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Derek Haines is an author of fiction, essays and poetry. His works range from historically based fiction with Louis and Eyes That Could Kill, to The Glothic Tales, a trilogy of alternative history farce, to dark contemporary romance, including One Last Love, Dead Men and For The Love Of Sam. His satirical essays and novellas such as My Take Away Vampire and And Uneducated View of Sex, Food and Politics then clearly fall into the tongue in cheek genre.
His passion for writing started with poetry before moving into essays and then later, fiction. Although his works cover a wide range of settings and genres, his writing style and voice communicate with, and engage readers through his characters, who are always less than perfect, yet have an endearing appeal.
Most of all, the stories told by Derek Haines are about people and their feelings, regrets, hopes and struggles with life, love and sometimes calamity. His characters never take the classic hero and heroine form. Just ordinary people, but with extraordinary qualities that makes their story worth telling. With splashes of black humour and satire, his stories can develop from the simplistic to the complex and back again, leaving the reader to decide if it is time to laugh or cry. Or both.
Born in Australia, but now living in Switzerland with his wife and a black cocker spaniel, his stories cross a wide geographical range but often draw from elements of his life and experiences in the two countries he calls home. From the rugged, dry and hot desert country of Australia and its crowded cities, to the cafés of Europe and the peaks of the Swiss Alps. The hustle and bustle of Sydney to the quiet life in the Swiss countryside.
When not writing, he is usually doing what he equally enjoys. Teaching English.
on Jan. 08, 2012 :
Forever teenage vampire Agatha's favourite hunting ground is the brightly-lit interior of McDonald's. Flashing lots of flesh, she finds easy and willing prey; her preference is male virgins and so she dresses in the manner she thinks will most entice them, i.e. a little teenage tramp.
I finished this story in one sitting; it's easy to read and very well written but I would have liked to learn more about Agatha and how she survived the past 300 years. There's also a lot of language, too much for my taste but I guess this does come (mostly) from the mind of a teenage boy Reggie. Some parts are also creepy, like Agatha's seduction of a teenage girl.
This novella is well written, creepy in places and overall funny and entertaining. In a literary world filled with deep, brooding male vampires, Haines' tale was a welcome change.
The best thing about My Take Away Vampire is that it made me laugh, which is always a good thing.
(reviewed long after purchase)