Liam Livings has a new book out today and you can win a copy of any of Liam's ebooks by leaving a comment here. See below for the question! The giveaway closes August 8th at 9am (GMT)



Simon’s the wrong man in the wrong place; trying to teach English to kids who couldn’t care less, he’d really rather be a writer – but it’s only when his best friend bullies him into it that he takes the plunge and joins his local creative writing group. Even then things don’t quite work out the way he planned; blundering into the wrong room at the Village Hall he encounters a group of recovering cocaine addicts and he wants to know more … which is the start, for Simon, of a double life and a whole new secret identity, not to mention an intriguing relationship …


Were there any hard to write scenes in this story?
Some of the Cocaine Anonymous scenes were quite hard to write. I wanted to make sure they were authentic and the rules and sharing they did in the group were realistic. I researched them online, checked out their 12 step programme and the principals behind that. I read some online forums for people with addictions to drugs to give me a feel for the sort of experiences they may have gone through. I think the hardest part was making sure the reasons why Darren wouldn't want to be with Simon, as two recovering cocaine addicts, was realistic. I've watched 28 Days, a film with Sandra Bullock playing a recovering addict, and the advice she's given when she leaves rehab was helpful to inform this part of the story.
Clara-Bell was, however, a complete joy to write. She's an amalgam of bits of some authors I've met, Clarissa Dickson-Wright and one of Mum's friends who ran a farm and didn't put up with any nonsense.

What are the main themes in this book?
Finding yourself – Simon is at a cross roads in his life and he needs to become the person he always should have been. Problem is he's a procrastinator of heroic proportions.
Deception, even if it's with a good aim, is still deception. There's quite a bit of this in the story from various characters with various results. I think unless it's a little white lie, deception is always to be avoided. 'If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember what you've told people.' (Someone, at some date)
Love – friendship – Lucy is Simon's rock. She stops him procrastinating and gives him the kick he needs. I think friendships and relationships are about being with someone who brings out the best in yourself, and who you do the same for the other person. I was at a wedding recently and someone asked me what the secret was to a long term relationship – I've been with my BF since 2002 – and I said, humouring the other person – basically this is about not mocking them and being kind, and separate hobbies, while still doing lots of stuff together.

Who is your favourites(s) of your characters from Wrong Room, Right Guy?
I always find this a difficult questions to answer. I've enjoyed telling Simon's story. I've enjoyed his hopelessness being turned into hope. I also think there's more than a little bit of myself in Simon in a number of ways. I won't say why, because I don’t want to spoil the story, but also I like to leave something mysterious for the readers!
I've also loved creating Darren as he's very different from me. He's a sort of anti-Liam! I also believe in a couple it's good to have a bit of opposites attract.
Clara-Bell was an absolute joy to write. I loved her no holds barred, no nonsense approach to everything. As I'm getting older I am finding myself moving closer towards her approach; not quite as extreme as hers, but maybe some day. I seem to enjoy writing about strong women with my gay male characters too. Who knows why!

What experience do you have of being taught English at school? I'd love to hear from you all. Please comment to be entered to win an ebook of one of my books.
Liam xxx

You can connect with Liam
Twitter @LiamLivings
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/liam.livings
Blog http://www.liamlivings.com/blog


22 comments:

  1. I loved being taught English when I was in school. Already avid fantasy/scifi reader, my teachers opened my eyes to great plays and important fiction. I still read outside my genre regularly.

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    1. Susan, I loved English too at school. I studied A level English literature too. I think it's wonderful to learn about new plays and historical / important fiction. I always try to read widely outside mm and romance too. Thanks for entering :-)

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  2. I'm enjoying the quality product that Manifold Press is publishing

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    1. Thank you, batchelorboy55, we hope you enjoy this next Manifold Press book. Thanks for entering. :-)

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  3. I remember diagraming sentences. I am very good at grammar as a result.

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    1. Hi Debby, diagraming sentences, that sounds v interesting. I'm a very visual person, love flow charts, boxes and spider diagrams. How do you diagram a sentence? Thanks for entering :-)

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  4. I can't say my experience with English in school was any good at all. My teachers were not helpful at all. Everything was regurgitated and wasn't exactly fun. Thank god for books and for the fact that my sister pushed reading on me at such a young age. I'm not even sure how I know how to write a paper...seriously I feel everything was self taught and am thankful for the somewhat useful textbooks.

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

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    1. Hi booklovez, that's a shame, I know many others who didn't have great English teaching experiences at school. It's great to see you *have* a love of books and reading, it would have been easy to dislike it based on your school experiences. Yay to your sister. And good on you for teaching yourself, many others wouldn't have bothered! Thanks for entering :-)

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  5. English was always one of my favorite classes. When I moved last year, I found a couple of the short stories that I wrote. I guess there isn't a day that I actually don't remember English, all I have to say is facetious and it all returns. Got to love vocabulary.
    flutterfli01 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. Hi flutterfli, English was one of my favourite lessons too. That's why I continued English from GCSE (15 year olds) to English Literature (17 year olds). Facetious is a great word, thanks for entering the draw :-)

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  6. i had a love hate relationship w/ being taught english. i have dyslexia so for me trying to READ english even thou it was my mother tounge was tough but my word knowlege often shocked the teachers as to how much i knew lol

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    1. Hi laurie, my brother and mum are dyslexic. Mum discovered reading quite late, in her late fifties. My brother doesn't read much. If you can enjoy reading despite it being difficult it's a wonderful way of travelling and exploring different lives, locations and emotions. Thanks for entering :-)

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  7. I have a love/hate relationship with English. Grammar hates me.

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    1. Hi Laurie P, I am still baffled by so much grammar. It doesn't quite hate me, but it sometimes out smarts me!
      thanks for entering, :-)

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  8. I liked English except for the poetry section. Once the professor had us read a poem about a snake in the desert that was hit by a car. She told us that it was about a man in the city who was having a hard time. I totally did not understand that but then again I was always better in the sciences!

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  9. Hi Ree Dee, I wasn't massively keen on poetry at school either. The thing about the poetry and the snake is the teacher *could* have been right, but then again, so could you, it's all down to interpretation *folds arms*
    Thanks for entering, :-)

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  10. They teached us English the language (not my native language), not English the subject. And except for a bunch of us that went to extra curricular english activities, the rest didn't understand a thing so they had it a tough time when they had to take the exams.

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    1. Hi Serena, I suppose English the language for non English speakers is very different from English the subject as part of literature etc. Thanks for entering :-)

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  11. UK Country Primary School in the 70's, four year groups of 6 per year taught by one teacher, so no basic knowledge of verbs, nouns etc which was expected when I went to high school so I always struggled with E Lang - did scrape my O level though! Now my kids did synonyms, antonyms, homonyms, verbs, adverbs etc all at primary level!
    Did love E Lit though - was always 4-5 chapters ahead of class reading those books - Day of the Triffids, Animal Farm, Great Expectations

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    1. Hi Suzi Webster, we didn't do verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs or anything at my school. The only reason I know them is because I learned French and Latin where you're taught the elements of language. English Lit was great I agree, Day of the Triffids and Animal farm - amazeballs. Thanks for entering, :-)

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  12. I loved English in high school. I had a great female teacher who was very funny and i remeber that whenever a airplane or helicopter or Jet flew over the school and we couldn't hear her talking she would give us Engelse drop (i googled and came up with this enlish name "liquorice allsorts"), You can imagine that we were very happy that the school was located not far from an Army base LOL

    Thanks for this giveaway and count me in please :)
    ahpg(at)ziggo(dot)nl

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    1. Hi ramlr, she sounds like a fun teacher! thanks for entering the giveaway :-)

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