Lovely to have Liam back here, as part of his Best Friends Perfect 3 tour. He’s been
daft kind enough to answer my questions relating to his latest book.
Where were you at university?
I went to Goldsmith’s College, part of the University of London. It’s the teacher training / arts college for the University of London. I did a BA in media and communications – wrote essays about queer theory, why people enjoy watching soap operas, dissected ABBA and Steps song lyrics and finally wrote a dissertation about a gay man winning Big Brother (title: In terms of the media representation of homosexuality, what it the significance of an openly gay man winning Big Brother? – not the catchiest title). I sometimes electronically roam through my old essays as they’ve been transferred between laptops as time has passed, thinking how fabulously lucky it was to immerse myself in the world of media and study those things. As you can imagine, I loved it! Julian Clary, Damon Albarn from Blur are ex students. It’s in New Cross, which when I went there was full of spit and sawdust pubs and you could buy a three bedroom house for £65,000 in nearby Lewisham (where I worked as a healthcare assistant at the hospital while at uni). I drove through it not long ago; it looks like Chiswick High Road now – coffee shops, boutiques, and you couldn’t buy a parking space for that now.
Did your Uni years inspire this story/the characters/the setting?
Absolutely. It’s inspired by a time in my life when I was away from home, finding my way in the world, discovering London, and having just come out, the gay scene and its many pleasures and pitfalls. Some of the characters may have used traits from friends I had at the time, and in fact Kieran’s two best friends are heavily based on two of my best friends now (they both know about this and have been very supportive – after all Hannah and Grace are pretty amazing friends to Kieran, as are the two women I based them on).
Are you a practical joker?
No. I love a joke, but I hate a practical joke. I like to take the mickey out of friends, and am happy to have the mickey taken out of me back. But I think this only works with people you’re comfortable with. Some people make jokes about me and I hardly know them and I think that’s over familiar and offensive. Humour can be a ‘mind field’ as Pamela, Kieran’s mum would say 🙂
What’s the best joke you’ve pulled?
I can’t remember actually pulling a joke on someone, probably because I don’t tend to play them. I’ve told a few good jokes, but most of them are too rude for here, so I’ll save them!
What’s the worst joke someone has played on you?
The scene that opens Best Friends Perfect Book Three is pretty much word for word what someone did to me, many years ago. I am still friends with one of the guys who was in on the joke – he didn’t technically play it on me, but he was there at the time – and when he read that scene in the original manuscript (200,000 words, I know, I knew nothing about books, written in 2012) he cried. He hadn’t realised how much their ‘joke’ affected me at the time. It wasn’t funny at the time, and it’s not funny now. Just to assuage anyone’s worry, the book has a happy ending, because I love a happy ending. But the characters get there via a few twists and turns, and plenty of laughs and dancing on the way.
Charlie’s note: that’s the best enticement to read a book I’ve seen in ages!
What happens when your perfect new best friend isn’t so perfect after all?
1999, Kieran, 18 is at uni searching London for Prince Charming with new best friend, Jo. Between his new uni friends, American students Julie and The Sarahs, his work at the hospital and his studies he’s keeping himself busy.
But all Kieran wants is to share this with Jo, but he’s disappeared with his boyfriend, Irish student Andrew. Why doesn’t Sean call Kieran back?
And then something happens to turn Kieran’s world upside down, when he really needs his friends around him.
How far can you really push a practical joke? How many frogs does a boy have to kiss, until he meets his Prince Charming? And what do you do when your friend can’t see what’s in front of his face?
If you’d like to win a copy of one of Liam’s ebooks, please comment below and include your email address and a week after this post is live, he’ll draw names out of an electronic hat. Good luck!