Courtney S. Barr

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Join me, the Princess, on my Royal Adventures in the Land of Writing!

Friday, June 11, 2010



Welcome to another round of Author Spotlight + Contest!!

Today I welcome a wonderful author and friend. Her first book captured my attention, led me through magical lands, made me laugh, cry and grip the last page. I read it in an afternoon and was blown away. I could not breathe when I closed it I had to know more! (Trust me this is how I felt that day) Then I HAD to email her to ask if there would be more (silly author letting me know her email….). lol.

I was blessed to not only get a response but begin a friendship that I hold very close to my heart. She is not only an author of great stories but a kind soul that truly loves the written word and puts her soul into her books. Who doesn’t love an author that has this on her bio: Because sometimes it’s nice to hold “Happily Ever After” in your your hands. *Sigh*

Please welcome Vivian Marie Aubin du Paris.

Oh my goodness, the pleasure is really, honestly all mine, Your Highness! Thank you for inviting me to visit! Um… Is there tea? I’d like some tea.

BOOK 1: The Quest of Dai: The Eroe

She wakes in a mysterious new world...

And discovers her destiny...

The only way to get home is to make a choice...

The Eroe...

Or the Malo...

BOOK 2: The Quest of Dai: The Malo (Cover is currently in design)

Secrets are revealed. Truths emerge. Betrayal is everywhere.

History is determined to repeat itself.

Dai Gold is haunted by visions of a boy she cannot remember.

Flashes at first... Light brown hair. Blue-green eyes. Images of a boy she had forgotten when she was rescued.

And then items begin to mysteriously appear. A map of the world she is destined to save. A list of past and present Eroe and Malo. A mirror that allows her to see the boy who haunts her memories.

Dai trusts her new friends who saved her from the Eroe's torture. But why does it feel like there are so many secrets veiled under their tenderness? Is Darius truly the one she's meant to be with?

As Dai continues trying to sort out the truth from the lies, the one person she never expects to betray her will...

Vivian has graciously agreed to be interrogated by the Princess. Don’t worry she knows the dangers, off with her head and whatnot, she comes bravely before the Royal Court. *grinsmischievously*

We welcome you Vivian!

Thank you for having me! Is the court jester here? I’ve always wanted to see a court jester…

Um yes, we have one, his name is Peanut Butter Barr and he’s soft & furry ;o)

Okay down to the nitty gritty…er…sweet questions of love…;o)

I’m going to be sweeping the chimney soon, aren’t I? Well, it worked for Cinderella… Okay, let’s do it!

Vivian is there any writing rituals that you display when you sit down to write? Most people here know about my tilted tiara, green tea, my servant husband and fetish for watermelon jolly ranchers…ahem…

Hmm… Writing rituals… Well… I must be wearing something comfortable! I must be in pajamas. I don’t think I’ve ever written anything good while wearing jeans or something uncomfortable. In fact, there were a few short stories I wrote where I can tell that I was uncomfortable. Is that weird? That’s probably weird, isn’t it? And I like to have my hair tied back. I don’t like it on my neck. And I must have a Coke with me. Oh! I know one. My music. I absolutely have to have the perfect playlist created before I start any story. If I’m not listening to the right “mood music” then I can’t create the right scene. I mean, how can you write a good love scene if you’re listening to metal music, right? …I think that’s a lot. I might be a little neurotic…

You began writing The Eroe when you were eighteen, many times a writer abandons manuscripts because they feel the characters have lost their punch or the author has lost its love of the story. Did you ever sit it down, not touch it only to come back and fall in love with it all over again? Or was it a steady process?

Wow… What a great question! I actually wrote The Eroe pretty quickly. I just finished it and set it aside. Then years later I was going back through my hard drive, found the story, and was like, “Ohh… I miss Dai.” So I started cleaning it up. Then I set it aside again. That process repeated until I turned twenty-four, when I finally published it. I will say I never lost my love of the story or my characters. I published the book because I wanted people to get to meet the characters I love and cherish so much. Dai, Westly, Galen, and Spencer all became friends to me, and I want other people to have a chance to know them. I know that’s weird, but it’s really the truth. They’re good people—they deserve to have their story told and be cared about.

I loved The Eroe not only for your characters & plot, but for your ability to create a beautiful setting. The details are wonderful! Were you inspired by any particular location?

Thank you! Actually… it all came from my imagination! I’m not a big outdoors person, so it was really difficult for me to write the forest scenes! Maybe it comes from being from Washington—it’s all pretty much forest out here. ;) And the castle and cities were a mixture of movies, pictures from books, television shows, and imagination. In retrospect, I wish I had used something as a basis—might have made it a lot easier!

This is a trilogy and I so cannot wait for the next one too,so often we are not sure where to end or continue a series; what made you decide to make it into multiple books?

I grew up reading L.J. Smith’s books. (If you haven’t read her books, you should. Everything by her is amazing.) She wrote everything in trilogies except her Night World series. And my style of writing was completely inspired by her. It’s because of her books that I’m a writer, actually. So when I set out to write this story, it felt natural to write a trilogy. I’ve since written stories that are not trilogies, but at the time it just seemed like the natural flow of a story—to break it out into three parts. Plus, this story is set up perfect for a trilogy. The Eroe, the Malo, and then the final destiny. With two warring factions, there are always two sides to each story, and in order to really capture that and do it justice, I needed to have space to tell each side—and I couldn’t do that in just one book and still tell Dai’s story.

Dai, the main character, is thrust into circumstances that would be confusing, terrifying, exciting and heart wrenching yet she stays true to the girl we meet on the first pages. Did you draw from yourself when creating her character?

Not even a little bit. Dai is almost nothing like me! Which is sad, because when I designed Dai, I set out to create a character that could be a friend to me when I needed one… I don’t know what that says about me! I actually based Dai off of a friend of mine in high school. She was just the sweetest, kindest, most friendly girl in the world. I loved her to death. Dai’s looks are actually based off of her, too—the light brown hair, blue eyes, tan skin. This friend of mine in high school, no matter what she went through, was always a true friend. I always thought there should be more people like her. I’m more abrupt than Dai, I think…

Your books are self published. Can you give us a quick walk through of the process and timeline?

Absolutely! I published with Outskirts Press, Inc., and they were (and are being, as I work on The Malo) amazing. If you’re considering self-publishing, I recommend them. You contact them, and they assign you an author representative to work with you through the process. They stay on top of you (which is good, because I’m lazy and a horrible procrastinator) and really do everything for you. I uploaded my book to their site, they reviewed my manuscript, and now I just need to sign up for my package and get rolling. You get to pick a cover or design your own, pick the size you want your book to be, what you want your royalties to be per purchase (and it’s so much less than you think), how much of a discount you want to give retailers so they’ll stock your book, they’ll set you up with an ISBN number and the copyright, format the book for you, and ship it over in .pdf. Then you get to make corrections and send it back, and once you approve it, they send you cute little e-mails to give you marketing tips/advice to promote your book. I never take them, but there are some good tips in there! I love Outskirts Press.

There are articles, blogs, magazines every where that discuss big publishing vs self publishing; what made you decided to self publish? Have you been happy with the experience?

You know, I didn’t really research self-publishing vs. traditional publishing when I published my book. My dad said he would publish the book for me for my twenty-fourth birthday because one of my goals in life was to be published at twenty-four. I was ecstatic. The company said they would list the book on Amazon and Barnes & Nobles and I just assumed people would find it the way people find things somehow on the internet. I had no idea there was such a stigma around self-publishing. I was a little depressed when I found out that no one wanted to read my book or stock it just because it was self-published, but at the same time, it was literally a dream come true, and it was the ultimate gift from my daddy to me. It’s not just a book I published because I wanted to be published… It’s really the love of a father for his daughter and doing everything to make her dream come true. Does it get better than that? And I had complete control over the published manuscript. Everything that is printed in that book—good or bad—is completely my fault. And there’s something thrilling and terrifying about that. Maybe I’m a sucker for punishment, since I’m doing it again with the second book!

What advice do you have for those of us just dipping our toes in the writing world?

Write when inspiration strikes. If it hits you at 11:30 at night and you’re just about to go to bed, write anyway. I can’t tell you how many good ideas I’ve lost because I went to bed or cleaned the kitchen or got distracted by a video game! Bonus to writing super late: when you wake up in the morning, you may barely remember writing it, so it’ll be like reading something new. Also, if you do have to leave, leave in the middle of an exciting scene that you want to write—you’ll be eager to get back to writing. And remember to write what you love and what you read. You can’t write a mystery novel if you hate mysteries and only read sci-fi, right? Most of all: never, ever, ever give up.

Vivian, thank you so much for sharing your wonderful answers and amazing books with us today! I treasure our friendship and hope you know how much I love your books! I have been honored to get to know you better and hope to see even more stories of yours on my shelves ;o)

Courtney, I cannot wait for the day I have an autographed copy of your book on my shelf! You have been such an amazing, important person in my life, and I have a very, very special surprise in store for you, but you’re going to have to wait… I think you’ll be excited about it!

*Princessblushesprofusely* Vivian you have no idea how much fun I have had getting to know you and reading your work! It has been my pleasure~

Thank you so much for having me today! Now… about that tea…? Yes – I will get someone right on that!

It is such a pleasure to be able to share your wonderful stories with the Royal Court and well I am excited to inform the court that we are giving away 3 COPIES to the 3 lucky members of the Royal Court!


You heard me! ;o)


One LUCKY WINNER WILL WIN A SIGNED BOOK AND AN OPAL RING - when you read THE EROE you will understand the connection ;o)

Oh yeah…um so where can I enter???? ;o)

For those of you that wish to order a copy both books are available for purchase via WWW.AMAZON.COM





(use the format: clsbarr(at)yahoo(dot)com to ward off the spam)





SIDEBAR LISTING +1 (be sure to leave the link)

TWEET +4 (please put @southrnprincess & @vivianmarieadp in the message)

BLOG POST +5 (be sure to leave the link)

REFERRAL +5 (Be sure to have whomever you send over mention your name in the comments)


Just to whet your appetite the amazingly talented Vivian has created gorgeous book trailers for each. Check them out here: The Eroe and The Malo

Please visit Vivian’s blog! You can see trailers, updates and other writings – trust me they are all wonderful! (check out the ones she wrote back at Halloween – LOVE!)

Have a Fantastic Friday!


  1. That is SO neat! Thanks for sharing the interview!

    I am an old follower +2
    Did a sidebar listing +1
    Tweeted +4
    and Tally +1


    P.S. I'm doing a book review and contest over at Sonshine Thoughts too :)

  2. Kudos to Vivian for doing it her way! And how sweet is that about her father? Awwww . . .

    I'm on my way to follow Vivian

    Old follower: +2
    Sidebar: +1
    Total: 3


  3. Loved the interview - good job to both of you.

    +2 for being an old follower :)

  4. This interview was so much fun to read! Vivian has a wonderful sense of humor!! I am dying to read these books now.

    +2 old and loyal member of the royal court
    +1 sidebar link (you know where I am)
    I'll try to send recommendations

    +3 for now

    mrso_d at yahoo dot com

  5. You can totally write a good love scene listening to metal music! Okay, maybe not a "love" scene, per se, but you can write some pretty hot stuff listening to Halestorm and Nine Inch Nails. No doubt.

    I'll sit the contest out, but lovely interview, your highness. And Vivian? You have the awesomest name, like, ever. Good luck with the next book in the series!

  6. What a great interview - and such a cool story about how her father helped her become published! He sounds like a brilliant dad.

    Thanks to the both of you!

  7. This is a really great interview. It's charming, funny, sweet and inspiring. Thank you for this, I think it was really awesome.

  8. Thanks for the great interview. I've noticed a number of fiction writers are now going the self-published route. Good luck, Vivian! :D

  9. Ohhh, I always write in my pajamas, too!!! It's so true. How can anyone write int something uncomfortable?

    The book looks wonderful, and the interview was great! So funny. You certainly know how to host a great contest, too, Courtney! I mean, an opal ring on top of everything else?? Awesome!!

  10. Ohhhh, I love to read this book ! sounds great !

    + 1 A New follower of The kingdom And VIVIAN's Blog !

    +4 i tweeted


    uniquas (at)ymail (dot)com

  11. +2 Old Follower
    +4 I tweeted
    +1 Side bar
    +1 tally


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