Today began like any other day. Hellhound greeted the heralding light of a new day with a rousing chorus of canine delight. The Prankster Duo is prepping for their summer of total dominion. The Knight is considering various siege targets.
I’m sneaking over to Snarky’s place because the talented and honored Dwarf Friend, Liv Rancourt, is stopping by. As a matter of fact, in apologies for sending buckets full of rain her way the other week, I invited her down to our sunnier part of the world to dry out and rediscover what the word ‘sky’ and ‘dry’ have in common.
It helps that Eerie and Mischievous managed to tick off the Voodoo Queen down south, because it’s been a little warmer than normal. So much so, even the moss between toes has dried out and Dreamer’s become a little perturbed at the beating her flowers have taken. I think she sent a few air elementals southward to Queenie’s place to help her re-arrange her perspective.
Regardless, now that Snarky has set out some really cool pastries and Eerie’s coffee is scenting the air, it’s time to grill…<cough, cough>…ask Liv a few questions before we dive into her Paranormal Romance, FOREVER AND EVER, AMEN…
As children we tend to have an idea of what we want to be by the time we’re ten. Before you decided to pursue the artistic dream of being a writer, what did you want to be and why?
The thing is, before I was ten I knew I wanted to be a writer, though by the time high school rolled around, I’d kind of forgotten. Writing was cool, singing was cool, but the future? Who knew?
One of my college roommates was a nurse, and I figured there was NO WAY I was smart enough to do that. Then I got into nursing school, and figured there was NO WAY I could handle the responsibility of the job.
It was only after twenty-some years of nursing that I figured if I was ever going to do that writing thing, I better get on it. So now you know that my life was a clueless stumble from point A to point B – though I will say I’m pretty happy with where I am now.
-Isn’t that how we all get to where we’re going? Trodding the straight and narrow is so boring. At least when you stumble, exciting things happen…besides smashing face first into the ground!
Personally, I tend to be a bit on the introverted side so the thought of being in the actual presence of one of my favorite writers makes my heart race, my knees shake and tangles my tongue (yes classic fan girl behavior). Who could reduce you to such a level and how do you imagine your initial meeting?
Neil Gaiman. OMG just saying his name …. I imagine if I ever met him, there’d be lots of silence with me sitting awkwardly, unable to connect my brain to any higher verbal functions, and him sitting awkwardly, wondering why this relatively normal woman has turned into a gibbering zombie.
-But you’d be such an attractive zombie, I’m sure he’d overlook the gibbering thing…
Growing up, what was your favorite book, comic, game or movie and did you create a character/player that might resemble you?
For a while I was the best friend Laura Ingalls never had, and then I lived in the attic next door to Sara Crewe (A Little Princess). I solved mysteries with Nancy, and survived the Crimean War with Florence Nightingale. So yeah, I pretty much plunked myself into just about every book I read. Actually, I kind of still do…
-Shhh! I won’t tell if you won’t…
Whether we’re plotters or pantsers (outlines not needed), creating our stories takes us on very memorable journeys. Sometimes we may be part way through before we realize some major aspect of our story is just not working (plot, character, setting). Have you ever hit this sharp, pointy snag and if so, how did you escape? We’re you battered and bruised or a bloody mess?
It’ s all about the characters. If I feel like something’s not working, I break out the notebook, grab my pencil (because pens make me crazy) and start writing from the POV of whichever character’s most involved in the situation that’s giving me trouble. Sometimes it’s more than one character, but either way, it helps to refresh my memory of who each person is and how they’d respond to things.
If that doesn’t work, I step away from the piece for a while and work on something else. Taking the dog for a walk can help, too, as can sleeping on it. Often when I wake up in the morning, I find yesterday’s plot macramé has unraveled itself nicely.
-I’m with you. Sometimes I’ll write from a secondary character’s POV just to figure out where in the hell are we going with this…
What is the best advice you can share with others?
My standard answer to this question is: “WRITE”. But I’m going to vary that a little. Write some, share what you’ve written and ask for feedback, and write some more. Get yourself a couple good books, like “Goal, Motivation & Conflict” by Debra Dixon, or “Save The Cat” by Blake Snyder. Write some more. Sign up for a class – there are a bazillion on-line classes so you can work from home and on your own schedule. Write some more.
These steps can occur in any order you choose. The important thing is to learn the craft and to get feedback. Oh, and write some more.
-And when all else fails, WRITE!
Now it’s time for quick fire round (and yes, I have been watching way too much Top Chef!)
Blades, guns, fists or feet?
Fangs. It’s all about the vampires, baby.
-As long as they don’t sparkle, I’m good…
Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?
Does “The Lord Of The Rings” count? On their own, fairytales are a little…basic. I’d rather read a book that does a good job repurposing several to create something new.
-LOTR works, and because we love you, we’ll count it as a fairytale!
Three titles and their authors sitting on your nightstand/bookcase/table/floor waiting to be read?
“Breathing His Air” by Debra Kayn (Crimson Romance), “Tarnished” by Karina Cooper, “Winter Knights” by Harper Frost, “Winterblaze” by Kristen Callihan, “The Chalice” by Nancy Bilyeau…oh, you said just three, right. Oops.
-I’ve yet to find a writer that can stop at three…
Greatest one liner of all time?
Don’t know about “all time”, but right now my favorite one-liner happens in my current WIP (working title King Stud). The main character Danielle is exasperated with her best friend’s younger brother, who’s a carpenter. He tells her there’s so much original woodwork in the house she inherited it’s making his dick hard. She says, “You’re like twenty five years old. Your dick gets hard when the wind blows.”
And he says, “Twenty four, and…well…”
He’s pretty confident for a youngster.
–*snort, giggle* niceeee…….
Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?
-and this is why we’re friends….
Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?
I am the Queen of Clutter, and my “writing cave” is the dining room table. Someone has left a beret on the table. I don’t know who, and I don’t know why. I’m not writing about France or anything. Maybe I should be…
-Or maybe someone should take you to France? *waggles eyebrow*
Favorite supernatural creature?
Vampires. But you knew that. 😉
Big love to Liv for braving our wilds once more and bringing such a great title with her!
Want to spice up your reading list this summer? Check out Liv’s latest release and must have: FOREVER AND EVER, AMEN
Molly, a forty-something single mom, tangles with the wrong guy and gets a hell of a hickey. That blotch is really a demon’s mark, and she’ll have to face the three things that scare her most to get rid of it. First, Molly loses her job and then she has a near-sex experience with her philandering, not-quite-ex-husband. Worst of all, she has to sit by a hospital bed, wondering if her son is ever going to wake up.
The Powers That Be assign Cass to help her. He’s an angel who’s trying to earn a seat in the celestial choir by helping out a human in need. Vanquishing the demon would be his ticket up, but only if he plays by the rules. He’ll never earn his wings if he loses his heart to the lovely Molly. But she has even bigger things to worry about. She stands to lose her soul.
Liv Rancourt writes paranormal and romance, often at the same time. She lives with her husband, two teenagers, two cats and one wayward puppy. She likes to create stories that have happy endings, and finds it is a good way to balance her other job in the neonatal intensive care unit. Liv can be found on-line at her website (www.livrancourt.com), her blog (www.liv-rancourt.blogspot.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/liv.rancourt), or on Twitter (www.twitter.com/LivRancourt).