I'm so happy to happy to have awesome author and artist Liv Rancourt here with me today. Please welcome her!
Alison: Why vampires?
Liv: ;) Why not? I might have been watching a lot of Buffy in the months before I wrote A Vampire's Deadly Delight. Okay, yeah, I was watching a lot of Buffy and I think that influenced me, not just in terms of subject matter but in the structure of the book, the different story lines and multiple points of view. Also, I'm in awe of Joss Whedon's ability to present really deep stuffy with an irreverent humorous tone. When I grow up, I want to be able to do that.
Alison: What about vampires draws you to them?
Liv: I recently read an article that I liked by Ananya Mukherjea http://pcasacas.org/SiPC/33.2 /Mukherjea.pdf in which she argues that the reason that vampires are so popular is that it takes a paranormal hero to balance everything that contemporary life demands of women. We're supposed to have jobs, raise kids and keep the house Martha Stewart worthy, all while prancing around in slut shoes. Ahem.Not easy. Vampires, with their old school manners, deep pockets, and supernatural powers, are a very seductive fantasy on many levels.
Though they make great characters, the idea that really drives the plot in A Vampire's Deadly Delight comes out of my frustration with a lot of vampire fiction, in which the powerless mortal woman drops and spreads he legs as soon as the vampire comes into the room. I mean, I know vamps are cool and all but have some self respect, girls. That frustration led to the creation of my character Jai. Just like Spiderman, Jai only comes out when there is trouble. She's irresistible to vampires, and with the help of her trusty blade, Mr. Sticky, she's the end to their undead lives. The story twists the readers' expectations regarding sexual power, turning the tables on the vampire as sexual superhero.
Alison:Do you plan more vampire fiction?
Liv: Yeah. I have a short story, Tangled Dreams, coming out soon in an anthology called Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires edited by Rayne Hall. I also have a pencil sketch of the sequel to Deadly Delight, and after that, well, we'll see. I know the genre's been pretty overworked in the past few years but vampires make good characters because they let you introduce deep ideas about life, death, contagion and aging (or not) in an entertaining way. They're the spoonful of sugar that make my reality go down, so I'm sure I'll find other stories to tell.
Alison: Hardest thing about writing for you?
Liv: Heh. Turning off the internet. No, seriously I just read a quote by Stephen King where he says, " I'm convinced fear is at the root of most bad writing." That's pretty right on. It's hard not to be afraid of what goes down on the page. Do I dare write a sex scene? What if my Mum reads it? What if the character I'm totally in love with comes off like a bundle of cliches? How can I get the characters from point A to point B in a way that's original and entertaining and true? And what if nobody likes it? It's easier to check my Twitter feed again than to do the work involved in making the story, and safer to update my Facebook status than to send out a story to my critique peeps. I'm not saying that my writing would meet Stephen King's standards for good writing and I guess if I'd wanted to stay safe, I would have found something else to do with my time.
Alison: Do you have any special routine when you write like special music or a certain chair?
Liv: When I wrote Deadly Delight, I listened to my alt-country Pandora station, which is heavy on John Doe, Steve Earle, Maria Mc Kee, The Dixie Chicks and some Dolly Parton bluegrass stuff. I sit at the dining room table and type on the laptop and the dog keeps me company. The biggest challenge is wrestling my 12 year old off the laptop so I can work.
Alison: What are you working on now?
Liv: I have the synopsis done for a short story that is due at the end of february and another novella that I need to buckle down on and EDIT so I can start sending it out to publishers. There is another novel(novella) that I'm still pondering. I've got the first three chapters done and a story board that I've got up on Pinterest http://pinterest.com/livrancourt/storyboard/ but I'm still working out some of the kinks. I like to at least sketch the plot out, think through the character descriptions, and pretty much know where I am going before I get too far along. It saves me time in re-writes.
Alison: What would you like to write that is outside of what you usually write?
Liv: I really like some of the books by Kathleen Norris, particularly The Cloister Walk and Amazing Grace. I admire her ability to combine poetry, spirituality and everyday common sense. Maybe when I grow up a little, I'll try and do something like that.
Alison: Any advice for new writers?
Liv: It's easy: BICHOK. That's butt in chair, hands on keyboard. And don't be afraid of what you are doing. In her book Bird by Bird, Ann Lamott says. "Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere."
Alison:Wow, thanks for joining us today!
Liv: Thanks so much, Alison, for coming up with such good questions and letting me appear on your blog. Peace!
Thanks again to Liv! She is so great. You feel like you just had a drink and a long convo with a good friend, don't you?! Liv has generously agreed to give away an ecopy of A Vampire's Deadly Delight to a reader. Just leave a comment and you're entered. You will love this book! I laughed out loud while reading. But that's not all...keeping following the blog tour because Liv is giving away an original copy of the cover artwork of her book. It won't have any titles or print on it but it is a great prize!!! Just head to the next stop at I Heart Reading for more details.
Liv Rancourt is a writer of speculative fiction and romance. She lives in Seattle with her husband, two teenagers, two cats and one wayward puppy. Writing stories that have happy endings is a good way to balance her work in the neonatal intensive care unit, and she is thrilled to be publishing her first novella with Black Opal Books. 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).