Category Archives: Commentary
Sometimes I’m insightful, sometimes I’m wise and sometimes I just like to vent.
Recently I did a guest post over at Bloody Good Vampires, discussing which was more evil; humans or vampires. In that article I barely began to scratch the surface of humanity’s crimes. As I commence research for my next book, humanity’s innate ability to cause harm to itself becomes ever more apparent.
Don't you find it odd that we find believing in the existence of dead humans who come back to life who can only continue to live feeding on the blood of live humans, so compelling? What is it about vampires that fascinate? Is it the fact that they are immortal? Is it the fact that they look like us but are not really one of us?
Earlier this month Angelic Knight Press featured yours truly in an article: REBEKA HARRINGTON – WOMAN IN HORROR (Many thanks AKP) As an indie author I’m always very happy, if not flattered, when someone out there in cyberspace spares me a mention. But until I saw this article I hadn’t even stopped to think I may be considered a ‘horror’ writer.
Sure I write about vampires, and they can be pretty be horrible, but me…. a horor writer?
My first book, Vampires Revealed, was more like an autobiographical mocumentary than any other tag you care to throw about. Bektamun, narrator and star of the tale, relives some of the ‘horrible’ things she has done; but only when forced to protect those she loves.
Desires Revealed, my upcoming release, is a love story first and foremost. And of course there is ample vampire shenanigans thrown in. (Got to feed the bloodlust)
Does writing about vampires automatically mark you as a ‘horror writer’? When I think of horror fiction the first name that springs to mind is Stephen King, which I’m sure is the same for a lot of people. Mr King has dabbled with vampires (very successfully too, I might add), but his most famous and popular works are far removed from the world of vampires.
Also worth considering is whether or not, despite the vampire ‘revolution’, the general expectation is for vampires to appear in the horror genre. Maybe I’m just weird, because I really don’t think of vampires as characters of horror; well at least not so much anymore.
Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula was pretty terrifying for the time it was written. Fast forward to The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice; doubt I would’ve bought and read the books if I’d thought I was buying horror. For me, books in The Vampire Chronicles, were about Lestat’s inability to understand humanity; not that he was a blood-sucking monster. Like I said, maybe I’m weird. No doubt my opinion of vampires as characters of horror would change instanteously should I ever meet a Dracula, Lestat or Eric (Southern Vampires, Charlaine Harris).
When I think about horror, and the things that scare me, I only have to look at history to have shivers run down my spine.
Part of ‘my’ vampire mythology is a group of extemist vampires known as the Eleiveb. While searching for inspiration as to what kind of things they may subject their human victims, I simply did a search for ‘torture’. One of the most interesting/horrifying sites I came across was Medieval Torture. The site features a myriad of tools and equipment which sole purpose was to inflict pain and torture on human victims.
While I may be uneasy being assigned as a horror writer, and steadfastly believe mankind is far more horrible to each other than legend or mythical creature we can imagine, the fact remains I will continue to write about vampires; and they will inevitably do horrible things.
There are many things in life open to subjective perception. You know, ‘one man’s meat is another man’s poison‘ type of things. Beauty, taste, style, talent, entertainment all can be very subjective from one person to the next.
Given that I own and manage a small entertainment agency, I am acutely aware of the varying degrees of people’s choice and preferences. After all ‘variety is the spice of life‘.
Now before I drag out another overdone proverb or cliche, let’s get down to it.
Recently two freelance entertainers decided the time had come to make a major push. As part of this they entered into an exlusive contract with my company. All good so far. Until…. Enter: the bitch called ‘jealousy.’
Jealousy appeared in the guise of a freelance entertainer from interstate. Jealousy was supremely confident that we mere mortals in Melbourne had seen nothing like her, that she would conquer all and reign supreme.
Cut to: contract entertainer #1. Bright, young and gorgeous. Amazing response from clients and an act to knock your socks off.
Jealousy was furious! Who was this young upstart? Why was Jealousy being passed over for bookings?
Let me explain to you Jealousy how things work.
- I’ve seen it all and you are nothing new, despite what you may think
- As an agent my priorities will always first and foremost be to any contract entertainers. They get priority promotion, marketing and booking.
- If clients aren’t asking for you I’m not going to force the issue and risk losing customers.
- Until you can prove to me you can be in two places at once, then I’m afraid I can’t book you if you have prior commitments.
This dose of reality was hard for Jealousy to swallow. What does a fury-filled harpie such as Jealousy do when confronted with the truth? They go on a smear campaign.
Jealousy has gone on a major rampage trying to damage her ‘rivals‘, which has won her no friends, subsequently ruining what was left of her professional reputation.
Enough about Jealousy, she is a trumped up drama-queen and we should waste no more time thinking about her.
However, this did get me to thinking about some of the dirty tricks writers and authors use in trying to ‘one-up‘ against their competition. Such as leaving bogus bad reviews on Amazon etc, trolling forums to point out mistakes made and more and worse.
This big ol’ crazy world called cyberspace has more than enough room for everyone. Even you; paranoid, self-absorbed, egocentric, talentless waste of space Jealousy. What you need to remember, if you’re going to throw mud, expect to get dirty.
Remember when you were a kid and counting down to Christmas or your birthday, time seemed to drag on and on, if not stop altogether. Your parents would try to console you and say “as you get older time passes faster”. What nonsense?! We didn’t believe them. But then, you got older (and wiser I hope) and all of a sudden days, weeks and years are flashing by. This is a truth we all face as the years pass by. And so it is with the passing of time that I reflect on my own recent history.
Twelve months ago I returned to writing. Rediscovering how much I enjoy the creative outlet. Six months later after receiving much cajoling, support and encouragement I released my debut title “Vampires Revealed.” Slowly but surely it is acquiring readers and fans.
Four years ago I set out to establish a boutique style entertainment agency. Starting with only a few entertainers and nothing more than my own skills and desire. It has been a long journey, but it too has slowly grow into something wonderful.
So here I sit, looking back on my accomplishments (and failures), wondering how on Earth I am going to find the time to keep up with everything.
I have an incomplete draft of my second book and a business expansion plan sitting on the back burner. There just isn’t enough hours in the day for me to get everything done. Is it any wonder high profile celebrities and the fabulously wealthy have an entourage of personal assistants. Sometimes there is just too much for one person to cope with.
“Time management and delegation” I hear you say. Yes these things are very important.
While I sit in my home office pondering how to prioritise the seemingly endless list of things to be done remember…Don’t bite off more than you can chew and always take time out just for you.
A few days after his 19th birthday, rock and roll lover and bass player Mark Evans wandered into his local to check out the band – and his life would never be the same again. Two days later he was playing his first show as bass player with AC/DC; within a week he was on Countdown, rocking out next to wildman Bon Scott, who was dressed as a pigtailed, cigarette-smoking schoolgirl – and waving a mallet – and Angus who was – of course – decked out as a schoolboy. And all for the princely wage of $60 a week!
Then came nearly being burnt alive on the video shoot for ‘Jailbreak’, and working with legends Vanda and Young on the massive album TNT, on which Mark’s take-no-prisoners basslines anchored such immortal hits as ‘TNT’ and ‘It’s a Long Way To the Top’. Within a year, the band had relocated to London and were on the road to rock ‘n’ roll stardom, living the life of rock gods and making the most of all that had to offer. Until the tragic death of his good friend Bon Scott changed everything.
Dirty Deeds is the first book about AC/DC written from the inside, by an insider – which is gold for any AC/DC fan. It is an honest, gripping, sometimes laugh-out-loud account of a band that lived fast, played hard and broke every one of the rules – before they broke all the records. It is also a revealing and frank memoir of a man who’s had to contend with everything life has thrown at him – a rough-as-guts upbringing, lucky breaks and soaring highs, as well as terrible personal tragedy and loss. The hard lessons Mark has learned along the way will inspire any reader.
I’m a hardcore AC/DC fan, so when I received this book as a gift, I was over the moon. To other fans, if you’re anything like me, you will devour anything that even mentions AC/DC.
Mark Evans spent a brief, but critical, time with AC/DC. It ended abruptly before the band settled, on what is generally considered the classic line up. (Malcom, Angus, Bon, Phil, Cliff)
Approx 40-50% of the book is devoted to these brief years as a member of
AC/DC. Mark has little to tell us that any real fan doesn’t already know. With that in mind, if you’re a hardcore fan this book will probably disappoint.
In the book Mark tells us about how ‘hard’ it was growing up. I’ve no doubt life was hard, but his story is not unique.
As the book progresses it develops into a litany of dates, names and places, with very little insight into the real character of the man telling the story. The only thing I took away from the book is that Mark Evans likes scotch…. A LOT!
He briefly touches on some of the personal tragedies life has presented him and how this has impacted his life.
However, and with no disrepect intended, given such a large portion of the book focuses on his time with AC/DC, it could be argued this is a feeble attempt to cash-in on AC/DC’s success.
If you know little to nothing about the early years of AC/DC you will find this interesting. Hardcore fans who already know the story well will be disappointed.
Many people enjoy this type of weather. Legions of wannabe-bronzed Aussies flock to the beaches. Well I’m not one of them.
I hate the hot weather. I hate the feeling of melting in my own skin. The heat induced headaches, the lack of brain function and general feeling of lethargy, the inability to sleep and with no hope of relief.
The thing is, there is absolutely nothing we can do to control the weather. Sure we can resort to coolers, fans and airconditioning. These things do little more than assist us to endure, they do not change the fact that Mother Nature is doing her level best to fry us alive if we step outside.
Having endured the onslaught of heat, the change to somewhat cooler weather was very welcome on my part. It was enduring the hot weather that got me thinking… So many things which happen we have no control over but must endure and bad reviews are one of them.
Reviews can determine if your latest release will sink or swim in shark infested waters. Getting great reviews is always a fantastic feeling. To know that someone greatly enjoyed your hard work and effort. The ‘high’ of a good review can be ridden for days and sometimes weeks. But what about when you get a bad review?
To me it seems bad reviews are like hot weather – an event to be endured. Let’s face it, not everyone who reads your work is going to like it and some will dislike it enough to shout it from the rooftops. The consolation is, even if they didn’t like it, at least they read. So turn on the aircon, get to work on the next project.