I’m so pleased to have this spotlight of author Courtney Davis today. I had the pleasure of interviewing Courtney after hearing about her new release Princess of Prias. It sounds like such an interesting read, and I loved hearing more about her writing process, feelings about the changing roles of princess, and more.
Getting to Know You:
Question: Can you tell the readers a little about yourself and your road to becoming an author?
Courtney Davis: I always enjoyed reading, from a young age I was captivated by escaping boredom, and reality, in a great book. The first time I really considered I might want to write was in Jr. High when I wrote a story for class, a sort of horror Christmas story. My teacher and class really liked it and that encouraged me to think I might have an aptitude for it. After that I thought about it and dabbled here and there. When I was eighteen I started writing a historical romance novel, because I’d read a lot I think so it felt like something I might be able to do. After that I wrote increasingly erotic stories for a while and felt like I was really good at it, publishing under the name Courtney Breazile. I took a break for about nine years, life changes and such getting in the way. When I decided I wanted to get back to my dream of becoming a full time author, I wanted to rebrand myself and write more mainstream and not so romance focused stories. I love fantasy and romance and adventures. So I started creating stories with that in mind in 2020, and I don’t intend to stop!
COURTNEY DAVIS is the author of A Spider in the Garden and writes urban fantasy, paranormal fiction, and science fiction, known for skillfully incorporating romance and humor into action-packed adventures.
A member of the Fantasy and Sci-Fi Writers Alliance, she is a master world-builder and most enjoys exploring interactions between human and non-human characters. Davis resides in Idaho with her husband and children, teaching elementary school, reading, writing, and soaking up the sun.
Q: What are the difficulties of writing fantasy vs. science fiction vs. horror?
CD: I think that every genre has it’s difficulties for sure, nothing is easy. I like urban fantasy vs. Science fiction because I don’t have to get deep into science theory, I get to blame magic for why things work. Horror, well, I am not sure I can do a story without a happy ending and I think a lot of horror doesn’t’ necessarily have that.
Q: What is your process for creating such unique and immersive worlds?
CD: I start with a character that I would find interesting then create the world and rules of existence around that. I like to try and be unique with as much of the elements I can, while still using some very traditional creatures such as vampires and werewolves. I always try to keep in mind how their strengths and weaknesses will help or hinder their journey and the journey’s of others.
Q: I noticed in your bio that you enjoy writing novels that explore relationships between human and non-human characters. If you could be any non-human being, which would you choose? Why?
CD: Oh that is a hard question, I would really enjoy having some kind of magical power, like witchcraft or wizardry. But it would also be neat to be able to change into something, like a wolf or an octopus! I don’t think I would choose vampire, or anything that depends on killing for survival or giving up sunshine. But staying young and beautiful, I could get behind that idea!
Q: I also noticed in your bio that you teach elementary school. How do your skills as a teacher influence your writing?
CD: I think that being a teacher has hindered my ability to name characters! I don’t like using names of people I know. I think that being a teacher has helped with my ability to be gentle with myself as I would tell my students, try your best, keep trying to do better.
About the Book:
Page Length: 256
Publication Date: July 12, 2022
Publisher: 5 Prince Pub.
Synopsis: When the princess becomes a warrior, nothing stands in her way.
When Elle is presented with every orphan’s dream, finding out she’s actually a princess, she isn’t sure if she should join the hulking sexy man, Locan, on a spaceship ride, or run screaming from the room because he’s obviously nuts. If it weren’t for the strange things she’d recently encountered, like suddenly gaining star shaped birthmarks and a bracelet that once belonged to her mother lighting up with an eerie green light, she would be out of there already. She has enough questions she wants answered to stay and find out, taking his hand and embarking on a journey across the darkness of space. He says she needs to save their people from her evil uncle. She wants to know where she comes from, who her mother was, and why she never fit in on earth. The path to their home planet isn’t without its bumps. Saving aliens, and earthlings while evading her uncle’s men and dodging the pushy goddesses who want to tell them all what to do. Elle has to learn who she really wants to be and to help Locan become the warrior he was meant to be.
Can she be what the rebels need? Can Locan trust the beast that lives inside of him? Will the people of Prias once again have a princess on the throne to rule their utopian society?
Q: Congratulations on Princess of Prias! Can you tell us a bit about the book?
CD: Princess of Prias is a book I started writing probably about eleven or twelve years ago. I dropped it when I took a writing break and when I came back to it, I had a different vision. I was originally thinking it would be a multi book, maybe trilogy story and when I went back to it I decided I wanted it all in one shot. It starts with the idea that a planet, Prias has been taken over by the main character’s great uncle. He has offered the planet a way out of their fertility issues and with it gained control of all the citizens, trapping women who are fertile and giving out their babies to supporters. The main character, Elle’s mother escapes the planet pregnant and crashes on earth. Elle grows up not knowing anything about her mother or that she is an alien. When she is grown and her adopted aunt dies, she activates a tracking device by accident and the bad guys are coming for her. So is a good guy though. Locan is a warrior from the planet, a part of the rebels who are hiding from Elle’s uncle and searching for lost Prians on other planets. He is a sexy sort of Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde character who has another being, a warrior, living inside him that tries to take over from time to time and really likes Elle when he meets her! Locan has to convince her to go with him back to Prias and help the rebels go up against her uncle and his enforcers.
Q: How have princess tropes have changed over time, and why do you think they’ve changed?
CD: I am so glad they’ve changed, honestly. I am not a fan of female characters where life just happens to them, think Snow White. I much prefer a heroine like Belle who takes control and bucks tradition. I raised two girls and I definitely like to see them idolizing strong females, even if they are princesses, that doesn’t mean they have to be weak and treated as pawns in a man’s story. I think if this didn’t change, no one would be watching princess movies anymore.
Q: How does the Princess of Prias challenge the traditional damsel-in-distress trope sometimes found in science fiction?
CD: She’s a chosen one and born to be in charge. The people of Prias have been matriarchal and until her great uncle stole control, they’d always been led by women. Also the goddesses are what is most important in the Prian religion and play a big part in the story as well. She’s definitely in distress at times and Locan does save her some, but she also kicks ass from time to time and she chooses her future, she’s not relying on him completely. I think it’s a good balance.
Q: If you could spend the day with any character from the book, who would you spend it with, and what would you do?
CD: Oh my, I would love to spend a day with Elle exploring her world, maybe going up in the space ship too!
Q: Can you tell us anything about your upcoming projects?
CD: I have a story coming out in 2023, probably May, from 5 Prince Publishing. It is titled, The Serpent and The Firefly. It is an urban fantasy that starts with a woman, Jade, who is in witness protection because she turned against her gangster boyfriend. She ends up owner of an antique shop that is also a magical items shop and soon discovers she is more than human herself. She finds herself bound to a deal with Baal, the first king of Hell and on a mission to open a doorway in Hell to free some things that he locked up thousands of years ago.
Q: Where can readers learn more about you and your writings (i.e., website, Twitter, Facebook page, Goodreads, etc.)