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.
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