Sunday, April 7, 2013

Forever And Ever, Amen by Liv Rancourt (Guest Post/Giveaway)

Please give a warm welcome to romance author, Liv Rancourt!

First, Crystal, I’d like to thank you for giving me the chance to post on your blog. It looks like you’ve got an awesome community  here. Given the title of your page, I thought a post about character development through cocktails would be in order…

Quick, name James Bond’s favorite drink.

That would be a martini – shaken, not stirred. Now, how many of you ordered your first Cosmo because Carrie Bradshaw did it first?

Yeah, me too. I’m not sure Sex And The City would have been the same if the girls had been beer drinkers. The point is, while not all fave cocktails because part of the public consciousness, when you’re working up a character you need to get down to the nitty gritty. That means knowing the brand of vodka your character favors, or whether they prefer merlot to chardonnay.

Character development is the neglected stepchild in the plotter vs pantser debate. Some people need to work out the road map before they start writing, while others close their eyes and start in. Similarly, some get to know their characters as they write about them, while others of us develop detailed descriptions in the early stages of a project. Not all of those early details end up in the final piece, but knowing who I’m dealing with guides me through the process of writing about them.

I searched on-line for character description templates, then munged a couple together to create the tool I use. It’s pretty detailed, with prompts to describe what the character’s bedroom looks like and what colors they like to wear. I like to know what scares them and what pisses them off, along with what kind of car they drive and where they went to college. The more concrete I am – describing not just their eye color but whether they blink a lot when they’re nervous and how their eyes almost close when they laugh real hard – the more lively the character will be on the page.

Recently I  read a blog post where my friend Cora says there’s no such thing as writer’s block. “It’s really that you don’t know your character(s) well enough.” I totally agree with her. When I’m stuck, I let the characters respond to the situation at hand. They show me what happens next, though it might be different from where I thought we were headed.

And if that means they want to try a new microbrew or a cocktail made with vanilla vodka, so be it.

So what about you, lovely readers? How much prep work do you do before starting to write? Do you prefer merlot or chardonnay?


My newest book, Forever & Ever, Amen, is available from Crimson Romance, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and ARe.

Sometimes you have to break the rules to do what’s right.
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
About the Author:
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 & blog, on Facebook, or on Twitter

Liv is giving away an eBook of Forever and Evere, Amen to two readers today! To enter, just leave a comment on this post answering her question and then fill out the rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I prefer my wine to be on the sweet side. A good Riesling or Moscato is my choice ;)


  2. I am a reader and I love a good class of white wine. Riesling is my favorite.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  3. I'm a reader, was never a good creative writer. I prefer a great beer over wine.


  4. I'm a reader and I greatly admire all/any author :) I... haven't really found a wine that I like and I'm not much of a fan of any other type of alcohol.

  5. I am a reader. I love reading books. I have thought about writing a book.

  6. I'm a reader, not a writer. I tend to like the sweeter wines, so I would go with a white zinfandel. Thank you for sharing. :)

    jukyjoauka at aol dot com

  7. I don't write, but I love to read. I also love a glass of wine, but it tends to make me sleep, so not too much of it.

  8. Sorry to be so late in stopping by! Thanks again for the chance to be a guest here at Reading Between the Wines. I should have guessed that there'd be more than a few wine-drinkers in the crowd.
    Kyla, Kassandra and Debby, I agree with your choice of white wine. Reisling is a favorite...
    And moderation is always a good thing, Mary...
    Erin & Victoria, hopefully this post will give you some insight into the mechanics of storytelling... something to think about with the next book you read - or if you try to write one yourself ;)
    And Mary Jo, I'm with you in the corner with the pitcher of beer. Love a good IPA...
    Thanks again you guys!

  9. First, I am a straight up bourbon girl. ;-) Second I try to know my characters to the Nth degree. I need to know what type of toothpaste rhey use.

  10. It's an established fact that red wine helps me write. I like many different varieties -- so long as they're good. And usually Australian. :-)

  11. I'm a shiraz girl all the way, the dustier, the better. I might try a Cosmo if ever I go to NYC, I'm reserving Singapore Sling for my trip to Singapore, and this summer, while in Atlanta, I'll have to try a mint julep. It would be wrong not to. In short, Liv, I make drink connections to. I agree with you and Cora about block. YOu don't know what comes next because you don't know your characters well enough. Could we blame it on plot? Ye-e-e-s. But plot is determined by a character's actions and reactions. No character, then nothing happens.


  12. Sebella...I'm kind of in awe of you. I know my characters, but not their toothpaste!
    And Ellen, there's a bottle of good Australian red in our future some day!
    And Sherry, I've never had a mint julep, but would imagine there's no better place to try one than Atlanta...and a mai tai in Honolulu, and a mojito in Jamaica... and...your connection between plot and character is very wise.
    Thanks for the comments, everyone!

  13. I prefer a good Oregon Pinot Noir or a luscious Sauvignon Blanc. Then again, a tasty whiskey or bourbon drink can get the creativity fired up.

    I like to outline each scene in Scrivener and do detailed character sketches - all in a week or two after the plot bunnies have their way with me. If I linger too long with the plot outline or character sketch, things get too diluted and far away from the seed idea.

    I'd love to see how you organize your character sketches some day.

  14. Now see, I've never worked with Scrivener, but I'm happy to swap templates if you want to, Tami. Maybe over a nice Sauv Blanc?
    And you make a great point about losing steam if you get too far out from your original inspiration...


Due to time constraints we may not be able to personally respond to every comment made, but we do read and appreciate them all. 📚❤️🙂

✋ RBtWBC has a zero-tolerance policy for review harassment and author bashing. Such comments will be deleted at the the blog's discretion.