Madeline Courtney is currently 16 years old, living in Missouri, and self-publishing her first novel, THE CASE OF IRENE ADLER. When she asked me to interview her for my blog, I was more than happy to. I asked her a few questions, and she answered them beautifully. Enjoy:
1. How long have you been writing?
"I've been writing since I had this school project in the first grade. We all had to write a short story about our favorite animal. Mine was a cat named Mykin. In the end it got run over by a car. It was very sad."
2. What inspired you to start writing?
"Um... I've always been writing really. I think what inspires me to keep writing is my life. It's pretty terrible and I'm not just saying that because I'm a teenager. I was sexually assaulted and tortured by a family friend from ages 3-13 and I did not have justice. Everything was settling down when my parents decided to move. At my new school I was again sexually assaulted by football players, told to commit suicide, brutally bullied so bad I had to drop and be home-schooled. Now, I am doing homeschooling online at the library and have absolutely no high school experience. Which is why I am moving out next year so I can have a senior year in my home town, Carthage Missouri. Basically to shorten the answer, I write to disappear. To escape reality and FINALLY live a peaceful life."
3. Your book "The Case of Irene Adler" is a retelling of "A Scandal in Bohemia" by Arthur Conan Doyle. How does your book differ from the original? And will Sherlock Holmes be making an appearance?
"My book is Urban Fantasy. It's much the same as the original, except Irene Adler is a vampire controlled by the evil James Moriarty. John Watson is actually a female Witch Doctor named Jonelle Watson... I can't really say much about Holmes without giving away the ending. Yes, he's in there. Yes, he's super badass vampire killing awesomeness."
4. Do you have any future novels in the works? If so, can you describe them in a nut shell?
"YES! Obviously this book is the first in a trilogy. The next book is called A STUDY IN MORIARTY which has something to do with THE HOUNDS OF BASKERVILLE, and then a modern retelling of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, set in the deep south."
5. You're still 16 years old, with your whole life and career ahead of you. Where do you see your writing career taking you in the next 10 years?
"Honestly, I would just be happy working as a librarian and writing on my down time. Actually, that's my plan. I want to either work at Books-A-Million or a library, and write when I come home. I was debating on giving my novels away for free on Ebook and perhaps also selling them on Amazon, giving people the choice on if they want to buy them or not. Is that good answer?"
YES, those are ALL great answers! It's awesome of Madeline to want to give her books away for free. It shows that to her, writing isn't just a money making scheme, but a true passion and something she is willing to share with the world just because she loves it. Being a sexual assault survivor myself (and Founder of RISE) I sympathize with Madeline and truly hope things get better for her. And I agree - Writing IS a great way to escape, AND a great path to healing!
If you want to keep up with Madeline and her work, you can follow her on Twitter HERE.
Thank you for sharing, Madeline, and good luck with everything! I'll be looking out for your work :)