ernest-hemingway-festival

Hemingway can’t sing karaoke.

In 2003 I went to the Ernest Hemingway Festival in Key West, Florida for my book The Naked Man Festival and met a man with a white beard called Tom Grizzard. Tom was one of 150 men with white beards who were all competing in the Hemingway lookalike competition (I took the above photo of him and his colourful fan club). It was Tom’s fourth attempt at winning the coveted prize and yesterday, after nine years of trying, he finally won! When I met him in a karaoke bar in Key West five six ago he was very sloshed indeed. This is what I wrote about him in the book…

 On the way back to the hostel I passed a Karaoke bar. Ernest Hemingway was up on stage singing ‘Chantilly Lace’. I never knew Papa sang. He had quite a good voice, too.  After Papa, another Hemingway got up to sing. Well, when I say sing, I mean howl. He howled his way through ‘Lady’ by Kenny Rodgers. He was so drunk he almost fell off the stage. Read more

Sleeping Around Book launch

A very hot book launch.

I’ve only just cooled down enough from my book launch on Thursday night to finally update my blog! And what a scorcher of a night it was (in both respects!). Half an hour before kick-off it was 43.1 degrees (110 in the old money) and I was worried that folk would be sitting under their ACs at home rather than coming out and tackling the heat. But, bless them all, about 70 people risked dehydration and heat stroke to hear me waffle on about sleeping around the globe. The other problem with a hot night is that the bar tab soon ran out because beers were going down faster than Melbourne’s train system (oh, and Couch Surfers LOVE a free drink!). All in all a very nice night – I sold a few books, drank a few ice cold Coronas and caught up with friends and family. And, best of all, no one fainted. At my last launch a girl collapsed onto a table halfway through my reading – she was either a HUGE fan and it was all too much for her or most likely because I just waffled on for too long. Read more

cockroach races

Suck my cockroach.

That is just one of the delightful names of a ‘racing’ cockroach at the 28th annual Australia day Cockroach Races held in Brisbane, Queensland. I just got back from the prestigious event where I was ‘participating’ in the cocky races. Well, when I say ‘participating’ I didn’t actually race, but my stable of ‘cockroaches’ did. Colin and Kevin were up against some stiff competition, though, including Soft Cocky, I’ve got a Big Cockroach, Irish Cock,  Priscilla ‘Queen Of The Drains’, Osama Bin Liner, Ita Buttroach and just about every cock reference you could ever think of. The venue for the Cocky Races is the Story Bridge Hotel, which packed in 2,000 Cocky fans (or more like beer fans actually) to watch fourteen races, live music, topless girls getting ‘dunked’ and the crowning of the prestigious ‘Miss Cocky’ competition. Read more

RN5 4a

Buses, Booze and Bonking.

It was ten years ago this week that I began writing my first book Rule No.5: No sex on the bus. The original title I had for the book was actually ‘Buses, Booze and Bonking’ and I’m so happy that I changed it. I think I probably got half my book sales just from the title alone! A great title can certainly help sell a book (or at least make it stand out in the crowd). Another Aussie travel writer Peter Moore also had a great title for his first book: ‘No shitting in the toilet’. A good title can really help sell a book.

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