Panelist of the Week: Courtney Tuesday 27 March, 2012

To help you all get to know our regular panelists a bit better, we’ll be spotlighting one (or two!) here each week!

This week, we’d like you to meet Welcome to District 12‘s Courtney!

Which is your favorite book in the series?
Courtney: Mockingjay, without a doubt! When I first read the first book I thought, “There is such a huge untold story here. I’d really like to see Katniss leading the revolution!” To my surprise, Mockingjay was just that, and it (really the whole series) is written like an action movie, but better! The book is so realistic and believable, all the things that warranted some complaints (too rushed, not enough closure for example) I have always thought enhanced the feeling of what war can truly be like. Suzanne does not sugar coat anything. She is not afraid to take away characters you love, and I’ve always admired Suzanne’s “cajones” for that.

What do your friends and family think of your Hunger Games obsession?
Courtney: Full support! My mother got me to read Hunger Games a couple years ago, and when that happened I do not think she could tell the frenzy that went through my mind. Fast forward to many months later when our Tumblr started getting popular, Denise accidentally let slip to her about my secret double life. It was a good thing! She has been so proud ever since. With each new success that has come to us in the past year, my mother has had nothing but the biggest smile on her face. Most of my cousins have read it too! When I attended my cousin’s wedding, I was quite popular among the younger cousins (there’s a bunch of us) the day I wore my Mockingjay pin. Next thing I know, I’m sitting in a circle with a bunch of cousins in heated discussions about the books and recent casting of the film.

Also, as you might have noticed, my two best friends now write for Welcome to District 12. I got Tiffany to join me on the Hunger Games journey early on, and Denise has recently come aboard since she helped us out so much by camping out at The Hob.

Which district would you most like to live in?
Courtney: I would live in District 7 because of the way that Johanna Mason and I are very similar. The smell of trees reminds me of home. I really appreciated how special a gift it was that Katniss gave Johanna a bundle of pine needles for her drawer. I lived in Yosemite National Park for the first two years of my life, as my parents worked there at the time. Naturally, Yosemite is is a very special place to me. The scent of certain trees evoke many memories and feelings for me.

Which Hunger Games character do you think you are most like?
Courtney: I am definitely the most like Peeta. I completely identified with him the most and we share many qualities. Personality-wise we are similar. It’s very easy for me to talk to people, and I know all too well the Hollywood — I mean Capitol — way to present yourself. Unless you really, really make me mad, I will be very pleasant and nice to people. We both have a huge appreciation for color and painting. I may not be as good as Peeta, but it sure is one of my favorite ways of expressing myself. Lastly, I identify with him mostly because of his love for Katniss. I know what it is to have an unconditional love for someone, and know what it is like to go to great lengths for that person. I would do anything for him, even if it meant risking my life.

Which two tributes (victors included) would you most want to ally with in the arena?
Courtney: I would definitely want to ally with Finnick since he is my favorite character and so that I could have some comic relief for amusement. The other tribute would definitely be Katniss. I know, such an easy answer, but I can’t help it! I think anyone would agree that Katniss is very valuable in the arena. She’s got a great head on her shoulders, as well as being super knowledgeable in the survival department.

If you could ask Suzanne Collins ONE question about the series, what would it be?
Courtney: I would ask her what inspired her to bring back Peeta hijacked in Mockingjay. I just thought that was a wonderful twist in the storyline. Genius.

What are some of your interests outside of The Hunger Games?
Courtney: The biggest really has been video games, more specifically Nintendo. I’ve been active in Nintendo the most, having owned the NES all the way up to a 3DS. I spent $90 on an embroidered Super Mario Bros. jacket I found in Hot Topic. Totally worth it. Love Harry Potter! I first read it back in 1999 so it’s been a big part of my life. I’m also probably one of the biggest South Park fans in existence. I’m a big fan of Japanese culture, and sushi is my favorite food. In August, I crossed off my #1 bucket list item and hiked to the very tip top of Half Dome in Yosemite. I love to draw and paint, as well as play guitar. I’m not that great, it’s kind of off and on, but it’s kept me singing. I used to be in choirs for most of my life until I became an adult. When you do that kind of thing all your life, then stop, you just have to sing when you can. Writing songs is extremely difficult, so I gave up on it. One day I was so inspired by the end of Chapter 25 in the first Hunger Games book, I wrote lyrics and a couple hours later it became an actual song! It was a great moment, and spoke volumes to me the passion The Hunger Games has given me.

You can follow Courtney on Twitter at @WtoD12.

Meet all of our panelists:
Crystal
Theresa
Ariel
Natalie
Sam
Courtney
Kait
Tiffany
Shylah
Rebekah
Mary
Flo
Arianna
Ellie


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