Here's the full interview:
An Interview with Liam Livings, who is a most pleasant young man, even if he doesn't like big dogs... This week, to give you all a bit of a break from my constant whittering, which you bear manfully, I am giving you a treat! No, it's not chocolate. No, it's not kittens either - it's an interview with the truly fabulous Liam Livings.
So, once I'd got him strapped into the Questioning Chair...what? Doesn't everyone have a Questioning Chair? If not, why not, they are most valuable for exercises such as this.. I asked Liam some questions about his latest novel 'And then that happened'.
Firstly, introduce yourself...
I’m Liam Livings, I write gay romantic fiction, with British humour and lots of sparkle. I’m a cat lover, an amateur baker, a classic car enthusiast. I love camp trashy films and dramas that make me cry (Brothers and Sisters, Six Feet Under, Broadchurch, Walk Away And I Stumble) I love to read *widely* from escapist glitz, some gritty(ish) crime, celebrity autobiographies and popular romantic fiction. I live in the Essex Golden Triangle – made popular by TOWIE. And I embrace all of its highlights, fake tan, handbags on one arm, designer hairstyles (that’s just the men) whole heartedly. I have family connections there so when we moved here from central London it was a bit like moving home. Mum worked as a trainee hairdresser in the salon five minutes walk from where we live now.
You can connect with Liam:
I have no idea why Liam's bit is so..well...paragraphular. It's not like he talks, you know, all those spaces... anyway, onwards and upwards.
Now give us the 'elevator pitch' for your book...
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.
It's available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com
So I want all of you to rush over there directly and purchase said book, right?
Dog or Cat?
Cat. I love dogs, but only small dogs (see my answer later). But there’s something about cats, their only wanting to be affectionate on their terms, and on special occasions that I admire. When a cat sits on your lap after it’s been fed, that’s a really magical moment, I think.
Huh. Liam has, I think you can tell, never met my dogs. Or my cats, either - nothing magical about Zach sitting on your lap, just a faint, indefinable smell.
Favourite T shirt slogan?
Hello Sailor! (in pale blue on a grey T shirt I bought at Brighton Pride many years ago. It always got looks whenever I wore it.) I’d like one that said ‘I’m Liam, fly me’ but I think that would have worked better when I was single, and in the first flushes of youth...
What would you spend a million pounds on?
I’d buy a slightly larger house (making sure it was mortgage free) a bit further into the Essex countryside with a barn and ‘carriage’ driveway (yellow crunchy gravel and my initials in the gates – it’s Essex obvs) and I’d buy some classic cars – a Citroen DS, Citroen SM (I like my cars, weird, seventies and French). I’d give my brother and sister in law enough to buy them a house without a mortgage. I’d take me, Mum and my brother on holiday with our partners. And I’d put the rest in the bank (if I were in charge of spending, rest assured there would be some left for the bank.)
Dairy produce, absolute necessity or food of the devil?
Let me put it to you this way – I don’t smoke, I hardly drink, but I have a chocolate crate in the under stairs cupboard. It is *always* stocked with various chocolate goodies, biscuits, Crunchies, Fry’s orange creams, Dairy Milk Tray, etc. So without dairy products I’d not be able to have all that. So an absolute necessity. I always have organic full fat milk – I like to live a bit dangerously you see ;-)
Look, here is a man who has a SPECIAL CHOCOLATE CRATE!! Never mind buying his book, we should have him framed...
When expecting short-notice visitors, where do you hide the mess?
I very rarely have short-notice visitors – I think it’s a London thing. People in London never ‘just pop in’ on people, it’s always planned. The only person who’d drop in short notice-ish is Mum, who’s 2hrs drive away, and I’d leave any mess around because 1) she’s family 2) her house is hardly a show home from the Ideal Homes
Acres of wilderness or busy city?
Halfway between the two – suburbia. Mum lives in the New Forest in a tiny village, but it’s only 20mins from Southampton or Salisbury. I’m an hour from central London, or a short drive to open countryside of Essex. Compromise is my watchword, I feel.
Would you prefer to meet an emu or a moose?
An emu – I’d want to see how small its head was and how long and powerful its legs were.
If you were a dog, what breed would you be?
A Papillon - a toy spaniel. Fancy looking, playful, lots of running about.
Cocktails or straight up vodka?
Neither – I make a terrible drunk. I usually end up in tears or doing a multicoloured yawn onto the floor, or both. So I seldom drink, and rarely drink to get drunk. I may have a snowball with a glace cherry or a frangelico at Christmas, but apart from that a half of bitter and I’m done.
Why write romance?
Because those are the stories that come to me. I enjoy writing about human relationships, love, loss and that’s what *I think* romance is about.
Thanks for Jane's great questions.