crocker & Starr.
Inspired by her Wine Country experiences, she started her first novel in late 2011. Where I Want to Be is the first of four novels in the Wine Country series about four friends who live and work in Napa Valley.
Cortney currently lives in Marin County and is busy writing the second novel in the series. Her writing has also appeared on wine-related websites such as Vinesleuth.com, Summertimeinaglass.com, and the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant wine blog at FPWM.com. She still enjoys going wine tasting in her free time.
Please visit www.AuthorCortney.com for more info!
Wine blog
Ebook on Amazon

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Suzy! It was a pleasure being featured on your site. For more info, visit me at authorcortney.com. Cheers!


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