Courtney Lillard was born and raised in Appleton, Wisconsin as the middle of five children. Growing up, she enjoyed music and theater, and participating in both allowed her to develop a deeper interest in the arts. Lillard graduated from Quincy University in 2012 with a B.A. degree in Communications and from Western Illinois University in 2018 with a M.A. in Communication Studies.Outside of writing, Lillard is a fan of reading fantasy stories and classics. Her other hobbies include cooking, relaxing by the pool, and doing puzzles, at least until her cat, Scarlet, knocks the pieces off of the table. Together with her husband, the two moved to Lincoln, Nebraska where they currently reside."At first, I wrote for fun and nothing else because I never expected to publish the complete series. I still write for fun, but I think a lot of people get lost in the marketing process, especially if they aspire to become a full-time author. My stories are for myself first and foremost. If I can capture a reader's attention and entertain them until the last page, then I've succeeded in my duty as a writer."
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your hobbies and interests.
My name is Courtney and I am a Wisconsin native currently living in Nebraska with my husband and our cat, Scarlett. I graduated with my B.A. and M.A. in Communications and work full time in addition to writing.
When and why did you start writing books?
I've had ideas for stories every since I can remember, but I didn't start putting them together until I graduated college and had the time to write. My motivation stems from my desire to entertain and draw the reader away from the real world for a little while.
What made you decide to tackle writing as a career?
Writing is a way for me to put something out into the world. I was inspired by the fantasy genre in books, movies, and TV, so I hope to offer someone else the idea to explore the field.
Which one of your books or characters is your favourite?
The third book in The Dark Angel series holds a special place in my heart because it focuses on the protagonist's maturity as she copes with losing her magical abilities. She is also my favorite character, so being able to shape her into a confident adult through her journey is something special. This is especially crucial since the first two books establish the world and characters before they begin to face the greater enemy.
Which one of your books was the hardest to write and stretched you the most as a writer?
I'm currently about halfway finished with the sixth book in The Dark Angel series, which is pushing more as a writer. The main story resolves in the fourth book, but I wanted to continue the series because I felt the characters had more to offer. After a harrowing experience, what is the aftermath? How are they doing mentally? There is potential to explore their personal struggles as they aim for new goals, deal with familial relationships, and discover new threats.
Who is your favourite author and book?
I enjoy Mercedes Lackey because her Heralds of Valdemar series introduced me to the fantasy genre. Her books, Magic's Pawn and Take a Thief, are a couple of my favorites. Outside of fantasy, I love Jurassic Park and A Tale of Two Cities.
What book are you reading right now?
I'm currently ignoring the side eye from the stack of books on my nightstand. My newest upcoming release requires a fine eye with the final edits, so I don't read while I'm finishing that up. Once it is published, I plan to take some time to review my friend Rebeka Porter's book, Adopted. My husband is also pushing me to read John Grisham's series, so I might start that soon too.
Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
Inspiration can come from anywhere. My stories are dreamt up, and I hurry to scribble them down before I forget. Once I have some ideas, then I listen to music that reflects the tone and develop them further. Then, I'm able to draft an outline.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I strive to be as productive as possible every day. Outside of writing and reading, I enjoy puzzles, sudoku, crosswords, and art projects, cooking, exercising regularly, playing video games, and spending some time out by the pool when the weather is nice.
Do you have any new books in the works?
The third book of The Dark Angel series will be available February 22, 2022. I'm about halfway finished writing the sixth book and plan to outline the seventh before letting it rest. I'd like to start something new as I publish the rest of the series.
Books by Courtney Lillard
The Shadow's Grasp
The Guardian's Dec...
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