Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), fun jobs (like working in a theater), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). Raised in a small Texas town, she now splits her time between New York City and Austin and spends her time writing, traveling, and marathoning various television shows on Netflix. In her books, you can expect to find humor, heart, and a whole lot of awkward. Because let’s face it . . . awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.
Casey Marie: Since we are at San Diego Comic-Com, fangirl/fanboy central, have you ever encountered an author whose presence made you fangirl uncontrollably?
Cora Carmack: There are a lot of amazing authors here that I love, and luckily I have met several of them. I have met Sarah J. Maas before, but I totally fangirled over her the first time we met. I also fangirled over Rae Carson—I love her and Marie Rutkoski. I had talked to Marie online and she was sweet enough to send me an ARC of the Winner’s Crime. On her first panel, I went up to her and told her how amazing her books are.
CM: If you could write a book with any author, dead or alive, who would you want to write with?
CC: That is a hard question. My all-time favorite author is J.K. Rowling, not to be cliche, but I do not know if I could actually write a book with her. I would just stare at her the entire time and want her to write the whole book because it would be better. Realistically, I could write with Jennifer L. Armentrout. We are great friends and get along great. We have a similar sense of humor and our books have a similar tone. Jay Crownover is my other half—I love her and although we are very different, we always joke that if you put us in the same body, we would be one complete body. Our books are also very different, but I have always thought that it would be interesting to see if we could do a book with a duel point of view. She could write the bad-ass, tattooed, rocker guy and I could write the weird, nerdy girl. Jay and I come from two different worlds, she worked at a bar and has that atmosphere, I on the other hand, was a theater geek. Meshing those two worlds would be challenging, but very fun.
CM: Most of your series consist of companion novels. While you technically do not say goodbye to your characters, do you ever miss writing in their perspective?
CC: Whenever I miss a character the most, it is whenever I get stuck in the book right after theirs. Usually when I am starting a new book I am really excited to introduce these new characters and their story, but I inevitably hit a wall. Either I get stuck on something and cannot figure out how to move forward, or something is just not working. I really start to miss the characters in the previous book because I know what they would do in that situation and how they would move forward. I do not usually struggle to say goodbye whenever I am ending a book, it is usually down the road. From my first series, the Losing It series, I still really miss Max and Cade. If I ever went back and wrote anything in that series, it would be about them. There is a possibility, a very small possibility that I am not guaranteeing, that one of the couples from the Rusk books might get a second book. It is something I have thought about, but I also have a lot of things currently in the works. My upcoming Young Adult series has really thrown off the time-line for my books, especially the release of Inflict, the second book in my Muse series.
CM: Carson, Silas, and Mateo: Kiss, Date, or Marry?
CC: I would kiss Silas because every girl should get to kiss a Silas. I would probably end up dating Carson because he is the kind of guy I always end up dating. I end up dating really nice guys, who I unfortunately walk all over. Mateo is the kind of guy I would end up marrying because he is the kind of guy you are always going to have a great time with and I love guys with a sense of humor. But, he is also strong and knows what he wants and has a strong personality. That is the kind of person I could see myself having a lasting relationship with. Mateo would be the guy I would want to marry, but I would frankly take any of them. If the universe is listening, any of the above would work.
CM: Dallas, Dylan, and Nell: Best Friend, Roommate, or Rival?
CC: Dallas would probably be my rival, not because I do not love her, but because she is a lot like me and anytime you have two people who are too alike, they butt heads. Nell would probably be my best friend because my best friend is a lot like Nell. Dylan would probably be my roommate because, even in the books, she is a great roommate. She is a really caring and compassionate person and I think that translates well into a roommate who would think about your feelings instead of doing whatever they wanted to in the apartment. Also, if Dylan is my roommate, I would get to see Silas.
CM: Who is your all-time book boyfriend?
CC: I have a lot, but the one guy I have always loved is Brigan from Fire by Kristin Cashore, the second book in the Young Adult Fantasy series, Graceling. I do not know what it is, but I would fight to the death for Brigan. He is such a cool character, but he is very different from Mateo, who would be my husband. He is the strong, silent type and I have always loved him. I usually re-read Fire once a year because I love it so much. It would either be Brigan or Lincoln from Jessica Shirvington’s Embrace, he is pretty great, too. It is kind of weird because most of them are teens and I am 28 [now 29]. Let’s just pretend that in our world they have continued to age and are close to my age now.
CM: Your Rusk University series focuses on college football, what other sports would you consider writing about?
CC: It is hard to say that I would ever write another book series based on a sport, but if I did, I have considered the possibility of doing a spin-off of the Rusk series that follows Rusk’s basketball team. By the time I have finished the Rusk series, I will have spent years and years on it, so it is hard to know whether or not I will be ready to move on to something new in the future. I have planned to write five or six books in the Rusk series and I never would have pictured myself writing six books in the series when I originally started it. Typically, as an author, I have a lot of ideas and I am usually so excited to write these new ideas that I do not want to spend forever in one world. I want to move on to the next thing, but there is just something about the Rusk characters that has made me fall so in love with them that I want to keep going with them. I have thought about writing the spin-off with the basketball team because when I was younger my dad was not only the football coach, but he was also the basketball coach. I played almost every sport my school offered, it was a smaller school so they did not offer too many, but basketball was my biggest sport and until I was 18, that is what I thought I was going to do for the rest of my life. I wanted to play college basketball and be a basketball coach—that is what I wanted to do with my life. Every summer, I spent all day in the gym and went to basketball camp and played on the summer league teams. Basketball was a huge part of my life. Unfortunately, I had a bad coach my senior year of high school who essentially ruined the sport for me. I then shifted my life's path in a different direction, but I still miss basketball. It is the only sport I really keep up with and watch on a regular basis. I watch some football, but it kind of depends. Basketball is the sport I love and I think I would be good at writing it because I know it so well and love it.
CM: Describe your writing and/or books in five words.
CC: Awkward, realistic, genuine, social issues—I want my books to feel like not only are the characters people you could meet on the street, but that the situations could happen to you or anyone you know.
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