Title: A Shot of Bourbon
Author: AC Land
Publisher: BookFish Books
1. Tell us a little about A SHOT OF BOURBON…
A Shot of Bourbon is the first book in the Bourbon series. Set in a rural town in Missouri (I couldn’t resist using my hilariously named own hometown, but rest assured the book(s) are fiction).
Shot centers around Luke and Charli, two teenagers who are struggling in their own ways. Though Charli has grown up having everything she could possibly want she’s never known who her father, and has always been curious as to why he’s never wanted to be part of her life.
Luke’s life hasn’t been so great, and he’s known around town for being the son of the infamous Bourbon Butcher—a man who robbed the Bourbon Bank eighteen years earlier. Luke and Charli come together over their shared patriarchal issues and discover they may have more in common than they ever dreamed possible.
2. Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m not exactly sure how to describe my style, but A Shot of Bourbon is very informal. Luke has a broken dialect and he’s sometimes pretty funny (I hope). Charli, on the other hand, is a bit proper and innocent. The humor for her comes from her naiveté.
3. Is there a message in A SHOT OF BOURBON that you want readers to grasp?
Ehhh…probably not. However, throughout the series there are some character flaws that I intentionally incorporated for the sheer purpose of readers subtly learning how to identify the signs in real life. Whether it be obsession, stalking, self-harm (there’s no self-harm, I couldn’t think of another example without giving anything away) and the like.
I never meant to use any of these as a means to ‘exploit’ them. I sometimes think we expect authors to solve all the riddles for us, when all we’re doing is giving you the key.
There are no underlying messages, but if readers learn to pick up the hints of what my characters act like, and in turn can identify these traits in real life, then I feel like I’ve done a fair job.
4. Who is your favourite author and what strikes you about their work?
Oh no…you’re making me pick one. Just one.
Let me just say that I probably have a dozen. But Cora Carmack is probably it for me right now. I’m not sure what it is about her, but I can read all of the books in the Rusk Series over and over again and never get sick of them. She has created my ultimate book boyfriends.
5. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Read. Then when you’re done doing that, go ahead and read some more.
When I first decided to write a book someone said this to me and I rolled my eyes, like obviously you have to read, duh. So, I went online and purchased a ton of ‘how to get published’ books. And I read them. And my first books sucked.
But I knew how to get published, so I didn’t really understand what I was doing wrong.
Then I got my first Kindle, and I downloaded a couple free books, and then I downloaded more, and then more. And then I made my debit card hate me.
Very quickly my writing evolved. I mean quickly. I knew what I liked in the books I was reading, so I knew what I wanted my readers to like. I knew what I wanted to see my characters do because it was exactly what I wanted other characters to do (in my own story, in my own words, of course).
Now when people ask me why reading is so important I relate it back to continuing education. Doctors and Teachers and pretty much any professional person have to do some form of continuing education during the course of their professional life. Why? Because even though they went to college they can still learn things. Their field is still evolving. The world is always changing.
With the vast world of books evolving everyday, a writer can’t afford not to keep up with the industry. If you want to do this, read. Read everything you can get your hands on. Now.
6. What is your writing process like?
I always set out to plot my stories, but then I never open the journals I write my ideas down in. I more-or-less end up knocking out a rough draft in a week or two and then hate it for a month as I re-write it. So…is that a writing process, or a hot mess? Either way, that’s how I funnel the words from my brain.
7. Is there a writing question you get asked all the time? What is the answer?
I get asked where I got the idea for A Shot of Bourbon. It’s a little out of order, but the idea actually came for a flawed football player to be hopelessly in love with an even more flawed cheerleader. I had that thought, probably, two years ago.
Strangely enough I was watching a commercial for 60 Minutes (I believe) where a very hysterical woman said something to the effect of “didn’t he think about what his son would do if he did this?” and I have no clue what the man did, or who his son was. But I thought “yeah, didn’t he think about his son?” and the Bourbon Butchers were born.
That flawed football player, though, is Luke’s brother. I wrote his story first (the first time), like I said, I never follow a plan. Then I realized that Luke and Charli actually came first. And after many, many rough drafts and completing all of the books, I had A Shot of Bourbon.
8. What do you get up to when you aren’t writing?
I have two awesome dogs. A Jack Russell, Riley, and a German Shepherd, Charlie (I swear that was his name when I brought him home—I don’t name dogs after my characters. Though, there is a Riley in the Bourbon series. But she was named after my dog, so that’s different.)
I’m a decorative cake maker, photographer, and videographer. I have three amazing nephews who aren’t old enough to realize that it isn’t cool to hold my hand in the parking lot. And my best friends have been my best friends since high school. Thankfully, they don’t think I’m weird for collecting Star Wars memorabilia.