Tuesday, 2 December 2014


Caroline is, of course, jealous of the all the new people I meet at writers' conferences and events. I'm not allowed to question her extended business lunches or overnight stays in five star hotels, but I have to give detailed descriptions of everyone I've talked to and whether I fancy them or not. I particularly enjoyed telling Caroline about Liam Livings, who writes romantic fiction with gay themes for a wide audience, and who I met at the RNA bash this summer. I know Caroline would love Liam, not just because he's very handsome, but because he would listen quietly to her relationship problems and make a great story out of them. I'm delighted to welcome Liam to this blog, on the occasion of the publication of his new book, And Then That Happened .

I'm always interested to find out how other writers get the words down. Do you write every day?
No. And yes. Let me explain.

In 2014 I’ve written a first draft roughly every other month, and used the other months to edit, do promotion, plan other stories. When I’m writing a first draft I like to try and stay with the story as much as possible, not leaving it for more than 2 days without writing. I did Nanowrimo in 2014 and wrote 61,000 words over 13 days, spread over three weeks. So when that’s happening, I do try to write every day. But when I reach the end I often take a week or so off from this sort of writing, because it’s exhausting. Then I plan, plot, do other things.

When I’m not drafting I’m always doing other parts of *writing* making notes about ideas, planning character biogs, going to my local writers group of the Romantic Novelists’ Association London Chapter meetings to talk to other writers. So even when I’m not sat at my laptop writing, I’m still thinking about writing, reading about writing, so when I do get back to the laptop I’m usually raring to go.

Do you find writing fun while you're doing it?
I love writing; everything about it – plotting, working out characters, getting the ideas, first drafts, http://www.liamlivings.com/blog/my-writing-process-blog-tour even getting edits back and working with an editor to improve the story. I love it all. I’m not creative in any other ways – I can’t sing, draw, paint, dance (ballroom dancing, I can certainly throw some shapes on the dance floor of a night club, but that’s not for now) so being able to express myself through writing is a wonderful gift. Even when I’ve gone through very dark times, writing has helped me through them, just putting a few sentences together on a screen or a piece of paper helped me through some difficult times earlier in 2014 http://www.liamlivings.com/blog/grief-is-the-price-we-pay-for-love-1-of-2 and http://www.liamlivings.com/blog/grief-is-the-price-we-pay-for-love-2-of-2

Who is your favourites(s) of your characters in And Then That Happened?
Dominic was interesting to write. I wanted to have a character who had experienced mental health issues, particularly depression, just as I have. I wanted to include that in his story to show it’s all around us, it’s something people live with on a daily basis. I think it’s important to cover these sort of issues in what many people think are just lightweight fluffy romance stories, because they’re real issues. I aim to make my characters as real and three dimensional as possible, with the imperfections and problems real people have.

Gabe was such fun to write – his grab life by the balls attitude is wonderfully refreshing. He just dives in and thinks later. I’m not at all like that. It was such fun to see how Gabe’s impulsive nature gets him into certain situations, and write about how that affects him, behind all the bravado, and smiles.

And Then That Happened
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.
It’s available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

You can connect with Liam:
Twitter @LiamLivings

Who are these people?

The world is divided into voyeurs and exhibitionists... It takes one of each to make a good marriage.

Robert and Caroline Fanshaw are an ambitious young couple trying to make their way in a complex world.

What happens when their private affairs collide with world events and the big issues of our times? Drama, comedy and x-rated scenes.

email fanshawrobert@gmail.com