My email to some tobacco companies

by Haught 7 Comments

When you’re feeling vulnerable and confused… when the world has got you down and you don’t know what to do next… when you suddenly feel yourself bereft of hope, paddling urgently to keep your head above life’s roiling waters… who do you turn to?

Your parents? Your siblings? Your partner?

I went with three of Australia’s largest cigarette companies:

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Where have all the Grape Men gone?

Where the Grape Men would be if they were around any more

I get asked a lot of questions while on tour, during international literary festivals and in the bath with groupies. Some of the most common include “Was that really an okapi?”, “Will you take off your mask?”, “What’s Sam Marshall really like? and “Whatever happened to those nice Grape Men?”

The answers, in order, are

“Yes, and it was eating a daikon.”

“I wouldn’t be much of a superhero if I just took off my mask willy nilly, would I.”

“A delightful fellow with a predilection for fine vodka.”

And, as for the Grape Men, well, that’s a slightly longer story.

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The Pat Raw Chronicles

© Fonee | Stock Free Images

Over the last few months, a legend has been born.

If you ‘like’ Haught on Facebook you might already know him as Pat Raw.

If not, you can find out why ‘Pat’, why ‘Raw’ and why he’s a full-blown phenomenon below.  It’s a collection of the mobile Facebook posts I’ve been recently making while on the tram to work.

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More erotic fiction

A few weeks ago I published an excerpt from Cold Tequila Comfort, an erotic fiction/crime thriller hybrid I’ve been working on. The response was huge. I received emails that made me squint such was the intensity of the glowing praise within, mailed underpants, several awards, eight marriage proposals, an offer from a condom company (they wanted to name a new brand of prophylactic devices after me: Haught Naughts) and numerous other things that I can’t mention here because my wife reads this blog.

The resounding message was “we want more”, so here it is:… Read the rest

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My email to Hoo haa Bar

Earlier this month, two young women tried to get into a venue on Melbourne’s Chapel Street by the name of Hoo haa Bar. They happened to be partners. They happened to be holding hands.

The women say that they were not permitted entry, and suspect their sexual orientation had more than a little something to do with it. Several witnesses support their claim.

Of course, it’s all “alleged” at this stage.

What’s not alleged is Hoo haa Bar’s Facebook-page response to the ensuing furore. It’s real and you can read it here.

I get confused, flustered, but ultimately excited when private enterprises show a willingness to respond to questions and criticism. And I feel like I have cola-activated Wizz Fizz in my underpantal region when they choose to play the woe-is-us victim.… Read the rest

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My attempt at erotic fiction

ImageA few years ago, I was reading Peter Temple’s crime thriller The Broken Shore and found it so inspiring, I decided to write some fan fiction. It was good, very good, but I got sidetracked by other projects and forgot to ring back the many many publishing houses who had asked me to turn it into a novel, or any of the Hollywood studios who had enquired as to whether I would give them the film options.

Only since the success of Fifty Shades of Grey, the book that began as erotic Twilight fan fiction and became an international best seller, have I revisited my work. I discovered  that what I had – its working title was Cold Comfort –  was undoubtedly first-class prose, but it was single-genre prose.

I’m a trendsetter by nature, but I’m also a brilliant entrepreneur and I know when to start from scratch and when to take a proven idea and make it even better. So Cold Comfort became Cold Tequila Comfort, an erotic crime thriller no longer based on Peter Temple characters.

Here’s an excerpt for your delectation.

(If you like it, I might post some more again soon.

Let’s be honest, I’m going to be posting some more again soon.)… Read the rest

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I’ve hit pay dirt… again

by Haught 5 Comments

Sometimes I receive messages in the spiced ham folder of my email that get me so excited I feel like I want to climb onto the tallest building in the suburb and shout my exhilaration to the world. I’m always reluctant to do that because I also feel like I could spontaneously combust at any moment and the tallest building in the suburb happens to be a school, and I wouldn’t want to scare the kiddies, or spatter them with charred human meat.

I think the closest I’ve ever come to climbing the bell tower at St Mary’s with post-email elation was after reading this little doozy. But today I received a piece of electronic correspondence that blew Jean Fafona’s effort out of the water. Some of that water happily sprayed onto me, putting out the fire that had started on both of my arms.

Here it is:

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Who stole the cookies? [The Mike Lamprill Incident]

At primary school, a boy whose real name I won’t reveal (I’ll call him Mike Lamprill) took our collective seven-year-old understanding of honesty to a new echelon during a game of Who Stole the Cookies From the Cookie Jar.

For those who don’t know the game, it goes something like this:

Kiddies sit in a circle and create a beat by clapping their hands then slapping their knees in unison – hands-knees, hands-knees, hands-knees, etc. The teacher then gets the game started in earnest by singing “Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?” followed by “Li stole the cookies from the cookie jar.” This brings that child into the game, and their response to the accusation must be “Who me?” which is immediately followed by the whole group baying for blood: “Yes you!”, then back to the accused who pleads their innocence with “Couldn’t be!”, then back to the group of shockingly fickle accusers who, instead of broadening their line of enquiry just give up, and together ask “Then who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?”, which gives the now-innocent child the chance to make their own evidence-free allegation: “DAVID stole the cookies from the cookie jar!” And so on and so forth.

If you’re still not sure what the hell I’m talking about, I highly recommend Wikipedia’s description, which includes a superlative use of the word “apocryphal”.

Who Stole the Cookies had a chequered history at my primary school.

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My email to Weis’ ice creams

by Haught 18 Comments

ImageThe recent Commonwealth Bank ad featuring Toni Collette got me thinking about celebrity endorsement.

Before celebrities became “brands” and were capable of lending their “brand cache” to other “brands”, what happened?

Has the celebrity/company negotiation always gone like this:

Company: Want to promote our product?

Celebrity: I’m not sure. I don’t really wear hats.

Company: We’re a car manufacturer.

Celebrity: I see.

Company: So…

Celebrity: I’m not really interested.

Company: Here’s seven hundred and ninety-five thousand dollars. The ad will take half a day to film.

Celebrity: I love your hats.

Company: Cars.

Celebrity: Cars. Want me to get nude?

Or was there once a golden age where celebrities approached companies and said “Hey, I quite like your shoes. I’ll do an ad for two bob and a can of Tarax sarsaparilla“?

If I were to become a celebrity (and I don’t know why I just used the subjunctive mood, because I already am one) and went back in time to this yet-to-be-confirmed golden age, my first port of call would almost certainly be the Weis ice cream company. I would endorse them feverishly, sleeping only three hours a day (at the very most), and probably dying of exhaustion in my mid 40s (a happy man).… Read the rest

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