Publisher: Manifold Press
Word Count: 51k
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 …
Who was your favourite character to write in Escaping From Him?
I enjoyed writing all the characters, that’s like asking to pick a favourite child or pet! Oh well, if I must, I must…
Darryl was good fun to write as he finally got the courage and gumption to escape from his life with Chris. I enjoyed writing about how he literally rebuilds himself when he gets to Scotland, a new group of friends, a new job, a new place to stay, and a boyfriend too. Writing about how he integrates himself into the new world of the clubs and pubs in Scotland was fun, how he gradually gets more confidence as he’s away from Chris for longer.
Lena was enjoyable to write too, I liked how she’s so matter of fact, and doesn’t pull any punches when she gives people her opinions. She’s also a very confident and driver person. In my mind she was a cross between Robyn and P!nk, a sort of no nonsense go getter in bondage gear with a savage creative streak, and a wonderful sense of fun. I enjoyed writing her friendship and love and support for Darryl, how she really cares for him and his happiness. I suppose that’s all anyone wants from a friend really.
*hiding behind his hands* I feel bad, but Chris was actually quite fun to write. There was something quite fun about writing how vile opinions and things he had said to Darryl, I quite enjoyed. I think it’s because it’s so not me in any way at all. He epitomises the sort of person who doesn’t *get* creativity at all. Why would you take pictures for a living and own cheap car when you could work doing something much higher paid and afford the latest Mini Cooper or BMW? He’s the sort of person who’d pick up a painting and question its price, while happily spending almost that much money on a meal to celebrate his latest sales target. Before everyone comes down on me like a tonne of bricks, I’m not anti estate agents or sales targets or people working for money because that’s what makes them happy, what I’m anti is people who think that’s the *only* way to be. People who can’t understand how someone else won’t be happy by buying the latest new electronic gadget, and would prefer to paint a picture or go for a walk in the forest instead.
EXTRACT – Darryl and Lena talk about Chris and how Sweden has one of the highest rates of suicide in Europe
Lena slapped my shoulder. “All these Swedish people throwing their lives away, but at least they make a decision to actually throw it away. Some people live their life, by half living it, and they are not happy. So which is the worst, ending it, or carry on live it and not live it right”
I smiled at her slightly broken English, but I got her point. Her carefully enunciated words put my West Country burr to shame.
“Darryl, I love you. You know this. But every time it is the same thing. Chris this, Chris that. And every time I ask you why you do stay with this man? And you tell me you love him. But me, I do not think you d.”
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 a teenager, started writing with the hope of publication in 2011. His writing focuses on friendships, British humour, romance with plenty of sparkle.