I like to base my stories on a strong friendship at their core. I asked myself what if this were two gay men who were friends, and one of them had just lost his job, at the same time as being dumped by his boyfriend? I also think Christmas, as well as bringing out the best in people, can also bring out the worst.
At Christmas I often meet friends of friends, or distant family members of other relatives who’ve been invited for the day rather than being alone at Christmas. I imagined what would be really bad at this time of year for someone who was really close to his family. I think Christmas is a good opportunity to throw together people who wouldn’t otherwise meet because people who find themselves alone are usually offered a place at the Christmas table. This, obviously, was a great jumping off point for a story.
Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
I think there’s a little bit of myself in all my characters.
Toby, fabulous, camp, OTT, loud and bright, he’s nothing like me at all! I can’t imagine where I got my inspiration for him from? He was such a joy to write – I simply imagined what I’d say if I were always a little bit drunk – you know that one and a half glasses of wine stage where you’re not really pissed but you think you’re hilarious and don’t care what anyone else things. Well, that’s Tony. And the thing is sometimes that’s what a friend needs to tell another.
Christian is quite a damaged person at the start. The way his family and ex boyfriend have treated him is terrible. Isn’t it funny (not) how sometimes in life when you’re down Life just kicks you in the teeth again? Well, that’s how Christian feels at the start. Some of his behaviour when he’s in a relationship may or may not have been broadly based on what I was like when I’d been single for a while. Shame! I won’t say much more because...spoilers.
David, I suppose, is a sort of wish-fulfillment of the sort of man I’d like to be: large, imposing, outwardly confident, very masculine (in the traditional sense of the word – I think masculinity is much more complex than playing sport and bottling up your emotions, but any more of that’s not for now). Sometimes I wish I were more like David but then again I think, I would be me. In addition to wish-fulfillment, he’s also the sort of guy I find attractive, so that was fun to write: the strong silent protecting type. Yummy!
Cathy is the lynch pin between David and Christian, bringing them together through work and friendship. She, may or may not have been inspired in a very positive way by a certain author friend’s certain daughter who I met at UK Meet. She inspired me with her organisational skills and upbeat attitude towards life, that I simply had to put a version of her in Serendipity series of novellas. I told both Author Mother and Daughter and sent them both a copy of the first novella.
One of her favourite sayings is: live your life. As long as it’s not illegal or harming anyone (including yourself) then whatever makes you happy – you should live your life. I often say this to friends who are having a dither about whether to do something or not, or whether they should enjoy something or not. Just live your life. I suppose it’s a variation on ‘be yourself because everyone else is taken’ which is another great maxim by which to live.
Love and light,
Liam Livings xx
Grab yourself a copy as it's almost half price until it's released on 4th December: mybook.to/CCBoyfriend