Please join us in welcoming author Courtney Lux to The Novel Approach today, on the blog tour for her new novel Small Wonders. Enjoy Courtney’s interview, and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win a $25 Interlude Press gift card or one of five available e-copies of Small Wonders.
WP: Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Courtney Lux, author of Small Wonders.
Hi Courtney, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
CL: Hi and thank you for having me! I am a Minnesotan-turned-New Yorker, and I am actually a part-time writer. I got my B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and I’m finishing an M.S. at New York University in Communication Sciences and Disorders, so I live a bit of a double life. While working my way through graduate school, through a series of a lot of late nights and days spent in coffee shops, I wrote my first novel, Small Wonders.
WP: Tell us about your book.
CL: Small Wonders is the story of Trip Morgan, an individual who ran away to New York City from a hard home life in the south when he was only sixteen. Trip is living with an eclectic band of roommates and he makes a meager living working as a busker, and, at times, as a casual sex worker in order to keep surviving in the city. Trip entertains himself pickpocketing inconsequential items off people, but when he “accidentally” lifts a wallet off of Nate Mackey, a 26-year-old working in finance, he is struck by the uncanny resemblance of this man to a child in a photograph he found years before. Trip and Nate meet and form a sort of unconventional relationship and really work to navigate both themselves and one another. The story is a very unconventional romance in that it definitely follows Trip’s relationship with Nate, but it also has a heavy focus on Trip figuring himself out as his own person.
WP: How difficult was it to get into the main character’s head?
CL: Trip is a character that I’ve actually known and have been working with for a very long time, so getting into his head was one of the easier aspects of the novel. We’ve been together so long, that he often feels more like an exasperating friend than someone who simply exists on paper. The only hard part of him was that he doesn’t always understand himself or his reactions to things, but I still had to understand them so that could be a bit of a balancing act.
WP: Is this book a standalone or do you plan on visiting it again?
CL: Part of me feels like I could write about Trip and Nate forever and never be tired of them, but I think the book also stands alone beautifully. I’m fairly certain this is it, but never say never, right?
WP: Why did you choose to write M/M stories?
CL: It was never really a conscious decision, nor is it really the focus of what I write. Like I mentioned before, Small Wonders is very unconventional as a romance novel. Trip is a character working his way through a lot of things, including what it means to be in a relationship with someone, and the gender of that other person just happens to be the same as his own. I think one of the things that really drew me to working with Interlude Press was the shared belief that representation matters, but the focus of the books are on the stories and larger experiences of the characters, not just the fact that they identify on the LGBTQ spectrum.
WP: Where do you find your inspiration?
CL: Literally everywhere. Trip’s obsession with stealing inconsequential items came about when I found a plastic dinosaur in the bottom of my purse and couldn’t remember where it came from and then bloomed into a larger idea. Inspiration, for me, can be places, inconsequential items, somebody I see in the park, or a song. It’s always fun when a new idea strikes and flowers into a more complete story.
Blurb: A pickpocket who finds value in things others do not want, Trip Morgan meets and becomes involved with Nate Mackey, a down-and-out former Wall Street professional who looks eerily like a child in a photograph Trip found years before.
It’s part of a collection of stolen trinkets he’s collected since he arrived in New York. He keeps it all close and works out a life he could have if he could ever let someone keep him long enough for him to build up a treasure trove of small wonders all his own.
In confronting their own demons and finding value in each other, Trip and Nate may find that their relationship is a wonder of its own.
About the Author: Courtney Lux is a Minnesotan-turned-New Yorker whose love for the city is rivaled only by her love for wide, open spaces. She is a graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison and a soon-to-be graduate of New York University. When not playing writer, Courtney is an avid reader, constant dreamer, and lover of dogs, wine and being barefoot. Small Wonders is her first novel, and is the recipient of a Publishers Weekly starred review.
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