Courtney King Walker Interview | UBM

Utah Book Month is almost over! Can you believe it? It has been such a fun month, and I'm sorry to see it go. But at least it can go out with a bang, because today I have an interview with Courtney King Walker--fellow Utah resident, and author of the tantalizing ghost/love story, On The Fringe.

Book Cover of On The Fringe by Courtney King Walker
Purchase On The Fringe
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How would you describe Claire and Daniel's relationship in one sentence?
A second chance.

Did you know how On The Fringe would end, before you wrote it? If so, did that make it harder or easier to write the story? 
On the Fringe started out as an experiment. I had an idea in my head about a boy and a girl who never had the chance to act on their feelings for each other until after one of them died. After that, I really had no idea where I wanted to go or how I wanted to get there. At times writing like that was freeing; at other times, it was impossibly frustrating. I think it would have been much easier had I an outline from the beginning. But looking back, I loved how the story and the characters directed me and pulled me into different places I may not have chosen to go myself. There never would have been a relationship between Claire and her brother if it wasn't for writing like that, and that is one of the best aspects of the story, I believe. Regarding the ending, I truly wanted it to end a different way - but wrote what felt right, even if it was difficult and not what everyone expected, including myself.

It is both tragic and beautiful that Claire and Daniel's interaction is limited to just four minutes each day. What was the reasoning/inspiration behind that? 
I wanted to explore a teenage relationship that was physically limited. We live in an era of instant gratification, where you never have to be bored, where you can always reach each other some way, or some how. I wanted Claire and Daniel to have to want each other, to desire something they couldn't have and to know what that is like in a world where everything is always accessible.

Did your career in graphic design come in handy at all during the process of being published? Did you have an influence on the book's gorgeous cover?
Yes. I'm always a sucker for good design. I love book covers and album art, and in college, those were the two coveted design assignments. I asked my publisher if she would let me take a stab at the design for the cover. She guided me, of course, and I found an incredibly talented photographer who already had this amazing photo that seemed to capture what I was looking for. But I definitely got to throw in my two cents (and three and four cents).

Which character from On The Fringe is your favorite? If you can't pick one, which character is the most like you?
I love love love Daniel. I love witnessing what death does to him, how it changes him.  Matthew is a close second, maybe because I always thought having an older brother would be the coolest thing in the world (other than a twin brother). I'm sure there are plenty of girls out there, my daughters included, who would disagree!

I'm one of them! ;)

This being Utah Book Month, do you have any favorite books written by other Utah authors?
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale is one of my all-time favorite books. I love many of her other books, too, but that is hands down my favorite book by a Utah author and SHOULD BE on everybody's to-read list. Ender's Game by the great Orson Scott Card is also on my list of favorite books of all time. HE is a genius. I can't wait for the movie to come out.

I'm with you on that! The Goose Girl is one of my favorites, too.

As a current Utah resident, where would you take someone who is visiting Utah for the first time? 
I'm a food snob, food lover, food whatever you want to call it. My husband thinks there is something wrong with me. However, because of that, all my recommendations have to do with food. Here's a list of the best places to check out that involve food (you asked for it!):

1.Bruges (for waffles with fresh peaches from the farmer's market & ice cream)
2. Beehive Tea Room (for the English, eclectic atmosphere more than anything else)
3. Ruth's Diner (for breakfast)
4. Mama's Plantation (for Southern food)
5. Les Madelines (for Kouing Aman - if you don't know what this is, all the more reason to try it)
6. Cummings Chocolates (for a double-dipped mint)
7. Banbury Cross Doughnuts (for the apple fritter or the cinnamon doughnut)
8. Takashi (for sushi, namely the one with the lemon slices on top)
9. Lone Star Taqueria (for fish tacos)
10. Blue Plate Diner (for more Southern food)
11. Eva (for small plates)
12. The Pie Pizzeria (for pizza, of course)

I love The Pie! It is THE place to go for good pizza.

I've seen a lot of talk about pies from you; namely, the six pies you make for Thanksgiving each year. What is your signature pie, and when can I have some? ;)
I am always looking for people to make pies for. If you're in the neighborhood, send a request in advance. My signatures are actually pumpkin and pecan because of my mom's killer secret King recipes that makes them way better than anything else you've ever tasted. I promise. Also, strawberry cream pie and key lime pie are two that get requested a lot. Here's one admittance of failure: I have yet to make a perfect lemon meringue. It always weeps! (Like me when I make it).

Thanks so much for answering my questions, Courtney! 
I am still thinking about your answer to my third question; I love that you explored a physically limited relationship, and made it something that the average teen (or adult, in my case) can experience, through your book. I will also definitely be checking out the rest of your restaurant recommendations; they sound delicious.

Courtney King Walker
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About Courtney King Walker
Courtney King Walker grew up in Walnut Creek, California, and with her siblings built rocket ships and rafts out of cardboard, determined to make it to both the moon and Niagara Falls. But a trip across the border to Tijuana was as exciting as it ever got.

After being banned from the kitchen after a few too many catastrophes, she discovered a love for writing, music and art. Eventually she decided on graphic design for a career, and earned her BFA from Brigham Young University.

After residing in St. Louis, Chicago and San Francisco, Courtney now lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and four children. She has yet to make it to Niagara Falls, but did give up on her quest to go to the moon…at least in a cardboard box.


  1. Yet another Utah book and author I hadn't heard about. Thanks for fixing that! I need to read this one for sure!

  2. Lovely interview! I love the concept of ON THE FRINGE and hope to read it soon. In also going to keep thy list of restaurants! I can't believe I haven't been to any of them!

  3. Sorry about the typos! I'm on my phone today. ;)


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