Today I'd like to welcome Courtney Farrell, author of “ENHANCED” to The Thursday Interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!
Courtney Farrell is a biologist who turned her love of books into a career as an author. She has written fourteen nonfiction books for young people, mostly on social and environmental topics. The first two books in her science fiction/romance series Enhanced were nominated for the 2015 BTS E-Mag Red Carpet Awards in the YA division. Courtney lives with her husband and sons on a Colorado ranch where they enjoy a menagerie of horses, dogs, cats, and chickens.
OK - HERE WE GO !!
1. Would you break the law to save a loved one? Why?
Absolutely. Here, I’m interpreting “save” to mean save his life, not save him from something like a traffic ticket. But sure. I would do anything to protect my loved ones, including breaking the law. Got that, NSA? Add that bit to my file. J
2. What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
Lots of people are alive without truly living. Settling for less than they want. Trapped in boring, safe jobs and boring, safe relationships. Truly living can be frightening. What if we risk it all and lose? What if we do our art but the critics pan our work? I figure it’s better to try than to have regrets. Losing is part of the game, after all.
3. What motivates you to write?
It’s a really cool way to get paid for daydreaming.
4. Why do humans want children?
Besides the obvious instinctive motive, I guess everyone wants someone to love. Plus, kids are fun. If you have them, you have a perfect excuse for playing on the playground, sitting on the floor with toys, or showing up at work with coffee all over your shirt.
5. What was the biggest challenge in creating your book ENHANCED?
I never outlined it before I started, which was admittedly stupid, but Enhanced was my first novel. I had no idea what I was doing. The story started to wander, and I had to rewrite the second half. That was a lot of work, but it was worth it, because BTS E-Mag nominated it for the Red Carpet Awards! Now I’m on my fourth novel. I try to have some idea of where I’m going before I sit down to write.
6. What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?
Everything that happens in life is a lesson, and if you fail, you’ll just get the lesson repeated in another form. As Ram Dass says, it’s a heavy curriculum.
7. How did you come up with the title ENHANCED?
The original title was Only the Left Eye Cries, which I love, but my original publisher felt it was too long for a book cover. So I changed it just in time to see a bunch of bestsellers with long names hit the market.
8. How do you handle personal criticism?
I take coaching quite well, so if the criticism is constructive – like from a member of my critique group – I just say thank you and absorb what I can. Nasty criticism in the form of a personal attack is different. Those trolls are usually miserable people who hope to build themselves up by cutting others down. I try to ignore them.
9. Why should people read your book?
Enhanced is fun and entertaining, but it also offers some commentary on social issues. Science is moving fast. What if you could give your child the best genes money could buy? Would you? What if you couldn’t afford it, and others could? How would your kid compete?
10. Why is there something rather than nothing?
Because there is magic in the world, spinning energy into matter and creating all manner of wonders.
Thank you Courtney for taking the time to answer my questions & the best of luck with your new book!
Check out “ENHANCED" on
At the Institute, they breed people like livestock. One powerful doctor decides which children get to grow up, and which will die. Losers are dumped in the savage slum outside Institute walls. Those kids never come back. Sixteen-year-old Michelle is a perfect specimen, destined for a luxurious life as a breeder. When her brother and her boyfriend are both mysteriously culled from the breeding program, she jumps the wall to find them. Alone in the ghetto, she’s in trouble until handsome, streetwise Dillon stakes a claim to her. She’s mortified by her attraction to a Normal. But the doctor is using the missing boys in a twisted experiment, and she needs Dillon’s help to stop him. Michelle must rescue the boys, but a plague is spreading, the doctor is after her, and Dillon isn’t thrilled to help find her lost boyfriend.