When two Southern-Hemisphere drinking buddies decide to house-share in the United Kingdom, life isn’t plain sailing. From fierce practical jokes to their desperate attempts at attracting women, author Vaughan Humphries calls on his own experiences to produce a whimsical yet alarmingly realistic novel.
Oxfordshire, UK -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/20/2012 -- Everyone dreads being thrown out of the house by their boyfriend or girlfriend, especially when living thousands of miles from ‘home’. However, for the protagonist in Vaughan Humphries’ latest novel, being given the boot is the start of a house-sharing adventure that is wilder than he could have ever imagined.
His story is told in, ‘Like a Shag on a Rock’, partly based on the real-life experiences of its brave and jovial writer. While Humphries may not have lived to quite the intensity of his book-bound alter ego, the antics shared prove that life certainly wasn’t boring.
“Tom is a New Zealander living in Oxford with his girlfriend Janice. But he finds her increasingly domineering and hard to live with. One evening he goes out with his friends, against her wishes, and comes home to find she has dumped his belongings in bin bags outside the house.
He decides to make a fresh start rather than try to work things out. This leads him to house share with his Australian drinking buddy John, who works from home as a web developer. John is uncouth and inconsiderate. Tom has other concerns about him too as the previous tenant seems to have left in mysterious circumstances. Tom is also puzzled by John having several expensive tools, which are hardly used as John doesn’t do any DIY. Another apparently sinister aspect to John is that he doesn’t allow anyone to go into the attic. But Tom hears him go up there when he thinks no one else is around. Despite all this, Tom and John have some laughs and Tom hopes to change John into a better person.
Tom tries internet dating and suggests that John does too. But John is already well aware of the internet dating scene in Oxford as he runs one of these websites. John decides to have some fun at Tom’s expense by changing his profile so that women see details stating that Tom is the opposite of how he actually is. John also creates a fictitious woman – Rachel – and he texts Tom pretending to be her. John arranges several dates between Rachel and Tom, with Rachel texting at the last minute with various reasons why she can’t make it.
Amongst all the other goings on in the house, Tom decides to have a barbecue in order to socialise. But first of all he needs to mow the lawn so the garden is in a fit state for a party. However, John, with his Devil-may-care attitude, insists that the best way to deal with the overgrown lawn is to set fire to it. Chaos of course ensues, but John can be counted on to come up with a solution – albeit another harebrained one – for this too.
Tom seems to be getting more adventure than he could ever have imagined through his decision to house share with John.”
As the author explains, his book is a tribute to everyone who has dealt with the joys and tribulations of the infamous house-share.
“It’s a story written for everyone who has had to house-share while travelling along their journey through life, as well as a reflection of my own experience sharing accommodation with my friends from the Southern Hemisphere,” says Humphries, who is celebrating his first foray into the world of fiction.
He continues, “Those who have been there will be able to really relate with Tom and his attitude. Sharing a home with another isn’t easy, and it takes a fair bit of care-free spirit to make the arrangement work.”
Since its release in early November, the book has enjoyed much critical acclaim. Climbing to one of the top 350 books for sale on Amazon in the UK, Humphries is delighted that so many people are cherishing his work.
“I have a very solid background in journalism and reporting, but this is my first piece of fiction. The response I am getting has been overwhelming. Anyone who has done the house-sharing thing will see a bit of themselves in Tom!” he adds.
‘Like a Shag on a Rock’, published by Amazon Digital Services, can be purchased from: http://amzn.to/Wbqt94
More information can be found on the author’s official website: http://www.thedooberry.co.uk/
About the Author: Vaughan Humphries
Vaughan Humphries was born in Lower Hutt, New Zealand, and has spent the better half of his life to date staying as far away from the place as possible. After a string of successful columns in local newspapers, he was coerced into writing a feature-length book, some of which might have made it into the final cut you see before you. He currently lives in Thame, Oxfordshire and has developed a taste for Guinness and old cars.