Please give a huge Top to Bottom Welcome to author Liam Livings! Welcome, Liam we’re thrilled you’re here!
Thank you for taking some down time and spending it with us. Let’s start this off with a beverage. We have coffee, tea, some sort of juice (I think it’s been in here a few weeks) and soda. What would you like?
Can I have tea please? Brewed for 4 minutes in boiling water, one sugar and a lot of milk, not creamer. I’m very particular about my tea, you see 😉
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I live, with my partner and cats, where east London ends and becomes nine-carat-gold- highlights-and-fake-tan-west-Essex. I’m a car geek, my particular passion is old French classics, and my every day car is what is popularly referred to as a ‘hairdressers car’ a Mazda MX5 in powder blue – Muriel. I started writing when I was 14: sat in French lessons during a French exchange trip, for want of anything better to do, I wrote pen portraits about my French exchange’s teachers. I wrote for my school’s creative writing magazine and still writes a diary every day.
When you received news that your manuscript had been accepted what were the first words that fell from your mouth?
I couldn’t believe it. I was so pleased. I couldn’t wait to share my writing with others. It’s been a dream of mine to be a published writer for a long time. It’s just taken me all this time to actually make it happen.
What forces brought you over to the MM Genre and what made you want to write it?
When I wrote my first story to be published, Best Friends Perfect, http://www.liamlivings.com/best-friends-perfect-series.html I didn’t really think it was MM. I had just written a story about experiences, and including characters I knew about. It was just that ‘as a gay man’ a lot of that was pretty…well, gay.
Would you care for some cookies? We have chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal with or without raisins and a package of mystery ones. We have cake too. Your choice.
Can I have chocolate chip cookies and a slice of cake, I’m assuming it’s a home made sponge 😉
How many hours a day do you spending writing?
This varies depending on what stage I am at with a project. When I’m in first draft mode, I try to spend as much time with the story, until it’s finished. This varies between a couple of hours a day to seven hours or so.
Do you write right through or do you revise as you go along?
I write right through. No stops along the way, no pauses for research, if I forget the main character’s friend’s name, I just put INSERT NAME HERE and just crack on to the end.
When it comes to plotting, do you write freely or plan everything in advance?
In life I am a planner. Unsurprisingly, in writing, I am a planner. I start with a character biog for each main character, then I plan the story scene by scene. I sometimes use post it notes, sometimes bullet points in a word doc – it depends on how the mood is taking me, and where I’m doing the plotting.
Of your characters do you have a favorite and why?
Very difficult to choose. I’d say for a good night out, I’d go with Tony, from Christmas Serendipity – he’d have the whole bar singing before long. For a good night in, some reflection, some cheesy films and music, it would have to be Hannah from Best Friends Perfect. She’s such a strong part of Kieran’s life, and she’s just always there to help him pick up the pieces when things fall apart for Kieran. I’m lucky to have real people in my life like Tony and Hannah.
Writers often go on about writer’s block. Do you ever suffer from it, and what measures do you take to get past it?
If I reach a part of the story where I’m not sure where it should go, I stop, and open the post it notes. Sometimes I write past the block and put a row of xxxx THEY HAVE AN ARGUMENT ABOUT WHO’S THE MARY AND WHO’S THE RHODA – or whatever it is. And then come back to that scene later. I sometimes write long hand, and that usually unblocks it.
Do you have a particular spot in your house that you call your comfy zone? (The place where you write.)
I write in the second bedroom, which is set up most of the time as a study with a fold away bed. It has a view of the back garden, and is far away enough from the living room so if the BF is watching TV I can’t hear it.
When you’re in the mindset to write, do you put a sign up that warns others not to disturb you while at work?
That’s a good idea! I try to write when I’m alone in the house as that’s when I can usually be the most productive. Otherwise if I go upstairs to ‘my writing spot’ I tell the BF and he’s usually very good at leaving me alone.
How would you describe your sense of humor? Who and what makes you laugh?
I think I have both a dark sense of humour, as well as a silly slapstick sense of humour. To illustrate the first, I love Nighty Night, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nighty_Night a British comedy about a woman who tries to steal another woman’s husband, by any means possible.
Equally I love to watch slapstick comedy like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miranda_%28TV_series%29 Miranda. In terms of standup comedy I like what I believe is called, observational comedy. Victoria Wood is one of my favourite comedians. Her film with Julie Walters, Pat and Margaret is a triumph. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_and_margaret
What are you working on now?
I’m working with an editor at Wilde City for the first Best Friends Perfect book in the series. I am leaving my Nanowrimo novel to rest, I will self-edit that in early 2014.
What do you do to keep the creative “spark” alive – both in your work and out of it?
I always keep my eyes and ears open for inspiration, and always keep a note pad handy to write down snippets of conversation, things I’ve seen which spark an idea for a story.
What kind of books do you like to read outside of the MM Genre?
I normally read what is usually referred to as ‘chick lit’ but I also love a good celebrity autobiography. They’re such a guilty pleasure. I try to go a bit off piste every now and again and read something I wouldn’t normally read. I read Gone Girl this summer, and loved it. I recently read The Litigators by Grisham, and really enjoyed that too.
Pick one: Scientist, Astronaut, Retail, or Horse Trainer?
Retail – staff discount.
Aside from writing, what else do you enjoy doing?
I love baking and cooking. I enjoy classic cars and recently went to the classic car show at the NEC, in Birmingham. It sounds cheesy and obvious, but I really do love seeing friends and family.
Any special projects coming out soon we should watch for?
I’m starting to get beta feedback on my second novel, And Then That Happened, http://www.liamlivings.com/and-then-that-happened.html and I’ll edit that before submitting it to publishers in early 2014. And while on holiday, I planned my next novel, The Wrong Room, which is about a man who walks into the wrong room at a village hall, and its consequences. (It’s a love story, so don’t worry about that.)
Can you please tell us where we can find you on the Internet?
It was a pleasure having you here with us today. Please come by and let us know how you’re doing from time to time. OH! And before you leave, can I get your help here in the kitchen? Thanks!!
Haven’t you got a dishwasher? Thanks for having me, it’s been lovely. Liam Livings xx