GUEST POST: Escaping From Him by Liam Livings

Today we are joined by Liam Livings who talks about the characters from his latest book, Escaping From Him plus talks about listening to music while writing. Don’t forget to enter the Giveaway! escaping


Darryl’s on the run – from controlling boyfriend Chris, an air-conditioner called Dave (deceased), an intolerable, claustrophobic situation and a person he just can’t be any more. The trouble is, he doesn’t have a plan – or any money – and all he knows is he needs to get away from everything. That’s where a lucky lift to Glasgow comes in, which turns out to be just the beginning of a whole new life …

Liam answers some questions…

There are quite a few secondary characters in Escaping From Him, where did they come from?

Darryl’s social life with Chris is quite restricted, because, reasons. He only really has Lena, his Swedish friend to talk to. So when he leaves, I wanted Darryl to become the fully sociable person he truly always was. When he went to the new places in Scotland I knew he’d quickly make friends, and integrate himself into a new family.

I try to make my secondary characters interesting, so if wanted, I can write their story in a separate book. I also think who wants to read about boring characters, when you can make them quirky, odd, interesting, just like real people are. As usual with my characters they’re a mix of elements of people I’ve met or know as the centre of the character, then I build from there from my imagination. Why not have a big hairy bear of a gay man who’s really into Kylie? I know I’ve met plenty. I don’t understand this gay shame thing, where people say things or people are ‘too gay’. No one says straight people’s taste is ‘too straight’, so why be ashamed of liking a bit of Kylie or anything a bit camp if that’s what you enjoy? Gavin’s obsession with The Contest came from a friend who always used to hold parties that night, and who’d travelled Europe visiting the host countries. This friend took it very seriously, so Gavin’s obsession built from there I suppose.

Chris’s prejudice about certain things being too gay is my way of exploring how some people really do feel that way. I had a friend whose boyfriend told him he couldn’t hold a plastic carrier bag by the handles as it was ‘too gay’, and he never watched any musicals, or Eurovision Song Contest, or kissed gay friends on the cheek to greet them, all because it was ‘too gay’. Yet, there he was, sleeping with my friend, living with my friend for years. I don’t understand this. I think it’s really a bit of prejudice against camp, gay men, and anything that is camp, which I’ve blogged about before.

Lena – I have a thing for Abba (again, no shame, no guilt, I love it) and the deliberate accent, and how as a culture Swedish people do darkness and melancholy very well, leading to all sorts of wonderful art. Bjorn Ulvaeus once said in an Abba documentary, ‘I think it is good to be sad.’ I wanted Lena’s creativity and ability to make the best of darkness to inspire Darryl to change.

Do you listen to music when writing? What kind?

I normally listen to Enya while writing, (I’m listening to it now as I write this) as it’s quite relaxing and the lyrics aren’t something I have to listen to. People can be very snobby and dismissive about Enya. I don’t care. I love it; she and her soothing tones have been with me since Mum heard the first album on the radio and bought the record. I’ve bought every album since then.

Sometimes I write in silence as I need to be with the story, with the characters and no distractions. However, while writing almost all the first 30,000 words of Escaping From Him, I listened to I Love It by Icona Pop, and watched the video too, pretty obsessively, again and again. Look it up on youtube, it’s a great song! This song was the original thing that sparked the idea of the story, so while I was writing it, I wanted to stay with the song and the feeling it gave me to write the initial parts when Darryl escapes from his life, the high octane running away and throwing things in a black bin bag to escape his life. And the song really got me into that place well.


Darryl and his boyfriend are talking in bed just afterwards

We lay on the slightly broken futon, laughing and panting together. He propped himself on his elbow, kissed me and asked if I wanted some water.

“I really should tidy up in here. I can hardly see the floor. How long do you think it’s been since I did laundry?”

He looked at the floor, hardly any carpet visible for clothes strewn everywhere. “Judging by those pants you were wearing today, I’d say about two to three weeks.”

I slapped his chest gently. “They weren’t that bad were they?”

“They’d seen better days; they were Superman ones – the first time round, so Christ alone knows how old they were.”


“True though. What do you think I wanted them off a ya so quick?”

He ran to the bathroom down the corridor, wrapped in only a towel and returned to the bed with a glass of water each, which we greedily gulped before falling asleep.


Click the image or click here to enter the giveaway to win an eBook copy of Escaping From Him or any of Liam’s other published books

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Buy Links

Escaping From Him is available from and

Amazon UK

Amazon US

About Liam Livings

Liam Livings lives where east London ends and becomes Essex. He shares his house with his boyfriend and cat. He enjoys baking, cooking, classic cars and socialising with friends. He escapes from real life with a guilty pleasure book, cries at a sad, funny and camp film – and he’s been known to watch an awful lot of Gilmore Girls in the name of writing ‘research’.

He has written since he was a teenager, started writing with the hope of publication in 2011. His writing focuses on friendships, British humour, romance with plenty of sparkle.

You can connect with Liam

Twitter @LiamLivings






Excerpt and Giveaway!! And Then That Happened by Liam Livings




And Then That Happened


Liam Livings

Publisher: Love Lane Books

The Blurb:

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.


Gabe and Dominic discuss their past love lives after going to a concert together 

Lying on twin beds, we compared notes on our favourite bits of the concert, sipping hot chocolate from the room’s store. Gabe said he couldn’t believe I’d never been to a concert before.
I said there were lots of things I’ve never done before. Gabe lay on his bed, arms behind his head, smiling at me.
‘I wish I’d tried a few more things, a few more men, before Luke,’ I said quietly. ‘You did, you’ve got more than your fair share of men during your early twenties.’
‘And before,’ he replied.
‘I can’t shake this feeling I’ve missed out on so much. Missed something which, for so many gay guys, is such an important part of coming out, growing up gay.’
‘You must have had your reasons why you didn’t.’
‘Course I did. I was scared, scared of all the people around me dying. And I’d met Luke, and he was nice to me, so…’
‘…you stayed together.’
‘Yeah, weeks became months, months years, and before I knew it, we’d been together a third of my life.’
‘I didn’t really think about it at the time, it wasn’t an experience, I was just living my life, being me, meeting people, seeing what happened. Same as you I suppose, only none of the people I met, stuck, so I moved onto the next one. It’s no better or worse, just different.’
‘You would say that, though, wouldn’t you?’
‘I don’t have anything to compare it to, so I don’t know.’
‘I just feel like I’ve missed out on so much, from being scared to try things.’
‘But it doesn’t matter if in the end, you’re happy.’ He paused. ‘You are happy aren’t you?’
I picked up my book and started to read. Gabe sat on the bed next to me, stroking my arm slowly. I put the book down and lay on my side, tears making the pillow damp, I felt Gabe lay behind me, his arm around my waist; we lay like spoons, fully clothed as he turned the light off.





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Win $15 giftcard for Amazon or All Romance,

plus free ebooks from Liam Livings and Love Lane Books.


For all buy links please check here


Author Bio:

Eight things about Liam Livings, one is untrue, can you guess which one?

  1. He lives, with his partner, where east London ends and becomes nine-carat-gold- highlights-and-fake-tan-west-Essex.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. When not writing, he also enjoys baking.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.