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How I Make My Characters Believable by AC Land

Today, I have the pleasure of hosting a blog tour stop for BookFish Books’ latest young adult contemporary novel, A Shot of Bourbon by A.C. Land! Stay tuned at the end of the post for an amazing iPad giveaway!

How I Make My Characters Believable by AC Land

Making characters believable is continuous work. Especially since what’s believable for one person isn’t for another. If you’ve ever watched that dad video of epic saves where dad’s miraculously pull their kids out of would-be dangerous situations you get what I’m saying about believability. If someone tried to write about a dad reaching over the edge of a couch and plucking their kid out of midair before a would-be disastrous tumble, or a dad chasing after a runaway Cozy Coupe only to catch it at the last second these things would be far-fetched to at least one person out there. But they’re real.

On a side note, if you’ve never watched the Dad Saves, go do it. I’ve always heard that a mom could lift a car off of her kid if she wanted, but that video proves Dad’s have got it too. As far as what I do for my characters to make them believable, I try to keep scenarios as real as possible. A Shot of Bourbon is set in my very real hometown of Bourbon, Missouri. Geographically everything is the same—a muddy riverbank, a pothole riddled Main Street, a four way stop sign in the middle of town. I’ve made up a story about a setting that I can describe simply by stepping outside my back door and taking a mental photograph.

The familiar setting was probably cheating because it was that much easier to focus on character development. I know everything about my characters. Charli prefers vanilla ice cream and caramel macchiato coffee creamer. Luke’s into mint chocolate chip and drinks his joe strong and black.

Does any of this information matter or does it come up in the series? Occasionally, but it makes them human to think of them more like friends than imaginary people that fell into my mind one afternoon.

Sometimes, when I’m out with my own friends, I imagine retorts that my characters would use instead of something I would say. When I’m alone, I think of conversations that will never ever be part of my books. I jot down it all down in a journal. The world I’ve had to create is so much bigger than several three-hundred page books. If something doesn’t feel right, I tweak it until it does. And, honestly, the characters I imagined when I first thought of this series are vastly different than the characters that they’ve evolved into.

Luke has remained, and always will be, a badboy from the wrong side of town. The more I thought about him and his connection to the others in his life, the more he changed and the more real he became. Badboy, yes. But to make him authentic and to make his emotions translate, he had to have depth.

Thank you so much for taking the time to host A Shot of Bourbon and for your wonderful unique guest post topic. It stumped me a little because I’d never really stopped to think about the steps I’d taken to help Luke and Charli (and all of the other Bourbon Series characters) get to where they are.

Thank you again!


About A Shot of Bourbon

A Shot of Bourbon

TitleA Shot of Bourbon (Bourbon Series, Book 1)

Author: A.C. Land

Genre: Young Adult

ReleasedMarch 29, 2016

PublisherBookFish Books

In the little highway town of Bourbon, Missouri, deadly secrets lurk behind Southern charm. 

Seventeen year old Charli Valentine didn’t expect to spend the last few weeks of summer break nursing a broken heart, icing a black eye, and watching her ex kiss another girl.

Since being a good girl has gotten her nothing but heartache, Charli decides to give rebellion a try. She pigs out, drinks, and hangs with Luke Parker, the son of the infamous Bourbon Butcher. 

But there’s more to Luke than meets the eye. His tough exterior and terrible dialect hide a good person despite his bad boy reputation. No matter how hard he tries to fight it, Luke is drawn to Charli’s innocence and finds her clumsiness too charming to resist. Though they’re from opposite sides of the tracks, neither can resist the magnetism drawing them together. 

When Charli discovers a box in her mother’s closet, she pieces together the truth about Bourbon’s past and uncovers a deadly secret about her family. And once Luke learns of it, he vows to protect Charli no matter the cost. 

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About The Author

Copy of A Shot of Bourbon_AC Land_Author Photo

Author of the Bourbon series, A. C. Land has been a lover of stories since she first read about Peter Pan giving Wendy an acorn and teaching her to fly. She always dreamed of telling big stories about small towns.

Residing on a cattle farm in Missouri, A. C. loves playing with her rambunctious Jack Russell, Riley, making decorative cakes, taking pictures, drinking pumpkin spice coffee, and hanging out with her nephews.

Find A.C. online: 

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  • iPad mini (US only)

About Kristine

As an aspiring author, avid bookworm, fitness fanatic and dedicated mother, there just aren't enough hours in the day. I write or post about things I'm passionate about and spend my time trying to make the most of every day. Life may be a tough journey, but I have my ruby red slippers and am content on skipping along this yellow brick road until the end of the line.

One comment on “How I Make My Characters Believable by AC Land

  1. Excellent post! Thank you Kristine for sharing, and AC for your lovely words.

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