I first met Mandy Baggot at the Festival of Romance in 2013, and then saw her again at the RNA conference this summer. I really did network with an awful lot of people at the RNA conference didn't I? I loved talking to the new authors I'd met.
Full interview copied below:
This week on Hump Day Hunk the wonderful Liam Livings is introducing his hero, Gabe from his latest novel, And Then That Happened.
You know that saying: sing like nobody’s listening, love like you’ve never been hurt before, dance like nobody’s watching and f**k like you’re being filmed - Well that’s *exactly* how Gabe lives his life. And once you’re in his life, you get his full undivided attention - and all his dramas too obvs. He’s always running off to have the next adventure, the next experience, and he does it all without holding back, which is why he sometimes falls flat on his face, and gets hurt. He’s also sensitive, caring, loving and isn’t afraid of having a good cry.
What would Gabe plan for a perfect date?
It could be anything really. A quiet night in with him cooking for his boyfriend. Maybe a few drinks in London, then going clubbing all night, and watching the sun rise from Trafalgar Square in central London. Even if it was something when he and his boyfriend were out and about, he’d still manage to make the boyfriend feel they were the only two people on the planet, giving the boyfriend his total undivided attention, no looking at mobile phones, not taking calls, not swanning off to see other people.
What is Gabe’s favourite TV show and music style?
He’s a massive Goldie Hawn fan, so any film with her in and he’s there. His favourite of her films is probably Housesitter they have a bit of an ongoing joke about how the character makes things up in her life. He also enjoys Death Becomes Her – and why wouldn’t he, it’s a camp classic! He likes Erasure, and isn’t afraid of anyone thinking it’s *too gay* music. He’s proud of what he likes, and doesn’t apologise for it.
Gabe has brown eyes, but the smile, the dark hair, and the beardedness, is pretty much right in this pic (above) of the gorgeous Bradley Cooper – from IMDB.
I can share a small sample of when they first meet:
The fourth of June 1999 at eight thirty pm, it was raining, as expected in a British summer. I looked up from my handover note in the staff room; he pushed the door open slowly and sat opposite me, smiling at everyone else.
It was my fourth of a string of extra nights, and I felt the sort of tiredness that comes from a series of night shifts where you grab hours of poor quality sleep during the day, between batting about with housework and other chores. The sort of tiredness only people with young babies or night workers can fully understand. His arrival immediately woke me back to more than normal levels.
My gaydar gave me mixed signals as he wore Timberland shoes and a very plain jacket over his nurses tunic.
He smiled at me, shook his curly dark brown hair so water sprayed around the room, then removed his jacket. ‘Look at me, Ernest! Just look at me! I'm soaking wet!’
The day sister looked him up and down. ‘Ernest, who’s he?’
‘I’m assuming you’re Gabriel, from the agency.’
He nodded. ‘Gabe.’
But as soon as he quoted Death Becomes Her—I knew for definite, without a shadow of a doubt, he was as gay as bunting. No straight man quotes that film, not in this world or the next. ‘Spanish, are you?’ I asked, feigning disinterest.
‘My dad is.’ He stared at me, his long brown eyelashes framing his eyes perfectly.
I deliberately allocated myself at the far end of the ward from him. I didn’t want to come across as too keen. Besides, I was happily partnered.
And Then That Happened is available now on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk