Today, we have the lovely Liam Livings on the blog.
Hi Liam and welcome. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m somewhere between twenty something and thirty something. I live with my partner and cat on the edge of London. I love baking, cooking and entertaining friends. I love to read a guilty pleasure autobiography, a good glitzy bonk buster, saga or some modern popular women’s fiction. I try to avoid reality TV and instead prefer to immerse myself in a drama like Broadchurch or Mrs Biggs, or a long running American series, like Brothers and Sisters Orange Is The New Black, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, things with strong characters I can follow through their journey. I love to lose myself in a good film, a mix of new ones and my old favourites I watch again and again, each time marvelling at how much I still love them.
I have little or no interest in sport, except occasionally the men’s Olympic diving or gymnastics, but that’s not *strictly speaking* for the sport side.
Tell us a little about your writing journey? How did you begin?
I’ve kept a diary since 1998. I’ve written short stories pen portraits about people I’ve met since I was a teenager. I’d wanted to write something to be published and after a friend told me to just get on and do it, I did just that. With the help of Clare London and some wonderful beta readers, I polished my manuscript and it is published by Wilde City Press as the Best Friends Perfect series. It’s a young adult, coming out story set in the nineties. Since then I’ve joined the RNA and helped put on a gay fiction conference in 2013 and 2014 and my first gay romance story, And Then That Happened has been published by Love Lane Books.
Tell us something about your writing process.
I write character biogs on paper. Then I plan the story on post it notes from start to end – each post it note is a scene, and usually ends up being 500 – 1000 words when I write it. I start from the first post it note and work my way through to the last one, trying to leave as few days without writing as possible. I leave it for a month, then self edit, then send to betas, then edit again, then submit.
So, where does your inspiration come from?
Where don’t I would be a shorter answer… I get inspiration from so many places – conversations I overhear on public transport, when I’m out and about. I get inspiration from song lyrics, passages in books, from films I watch, from people and things in my life. I get it everywhere.
What’s your writing ambition?
I enjoy writing so much, so I want to do as much of it as possible with the time I have available. I’d like to share my stories with as many people as possible.
Onto more trivial matters. What’s your writing snack of choice?
I try not to snack too much while I’m writing. I find the crumbs get in the keyboard! I drink hot strong and one sugar sweetened tea – and lots of it – while I’m writing.
Tea or coffee?
Tea, always. I used to have 4 sugars and half milk in my coffee and it took me years to work out I didn’t actually like the taste of coffee at all.
Strictly or X Factor?
Neither I’m afraid. I just can’t even…
Would you do I’m a Celebrity?
For £40,000 to stay in for a minimum of 72 hours, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I also reckon I’d have a good laugh getting to know some of the other *slebs* too.
Dream holiday destination?
The Maldives maybe? Somewhere with dappled shade, a pool, somewhere to sit and read and do very little. I like a fly and flop holiday. If I read 5 books in a week’s holiday that’s a success for me.
Here’s a little about Liam’s latest book: And Then That Happened.
Should you settle for a nearly perfect happiness or put your heart on the line for more?
It’s 1999 and 28-year-old Dominic’s carefully planned suburban life with his boyfriend Luke is perfect. His job as a nurse, his best friend Matt, his relationship with his parents, everything is just right. He and Luke have been together ten years, seen each other through friends’ deaths and their parents’ ups and downs, and even had a commitment ceremony.
Gabe isn’t happy with his boyfriend, but he stays with him, because, well it’s complicated.
Fate throws Gabe into Dominic’s life. And then that happened. Gabe’s open relationship, impulsive nature, enthusiasm for life and straight talking advice are fascinating to Dominic. They’re friends, they click over a shared love of Goldie Hawn and Gabe shows Dominic there can be more to life than planned and safe. So why can’t he take his own advice?
And Then That Happened is about finding a new kind of happiness, even when what you have is already perfect. And how sometimes perfect isn’t quite what it seems.
Thank you, Liam, for dropping by. I’ll forgive your lack of enthusiasm for Strictly if you promise to let me join you in The Maldives! Hope you have a really wonderful Christmas.
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