Today, I am super excited to have friend, and illustrious author, Liv Rancourt here to share the inspiration for her latest novel, Forever and Ever, Amen.
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.
It’s All About Family
Hey Elizabeth, thank you so much for having me as a guest on your blog! I really appreciate the chance to connect with your readers. We’re all plowing through the holiday season, and to me that means one very important thing.
Over the years, my family’s make-up has changed, from the sisters I was born with to the friends I chose to the home my husband and I have created for our children. In our house, it’s not the holidays without the Steven Colbert Christmas special and The Klezmonauts Christmas CD, “Oy To The World.” It’s not Christmas unless our circle of close friends is seated around our dining room table with all the leaves put in so everybody fits.
Real-Life Inspiration + Angels, Demons, and a Vampire
Family influences my writing, too. My paranormal romance Forever and Ever, Amen is the story of a single mom who is trying to raise her teenagers while dealing with some pretty extraordinary challenges. It wasn’t enough that Molly had to face some tough times after breaking up with her husband. She got marked by a demon, and had to face three trials or risk losing her soul.
The thing is, though, the basic premise came out of my real-life family’s story. A couple of years ago I flew to California to visit my aunt right before she died of cancer. All her life she had tremendous difficulty dealing with anxiety, and as I waited at the airport for my flight home, I started thinking about how much respect I had for the way she faced her fears. Then I made a list of the things that scared me most.
Then I decided to make a character experience those very things.
But because the seed of the story came from real life, I decided to make it a contemporary romance that happened to include angels and demons. Oh, and a vampire. I mean, what story isn’t improved by the presence of a vampire?
In part, I was inspired by The Radleys by Matt Haig. For those of you who haven’t read this book, it’s basically a family drama…involving a family of vampires. Mr. Haig tells the story of Peter and Helen, a couple who have been married for fifteen or twenty years, and their two teenage children. Peter and Helen are abstainers – sort of the vampiric equivalent of vegans – and they never mention the whole ‘blood thirsty undead’ thing to the kids until a thick-skulled young man tries something creepy with their daughter and awakens her true nature.
The thing is, the truth of The Radleys lies in the family dynamic, the way Peter and Helen cope with raising teenagers and keep their marriage fresh. The vampire element just raises the stakes. It also makes for some seriously entertaining moments – especially when Uncle Will shows up.
I’ll let you figure that part out for yourselves.
With Forever and Ever, Amen, I tried to dig into that same territory. The heart of the story is love: the love of a mother for her kids and the fear she feels when her children are threatened. Molly has to learn some things, too, like, it’s possible for a guy to love her without turning her into a trophy on his shelf. And it’s possible for her to stand on her own two feet and do what she thinks is right.
There’s not a lot of blood and fireworks in Forever and Ever, Amen. Instead, there’s angels and demons, heart and humor. And a vampire.
What more could you want?
Thanks again, Elizabeth. I hope you and your readers have a peaceful holiday season, and that you experience your most important and memorable traditions.
Thank you, Liv!
If you’re looking for a spicy holiday read…
bite into a copy of Forever and Ever, Amen.