…we're keeping our name but expanding our offerings!
The Guardian Angel by Liam Livings
Best piece of writing advice you’ve been given?
For aeroplane flights, bring a notebook, two pencils and a pencil sharpener. Of all the writing advice I’ve read or been given, this was the most useful.
I dislike flying and the whole process from taxi collecting me for the airport until arrival at the final destination is very stressful for me. I usually bury my head in a book to block out the whole process. Until we flew to Australia late in 2014 and I brought a notebook, pencils and my post it note plotted story. During that trip, on the flights to and from the UK and the internal flights around Australia, I wrote 24,000 words. OK, so I had to type them up when I was near my laptop, but typing words is much faster than writing new words, and during the whole time I was writing on the plane, I wasn’t panicking about being on a plane. OK, so you’ll probably get a few looks but while everyone else is sleeping or reading or watching some terrible film, you’re a writer, you’re making use of the dead time and you’re writing. It’s a wonderful feeling.
you’ll have created a whole new world.
When did you last cry?
Last week, watching Transparent. It’s a beautifully moving portrait of a dysfunctional family in which the father comes out as a trans woman and his 3 children get used to it, or don’t… I am liable to a bit of crying really. I cried when I was reading Amanda Holden’s autobiography this summer. On the flight to France I reached a particularly moving part in her life about her having a still born baby and the tears were streaming down my face. It was what her daughter had said about now not having a brother that completely floored me. The air hostess crouched next to me and asked if I was OK. I gestured to the book and she nodded, handing me a tissue, then left. As I said, I’m susceptible to a bit of a cry. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that either.
Richard is a very emotional person. Maybe slightly susceptible to being over-dramatic, but that’s what I’m like too. He also suffers from dark periods in his life and tries to manage them in whichever ways he can. Richard has periods in his life when he doesn’t know how to go on; I think the secret is knowing that feeling will pass, and to call a friend for help. Luckily Richard has Amy, always a phone call away, but that doesn’t stop him making a few pretty spectacular mistakes along the way.
For our ten year anniversary, Himself and I went to a converted church in the East End of London where these two swish restaurateur brothers had converted it to a restaurant. There we had a ten course tasting menu and every tiny course was amazing; emblazoned on my taste buds for some time afterwards. I took pictures of most of the courses, despite it not being that sort of eating establishment, and used to relive the experience by looking at them quite often.
What happens when a man falls in love with his guardian angel?
Richard Sullivan is plagued by white feathers turning up at the oddest moments. Amy, his best friend, suggests his guardian angel is trying to contact him, but he dismisses the idea out of hand as nonsense.
Until, that is, he meets Sky. Six feet of muscle in a man skirt with white feather wings.
What exactly is a guardian angel? And what happens when your guardian angel takes leave and sends in a temp to cover? Do you wait for a perfect boyfriend on the off chance you may be able to touch him, to be with him, or do you grab happiness with another human? And, why the hell has Richard’s life suddenly become so complicated?
It all started on my way back from the wrong job. I’d just turned it down because I couldn’t stand to listen to that lot going on about sustainability this and putting bees on the roofs of houses that. I just wanted them all to fuck off. I didn’t need their job offer. I had a good feeling the law firm application would get me onto their graduate scheme. I knew it. I could feel it in my water.
The law firm sent me a letter thanking me for the application. And good luck with my other job searching.
I returned to the office just west of Liverpool Street station to do my last week of temping—my last week temping there, after a long series of temping jobs, some of which had made me want to jump under the train some mornings, others I could just sail through with my brain in neutral. And now this one. Well, this one was fine.
It had been fine. At first I thought it was quite interesting to try to do what New York City had done with its unloved, unknown areas, and name them. Like their SoHo was the area south of Houston Street. TriBeCa was the Triangle Below Canal Street. All this was interesting and news to me when I’d started at the Between Town Partnership. They were trying to make the area between the City of London, Liverpool Street, and the West End, happen. At the moment it was a sort of nowhere between the proper shopping of the West End and the financial district—a sort of no man’s land. No one had reason to go there specifically, unless they worked there, as I had for a variable three months.
I turned on my PC, went to the kitchen to make myself an instant coffee, but not Nescafé because they were doing something nasty about bottle-feeding in Third World countries. I had listened at the time, a bit, but had just internally rolled my eyes. No, this was all free-range, organic, preloved coffee. Shame it still tasted of shit, though.
I sat at my PC and noticed a white feather next to the mouse. I picked it up, looked at it closely, noticing it was pretty perfect as far as feathers went, and then threw it in the bin.
The morning passed without incident: spreadsheets about the CO2 output of various buildings, some brainstorming for this new area, and another offer of an extension to my contract.
“I’ll think about it, thanks,” I said, folding the offer letter into my bag and leaving for lunch.
I sat on a bench in a little park. The grass was covered in office workers, each eating their lunch and grabbing some air and sun for a moment in their day. I pulled out the offer letter from my bag, and another perfect white feather fell into my lap. This one was a bit larger—as big as my index finger—and still perfectly white, still not bent or dirty. I folded it back with the offer letter, then rang Amy at work. She’d know what to do.
“Good morning, The Music and Video Shop, how can I help you?”
“It’s me. How’s your morning?”
She swapped her phone voice for her proper, slightly Welsh accent. “Busy as it goes. I can’t believe people still actually come into a shop to buy this stuff.”
“Just be thankful they’re trying to close down Pirate Cove. And there’s plenty of people who don’t know how to use it anyway, playing it safe, buying DVDs and CDs from you lot.” I paused, thinking about my morning, my situation, and the feathers; she’d want to hear about those. “So, white feathers, what do they mean?”
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
Win a $15 Giftcard from Amazon or ARe, plus 2 further prizes of an ebook from Liam’s catalogue. Competition closes 11th December – midnight GMT.
Direct link is http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f922301b64/?