Today on the blog, I'm so pleased to welcome debut author, Rebecca Denton, as she tells us how she went from living in a town in New Zealand, to a tiny village in Austria.
Dreaming big in the place Mick Jagger & Keith Richards famously described to as the ‘Arsehole of the world.’
Okay, that was our unfortunate neighbours, Invercargill, but honestly Dunedin in the early nineties wasn’t that much better. Buried on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand, this mid-sized student town had little to offer but a dirty rock ‘n’ roll scene – and that was no good to you really, if you were under 18.
And it was cold. But not in that glorious snowy way, where powdered mountains of snow softly collapse underfoot and low winter sun bounces brightly off shimmering marshmallow fields; no, this was a wet, sleety, blistering, Antarctic cold that tore layers of skin from your cheeks.
So as you can imagine, at 18 all I could think of doing was leaving. I wanted bright lights & big city.
I enrolled in radio school, after essentially flunking out of high school (with 54 outstanding detentions, no less) and off I went to chase my then-dream of working in radio and/or television and hopefully meeting famous people. ☺
Fast forward 10 years and I was working at Cartoon Network by day, and MTV and Channel 4 making music TV in my spare time. IN LONDON! And all the travelling – Japan, Iceland, Costa Rica, New York City… I saw so much of the world, and so many awesome bands.
I loved every minute of it.
But it’s really hard to keep up that lifestyle when you have kids. I mean it’s possible, and some super women do it, but I couldn’t. And so, I pulled back from my old career and started to write.
Writing is the best job for me at this time in my life. I get to be with my kids and travel around and work when there’s time - and when my daughter demands it, I can watch Frozen on repeat.
And now - I’ve moved to somewhere smaller and colder than Dunedin. In fact, this village in Austria I now call home only has one shop - a corner store that’s also a café and a pub - oh and a car fixer place. And it’s minus 17 degrees right now.
NB: I now see Dunedin differently. It’s picturesque university, glorious beaches, and spectacular surroundings – from the wilderness of the Catlin’s, to the short drive central towards the Southern Alps. You should totally visit.
Amelie Ayres has impeccable taste in music. Bowie. Bush. Bob. So when she finds herself backstage at The Keep’s only UK gig she expects to hate it; after all they are world’s most tragic band. In fact she feels a grudging respect – not (obviously) for their music, but for the work that goes in to making them megastars. And when lead singer, ‘Maxx’, is not dressed up as a cross between Elvis and a My Little Pony, he is actually rather normal, talented and has creative struggles not too dissimilar to her own.
But the next morning she wakes up rolls over and discovers a million new @’s on social media. Overnight a photo of her backstage has made her a subject of global speculation. Suddenly the world needs to know #Who’sThatGirl? – but for all the wrong reasons.
All Amelie wants is to play her music. She’s got the guitar, the songs, the soul and, in the safety of her bedroom, she’s got the voice. But when it comes to getting up on stage, she struggles with self-doubt.
Immaculate’s a concept. Flawless is fake. But just sometimes music – and hearts – can rock a perfect beat.
To find out more about Rebecca Denton:
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