Outlaw Boots, pair #1: Courtney Summers


BACKSTORY: I’ve been looking for a way to feature writers/writerly peeps on my blog, because part of blogging is returning the blog love. So–Outlaw Boots. Now I’m sure you’re asking, because you are discerning blog friends: what the hell? What are Outlaw Boots?

BEHIND THE BACKSTORY: I love writing YA because of outsiders–almost every protagonist believes s/he’s an outsider, in whatever way. That I-don’t-belong sensibility is near and dear to my heart, partly because I’ve felt that way as long as I’ve been able to think about myself.

Then, at some point, “outsider” got translated to “outlaw.” This correlation isn’t exact–some outsiders aren’t traditional outlaws, but there are still take-charge, let-me-mess-with-you elements to outsiders, too. I see outsiders as the key element of the basic YA “formula”: outsider/outlaw makes crazy stuff happen, and hilarity may or may not ensue, then we discover all the vulnerability *underneath* the outsider/outlaw posturing, and oh man, perfect setup for a story. I love my genre!

OK, so, with that loooong introduction, I give you the first set of Outlaw Boots, worn by Courtney Summers. Courtney is the author of CRACKED UP TO BE, SOME GIRLS ARE, and FALL FOR ANYTHING (out in December), all from St. Martin’s Press.

Edited to add: I didn’t even tell you what her books are about! Basically: high school girls behaving badly, mostly to each other. For example, from the CRACKED UP TO BE blurb: “Perfect Parker Fadley isn’t so perfect anymore.” Hmmm . . . interesting! Or, from the blurb of SOME GIRLS ARE, “Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard–falling from it is even harder.” Provocative! All you need to know: read them.

Full disclosure: Courtney is an agent sibling. But even if she wasn’t, I would still love her, because 1) she’s sparkly, but not in a vampire-y way; 2) she’s funny, smart, and talented; 3) she’s Canadian, which seems rather outlaw and outsider to begin with; and 4) I loved loved loved CRACKED UP TO BE.

There are questions (dun dun dunnnn!) for those who wear Outlaw Boots, and these are Courtney’s answers:

Who’s your most outlaw character (in any book)–why?

Definitely Parker, because of her determination to go against the grain.


Are you an outlaw too? How do you know?

Maybe! I refuse to compromise a lot. I don’t know if that makes me an outlaw so much as a jerk, though.


What kind of shoes does your outlaw wear (you or your character–maybe outlaw boots?)?

A kick-ass pair of flowery slippers.


Pirate, ninja, nerd, other outlaw title for you/your character:

I always go with ninja. Because Ninjas are cool.

Best thing about being an outlaw:
Not answering to anybody.

Favorite outlaw food:
Zucchini fries! Wait. That’s food that should be outlawed. 😉


Favorite outlaw role model/why:

Pierre Trudeau! He was a bit of an outlaw as far as Canadian PMs go. He didn’t take no guff!

Image of kick-ass flowery slippers stolen from here. Courtney also moonlights as Pele, the volcano goddess, because she hearts volcanoes. When she is not sparkly, she looks like this:

Thank you, Courtney, for wearing the first pair of Outlaw Boots!

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