CERI: Hello Liv! Glad you’re hear. Tell everyone about yourself.
LIV: Thanks so much, Ceri, for giving me the chance to post on your blog. I really appreciate it.
What’s there to know about me? I’m staring down my 50th birthday and learning how to write. My kids are in middle school, and if we sometimes refer to my 14 year old as Sybil, that’s to be expected at her age. My husband is a VERY patient man. I have two cats and a puppy and I’ve always lived near the ocean. I’m addicted to Big Red chewing gum. I love to get into silly conversations with strangers on Twitter. Come find me there (@LivRancourt); we’ll chat.
CERI: Oh, I’m getting really close to that 50 mark myself. Kind of surreal since I still feel like I’m 18. My youngest is also in middle school though. And living near the ocean? I’m so jealous! I lived on the Maine coast for a time and there’s nothing like it. What does your writing area look like?
LIV: It looks a whole lot like my dining room table. Oh, that’s because it is. And usually it’s covered with paper detritus – bills and chunks of newspaper and books and magazines. Right now the centerpiece is a wreath of pastel eggs with a stuffed chicken wearing oversized bunny ears in the middle of it. And yet somehow I maintain my focus. I fantasize about having a writing desk that looks out a sunny window (where it’s ALWAYS sunny) with just a laptop and a neat pile of folders on it. In my dreams…
CERI: From your lips…. I have a desk, but except for the chicken in bunny ears centerpiece, mine sounds a lot like yours! I have a blank wall in front of me. Maybe we need a picture of a landscape in front of us for inspiration! Speaking of which, where do you get your inspiration for your stories?
LIV: I don’t know! Everywhere? Like, I was bored with vampire books where the women always seemed to drop and spread their legs as soon as the uber-handsome vampire came on the scene, so I wrote A Vampire’s Deadly Delight, where the main character’s alter-ego exists solely to kill vampires. It’s sort of a Buffy meets Spider Man kind of thing.
My first real novel – you know, the one that stays in the bottom drawer, never to see the light of publication? – involved a cast of characters who were fae (fairies). One of the rules that those characters played by was that when two fae were attracted to each other, their strong auras could bond, making the attraction permanent. When I saw the call for submission from Still Moments Publishing for a magic-themed story, I got to thinking about what might happen if a couple of fae were attracted to each other, but didn’t want to bond. That turned into Temptation’s Touch, a short story in the Spellbound Hearts anthology.
Then I was trolling Twitter one day, and got in a conversation with a woman I know who’s an editor, and she was putting together an anthology of pirate stories. Pirates? Cool! So then she said she wanted a male protagonist, possibly a person of color, possibly a historical setting, and oh, if he had a disability that would be awesome. Got it. Yep. So I came up with Un Homme De Couleur Libre, which appears in the newly released anthology Cutlass – Ten Tales of Pirates.
One of my best short stories, The Santa Drag , appears in the anthology Christmas Treats: Santa’s Nice List from Still Moments Publishing. That one came about when I sent my sister a text message from the deck of the pool where my son was having swim practice. I told her I needed an idea for a Christmas themed short story, and she suggested having the (female) main character get a job playing Santa in the mall. The rest, as they say, is history.
So you see, my ideas come from all over, and I’ve had so much fun and have learned so much in writing each one of these stories.
CERI: Those are fantastic ideas! Lots of thinking outside the box! This day and age readers are looking for something other than the formula books so we have to get even more imaginative. You seem to write in a lot of different genres. Which is your favorite? How many do you write in?
LIV: I tell people I write paranormal and romance, sometimes at the same time. I like paranormal because it gives you a safety net. Bad things can happen, but if vampires and werewolves and other such creatures are involved, then it COULDN’T happen in real life. It’s not so immediate. I’m also a big believer in the HEA. I want my stories to have a happy ending, because so often real life doesn’t. My work in the hospital and, heck, the rest of my life gives me many chances to experience sadness. I may beat up on my characters, but at the end of the story, they’re in a good place.
CERI: You and me both. I’m getting more into paranormal and fantasy (because I love to build worlds) but a Happily Ever After is a must with everything I write and read. Nothing worse than a book with a sad ending! What inspired your latest story?
LIV: The one I’m struggling with working on right now is a scary piece. The editor who put together Cutlass mentioned she was doing a horror anthology. I came up with a story about three women stuck in the choir loft of a drafty old church. It’s a new genre and hard for me, but even if she doesn’t end up using it, I’m learning a lot so that’s good.
CERI: It is! My current work in progress has some horror elements that I really wasn’t expecting. I love the sound of yours though! So, what do you like to do besides write?
LIV: I like to read (mostly paranormal – are you surprised?) and I like to sing. I’m kind of an Early Music geek (and you can tell I’m a geek by my use of capital letters). I like going on walks with the puppy and the kids. I like hearing my husband’s band play. I like cheering at the kids’ soccer and basketball games and swim meets. (Football not so much – I’m too busy praying my son survives.) And I like taking care of the babies at work. They’re cute, and they’re willing to do so much to survive.
CERI: Wow! How can you fit it all in? I’m in awe! Okay, can you answer each of the following?
Pick one word to describe yourself: My friends call me the Action Verb. (Okay, that’s two words. Sorry!) Favorite animal: cats or dogs, whichever one is in my lap Favorite comfort food: pizza & beer (Oops, that’s two words, too.)Perfectly okay. They’re a great team. Like PB&J Spring, summer, autumn or winter? Autumn – at least until the rains start. Favorite book: Depends on the day. Favorite movie: TLOTR The Two Towers….Maybe?Mine too, though Return of the King is my favorite If you weren’t a writer, what would you want to do? Well, I’ve been a baby nurse and a singer and a Mom, and those have all been cool gigs. If I get burned out on writing, maybe I’ll take up crochet. Best vacation ever: The night last summer that the husband and I spent at The Inn At Langley, on Whidbey Island.
CERI: Awesome! Now tell us about your latest release.
Book description: Spellbound Hearts is a collection of four short stories by Jillian Chantal, Olivia Devereaux, Clara Weibel, and me. 😉 The stories are all very different, and they’re all a lot of fun.
Excerpt from Temptation’s Touch
Geri stood up and went to the window. The snow was falling in thick waves and frost was crawling up from the corners of the panes of glass. “I got over here, but then I couldn’t get back. I think it was the old tree’s fault.”
He nodded. “That oak is very powerful.”
Geri turned back towards the fire, trying not to stare at Alain. His clothing seemed to give off a spicy scent, like curry mixed with incense. “Can you take me back?”
“I have only crossed once, and that was with a companion.” He shrugged, and if he was human she would have said he looked embarrassed. “There are those at the main dwelling that could bring you back.”
“How far away is that?” She went back to the bench and pulled the comforter over her lap.
“It is a brief ride in good weather, but this storm is too heavy.”
“Ride?” Geri felt stupid, because she had no idea what he meant.
The look Alain gave her was equally puzzled. “You heard the horse outside.”
“Um, I heard something. I’ve only ever heard horses in the movies. You really rode a horse to get here?”
Alain leaned back in the chair and laughed. “Of course.”
“Whatever.” Geri rolled her eyes. This couldn’t get any weirder. “Maybe when I don’t show up for work tomorrow, Gladiola will send Kat to look for me.”
He stopped laughing, though there was still the shadow of a smile on his face. “True, but Katrienne is likely to take her time. Tomorrow, if the weather is better, I will bring you to the main dwelling.”
“So we stay here tonight?” Something fluttered under Geri’s ribs at the thought of being alone with this handsome fae.
“There are stores in the Valley and I brought a few things. If you can find your fae form, there is warmer clothing.”
Geri laughed to cover her confusion. “What the hell is my fae form?”
“The fae form,” he said, gesturing to himself, “is taller, longer.” He shrugged, his silver eyes shining with laughter.
“We can all take both forms.” He closed his eyes and drew in a breath. As he exhaled, something shifted and Geri blinked. Sitting across from her was a very handsome man, not quite six feet tall, with chiseled features and unusual grey eyes. The tunic that had fit so well now drooped a little at the shoulders and hung down over his hands.
“Cool,” she sighed, then blushed and looked away.
His laughter made her blush harder. “Try it,” he said. She shut her eyes. “No, wait.”
Her eyes sprang open. “What?”
“Each sleeping room has a chest full of old clothing for guests to borrow. When you take the fae form, what you are wearing now may become…uncomfortable.”
Geri had a quick picture of splitting the sides of her jeans and sitting in front of this beautiful creature in her underpants. “Maybe I’ll just stay human-looking.”
“But you would make a pretty fae.” Alain said with a grin. “Go change your clothes, halfen, and then try.”