1. We are here today to talk about Escaping from Him. What can you tell us about it?
It’s about Darryl who’s been in a claustrophobic relationship with Chris for some time, and he reflects on something his best friend, Lena said to him that makes him realise he has to leave, to escape from him. He can’t be the person he currently is, so he must leave and rebuild himself as a different person, in a different city, with a new circle of friends. Of course, there’s a happy ever after, and a romance story too, but there’s (hopefully) plenty of laughs and ups and downs on the way.
2. Tell us more about Darryl?
He is a naturally sociable person, but isn’t allowed to express that side of him when he’s with Chris. He grew up with not much in the way of family, so is keen to make his own version of family, when he can. He’s creative, interested in photography more than having the newest car on the street. And for any more you’ll have to read the story to find out!
3. What about Escaping from Him makes you the most proud?
Can I say the whole thing? It’s a bit of a cop out, but I’ll explain: I wrote it for myself really, in response to a song that became an ear worm in late 2013, early 2014, and now, it’s a whole story, which has been published. Who’d have thunk it eh? That’s why I’m proud of it. The song was I Love It by Icona Pop, it’s earworm-tastic.
4. If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?
Write, don’t just talk about writing, actually write. Get to the end of what you’re writing, don’t keep starting a new idea, that’s the easy bit, it’s slogging on right to the end that’s hard. Find some friendly published authors, they’ll help you in whatever ways they can, we’re nice like that. When you have time to write, do that first, and then go on the internet – NEVER the other way round.
5. What is the nicest thing a reader has said to you in a review, email, in person, or on social media?
One reader on facebook said she’d read And Then That Happened, loved it, then gone and bought everything else I had published. Reader, I cried.
A review website said ‘Best Friends Perfect Book Two is campy and colourful all topped off with plenty of fun. I really enjoyed book one and book two didn’t disappoint me.’
It’s been lovely to hear people commenting on the humour I (without really thinking about it) put in my stories.
6. How do you choose names? If you decide to change a name, do you feel that it alters your perception of the character?
I try to keep track of names I’ve used so I don’t use the same name for two different characters in different books. I sometimes use place names by looking at maps, or I look around the book shelves in my study and use names of authors, characters names in other books, mixed up slightly, or sometimes if I can’t think of a name, I put MC (main character) and know the name will come to me as I write the story. Some authors do feel changing names alters the character, me, not so much. The new name has to still *fit* but for me the character is much more than the name, and changing just that doesn’t alter much of the character’s personality to me.
7. What are you reading right now and what is next on your to-be-read list?
Here’s the list of what I’ve recently read to give you a taste:
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert – loved the film with Julia Roberts (obvs) and the book was a wonderful journey of self-discovery with so many great pieces of advice.
Guilty Pleasures by Tasmina Perry – this is exactly the opposite to the girl meets boy and lives happily ever after stories. It’s about glamour, ambition and betrayal and it was a fabulously glitzy guilty pleasure of nearly 700 pages I devoured in a few weeks.
Tiggy by Miss Read – Charlie Cochrane gave this to me, and it was wonderful to read about a woman finding a litter of kittens and looking after them. Miss Read writes fiction Aga saga typed stories too, which I tend to love, so I may investigate her more.
There’s Something I’ve Been Dying to Tell You by Lynda Bellingham – she was a British actor, best known for doing the Oxo adverts on TV for years. She died of colon cancer in 2014 and this is her final, life affirming, moving, wonderfully her, autobiography. I love a good (and a bad) autobiography, and this is fabulous.
Next on the list to read is We Are All Made Of Glue by Marina Lewycka – the BF read it on holiday and he bought me a paperback for my birthday as he knows I prefer to read paper books than ebooks. He said I’d enjoy it as it has a storyline about a character looking after an elderly person. Since I lost my Great Auntie in summer 2014 http://www.liamlivings.com/blog/grief-is-the-price-we-pay-for-love-2-of-2 there’s been a bit of a gap in my life, so I think this book will be interesting.
8. Rapid Fire Time
Love Story or Thriller?
Love story, every time. I’m a romantic at heart and always default to love story in books or films.
Vanilla or Chocolate?
Chocolate. I have a chocolate crate in the under stairs cupboard, always well-stocked with chocolate treats.
Underwear and socks: folded in the drawer or tossed?
Not folded, but in the drawer yes. I don’t like mess and things tossed on the floor irritate me.
Music or TV/Movies?
I can’t choose. I love both for different purposes. Music is great when driving (I think the police take a dim view if you watch TV while driving) but I also enjoy a film or TV. I try not to watch endless reality TV shows (except Celebrity Big Brother which I’m loving at the moment) and prefer to disappear into a drama box set like Breaking Bad, or The Good Wife, or Brothers and Sisters.
Electronica or Jazz?
Electronica, I can’t stand the ‘out of tune’ sound of jazz. Give me a squelchy electronic chorus from Kylie, (The One) or a plinky plonky beat from The Human League (One Man In My Heart) or Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (Souvenir), any day over jazz.
Coke or Pepsi?
Neither. I rarely have fizzy drinks – see chocolate crate above – instead preferring tea or hot chocolate, but if I do have a fizzy drink it’s either cream soda, or Doctor Pepper – full sugar, no sweeteners as I can’t bear the metallic taste of sweeteners.
Fire or Ice?
Fire, I dislike the cold of winter. We have an open log fire in the living room and it’s the perfect antidote to a cold winter evening. We often have a no TV night and read books with the crackling of the fire in the background. Wonderful.
Salty or Sugary? Sugary, see chocolate crate above. I rarely eat crisps (chips) or chips (fries) and as a rule Livings Towers is a savoury carb free zone – no potatoes, bread, rice or pasta. Instead I prefer to have my sugar intake as sugary things.
9. What are you working on? What is next?
I’m currently doing a first draft of The Other Man, which is a spin off from The Guardian Angel (to be published by Love Lane Books in summer 2015). It has some of the same characters, but focuses on different ones. It’s about a man cheating on his husband and the implications that brings. I’m hoping to finish the first draft of that during February.
Next, I have some self editing of my Kev Friends Perfect series, which is a spinoff from the Best Friends Perfect series, from the perspective of Kev, the cross-dressing cabaret singing gay friend. Kev was just intended to be one of the friends in Best Friends Perfect, but he was such fun to write, and got so much great feedback from beta readers, I’ve decided to tell his story, and let me tell you, there’s plenty of it to tell. He’s such fun to write, and having written his trilogy there’s still more to tell so he gets his happy ever after…
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