Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Liam Livings for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: And Then That Happened
Author: Liam Livings
Publisher: Love Lane Books
Cover Artist: Meredith Russell
Genre/Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance
Should you settle for a nearly perfect happiness or put your heart on the line for more?
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.
How Long Have You Been Writing?:
I’ve been doing various sorts of creative writing since I was about fourteen. I used to write for my secondary school’s creative writing magazine. When I travelled around Australia in 1998 I wrote little pen portraits and notes on some of the more interesting people I met.
I used to write long rambling letters to various friends during my A levels, and afterwards, and I have most of those still, as I typed them, so I kept them when I upgraded from Gummidge to Gummidge 2 my current laptop. Some of these are basically me telling a story out of something that really happened, but trying to make it more than just that, to make it funny, entertaining rather than just, ‘We went to Brighton Pride, it was nice.’
I’ve kept a diary every day since 1998 too. I started it to record my travels around Australia, but when I came home I’d got into the habit and enjoyed the reflective no holds barred approach a diary gives you, I continued to this day. It’s a mixture of what I’ve done, what I’m thinking about. Who I’ve seen, what we talked about. It’s also got a fair bit of gossipy musings about people in my life.
The first thing I wrote with a view to it actually being published was Best Friends Perfect series in 2012.
How long have you been reading the gay romance genre? Is romance a too broad, or not broad enough genre do you think?
And then it wasn’t just about the cat, it was about everything. The whole world was an unfair, cruel place, full of sadness. I watched the news, every story pierced my heart with pain. Wars in the Middle East (and I didn’t even know where that was, but I knew it was awful), children missing in the West Midlands (I didn’t really know where that was either, but I knew it would be ripping their parents apart), and I felt their pain, every single moment of it until I could hardly breathe.
The sadness was so overwhelming that eating just seemed like an insult to the memories of the lost children, the dead cat, anything sad. So why bother eating? And I didn’t. I skipped breakfast, threw the contents of my lunch box in the bin at school. Every evening I would pick at my dinner, pushing peas around my plate as Mum encouraged me to eat.
I had recurring dreams of walking around the supermarket with a trolley. On the shelves were cans, packets and jars all labelled with different types of sadness: mourning, regret, guilt, pain, all with the number of grams or millilitres next to the description, followed by ‘pure sadness.’ I walked around the supermarket and other customers slowly filled my trolley with the containers of sadness, until it was full, and I could barely push it. I took it to the checkout and the lady rang up the items, every time a different sort of sadness, my heart filled with blackness. I paid and left. The dream ended and I woke with more tears streaming down my face, wishing, hoping it would all just end.
I walked past a scrap yard on my way to school and stopped to peek through the gaps in the fence. I saw the cars piled on top of each other, slowly rusting and decaying together. Their headlights seemed to implore me to rescue them. That was the thanks they got for faithfully serving families for years, taking them on the school run, to work every day, to the supermarket, and now they were just thrown away. I felt my body shaking as I sobbed next to the fence. I cried for the souls of dead cars.
About the Author:
Eight things about Liam Livings, one is untrue, can you guess which one?
- He lives, with his partner, where east London ends and becomes nine-carat-gold- highlights-and-fake-tan-west-Essex.
- He was born in Hampshire with two club feet (look it up, it’s not nice) and problem ears, needing grommets: this meant he was in plaster from toe to groin until he was two, and had to swim with a cap and olive oil soaked lamb’s wool over his ears – olive oil bought from a health food shop, before it was sold by supermarkets.
- He started writing when he was 14: sat in French lessons during a French exchange trip, for want of anything better to do, he wrote pen portraits about his French exchange’s teachers. He wrote for his school’s creative writing magazine and still writes a diary every day.
- He grew up on the edge of the New Forest – not in the New Forest mind, but on the edge. Now it’s a national park, it’s so much more glamorous. He went to uni in London and never really left.
- One evening, flicking through the channels, he stumbled across the film, Saving Private Ryan, and it took twenty minutes of not seeing Goldie Hawn in an army uniform, before he realised it wasn’t actually the film, Private Benjamin.
- When not writing, he also enjoys baking.
- He avoided any sport at secondary school by having an orthodontist appointment between the age of 14 and 16, and when he was old enough to drive, just drove home instead of playing rugby/hockey/whatever.
- He is a car geek, his particular passion is old French classics, and his every day car is what is popularly referred to as a ‘hairdressers car’ a Mazda MX5 in powder blue – Muriel.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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