Welcome to author C.G. Foutz and we appreciate her taking time out of her hectic writing, reading, and relaxing schedule to chat with us.
Describe your current writing spot or space.
I set up a cute desk area in my second bedroom, but I always end up writing on the couch cuddled up next to my dog. I think I like it so much because it doesn’t feel so forced.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
To be honest, until about a year ago, I wrote when I felt like it. Sometimes I’d walk away from a work in progress for months and come back when “I had the time.” More recently, I’ve learned that you have to make time for the things that are important to you. In 2020, I published 3 books. Each took me about 4 months to write. I currently have 2 works in progress and am ready to start another that I hope to have out before the end of the year.
Do you write under a pseudonym? If not, have you ever considered it?
I didn’t until this year! I always wrote under my real name, Courtney Giardina. Being that most of my books are in the women’s fiction and romance genre, I wanted to change it up a bit when releasing my cozy mystery series. I thought it would help readers know what they were getting into. So, my pen name for the cozy mystery genre is C.G. Foutz.
What comes first for you, the plot or characters?
Usually the plot. I get inspired by a place or idea and I try to detail the big parts of the story. For example, Falling in London was inspired by my first trip to the UK in 2019. I was sitting at a bench in Kensington Gardens and knew there was a story there! When I decided to write Break-In & Eggs, I knew I wanted it to take place on the North Carolina coast because I absolutely love the NC beaches. I summarized the plot and then created Veronica and her posse. I’ve also been known to make up characters along the way. That’s not a bad thing though. Those characters are some of my reader’s favorites!
Can you hear your characters talking?
100 percent!! I can hear how their voices sound. I can see their mannerisms. I can hear them laugh. They are so lifelike when I am creating them. That is where all the fun comes from!
How much time do you spend on research before starting a book? While writing?
I don’t know if there is a right or wrong way, but I usually will research while I’m writing it. I did this A LOT with Break-In & Eggs. Especially when it came to the crime parts. I wanted things to flow well and be as accurate as possible. When I came to a scene and wrote something I wasn’t sure of, I’d start my research. I use the web quite a bit and I’m also part of many writing groups online. They are always so helpful when it comes to answering questions.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
The best money I ever spent was on an editor!! Every time!! I’ve never regretted it for a second.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love taking photos. I have tons of my dog, but I also love to photograph things I see in nature. I also love traveling and exploring new places and finding new coffee shops to try out.
Do you ever Google yourself?
Haha! I do. Not daily, but every so often I’ll do a search and see what comes up. I haven’t found anything shocking so far, so I must be doing something right. Knock on wood.
What is your favorite childhood book(s)?
The Outsiders is my absolute favorite book of all time. I read it in 9th grade English and it’s stuck with me ever since. I think S.E. Hinton did a phenomenal job with character development. It was impossible to pick a side. You felt for every character in the book. You could relate to the struggles in some way even though you may not be going through the exact same thing.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
You’re about to embark on an amazing journey. It’s not going to be easy. In fact, some days it will consume you. You’ll feel triumphant one moment and defeated the next, but don’t give up. The true joy comes in the process. You’ll never feel anything more amazing than the day you press the publish button. The best part, that feeling surfaces each and every time.
How do you balance reading as a writer? Isn’t it just as important as the writing process?
Funny you should ask! Finding time to read as a writer is extremely hard, but the answer is yes. It is a very important part of the writing process. Reading other books in the genre you are writing helps to understand what readers are gravitating towards. It’s also important to read personal development books. I recently purchased a book on improving your writing when it comes to cozy mysteries. I’m very new to the genre so mixing up reading other cozy mysteries plus books that will educate me on being better are imperative as I begin the next book in the Blue Haven series. Again, it really comes down to, if it’s important to you, you’ll make the time.
Courtney is a New York native who traded in the snowy winters for the humid summers of the south and never looked back. She lives in North Carolina with her incredibly supportive and patient husband. When she’s not writing, you can find her on the beach with a good book or on the search for a new coffee shop to sip an iced latte at. Sometimes, you’ll also find her in front of the camera. Acting is one of her “other” side jobs in the creative life she lives.