The day the bassist burned down his tent… by Victoria Milne – Guest Blog

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Victoria Milne who is celebrating yesterday’s release of Purple Method.

The day the bassist burned down his tent…

Was something that didn’t make it into , although I was very tempted to adapt some of this story and include it. The day the bassist burned down his tent actually turned out to be a very significant day for me.

In my teenage years I played bass guitar. I loved the power of the riffs and I wanted to play music that felt formidable. For me, bass was the obvious choice. But I soon found out that in the real world of bass guitar playing, on the whole, the riffs tended to be monotonous and often mind-numbingly repetitive.

I accepted it for what it was and didn’t give it much thought until I discovered Les Claypool (of Primus), Flea (of The Red Hot Chili Peppers), and Tim Commerford (of Rage Against the Machine). Les Claypool’s bass guitar playing in particular blew my mind, and he was who I aspired to play like. He is an absolute bass guitar genius and plays bass as if it is a lead guitar! Needless to say, I never managed to reach his level. Not even close. Just managing to play a few bars was cause for me to have a huge celebration!

I’d only been playing bass guitar for about a year when an opportunity presented itself that I couldn’t turn down. A few friends had heard me play, but I wasn’t in a band or anything. It was early Sunday morning and the phone rang. One of my friends was desperately ringing around to find a bassist for his friend’s band who had a practice session booked and had just found out their bassist wouldn’t be turning up. They needed someone to fill in for him and to be there in half an hour. His friend’s band turned out to be one of the most successful local rock bands. I couldn’t believe my luck!

Arriving there in a daze, totally starstruck, I found myself on an industrial estate, in a practice room, and was suddenly expected to play along with these talented musicians. It all happened so fast, I didn’t have a chance to get nervous, thankfully!

It turned out that they were the nicest guys and were grateful just to have a bassist to help them out as they had some big gigs coming up that they needed to prepare for. They showed me a basic version of the riffs they wanted me to play and told me to just do my best, they understood I was very new to this, and said they weren’t worried if I screwed up. They just needed some form of bass to be played while they did their thing.

By the end of the session I was having the time of my life, and somehow managing to hold my own alongside these awesome musicians. Thank goodness I’d been listening to Les Claypool!

As we were packing up, their bassist showed up, and boy did he look pissed off! It turned out that the most bizarre thing had happened. He’d gone to a bike rally the night before, planning to camp over. It had been cold, so he and his friends had thought it would be a good idea to light their gas stove in the tent to help them keep warm. Needless to say, that had been a terrible idea. The tent had caught fire and burned down. Luckily no one was hurt. It did mean, however, that their bassist had had nowhere to sleep that night. He hadn’t been able to ride home as he’d been drinking, so had had to wait it out until morning.

As he told us the story of how he was still cold, hungry, tired, and extremely annoyed at spending the night in a field in the middle of nowhere with no shelter—clearly looking for some sympathy—his bandmates were howling with laughter and jokes were flying. He was certainly never going to hear the end of it!

I did feel terrible for what had happened to him, but couldn’t help thanking my lucky stars that I’d answered the phone that morning. It was an experience that I’ll never forget!

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Are you ready to join the party?

An up-and-coming heavy metal singer and a martial artist desperate to join a top MMA gym must decide how hard they’re willing to fight—for their dreams and each other.

Max Diaz is firmly in the closet, and as unbearable as that’s becoming, he can’t risk his only remaining family—his brother, Tony—or his band Purple Method’s chance to make it big.

Rick Bernstein dreams of rising in the ranks of the MMA circuit and securing a training career at a top gym, but with rejections coming thick and fast and his financial future in dire jeopardy, starting a relationship is the last thing on his mind—especially with someone who isn’t out.

But when Purple Method returns to Elfinbrook after a six-month tour, one kiss changes everything. Now Max and Rick face decisions that will change both of their lives forever.

About the Author: Victoria Milne discovered fiction writing relatively late in life, back in 2012, and has loved every second of the journey. Her belief that life is one big adventure to be experienced to the max has stood her in good stead, but it has resulted in rather a lot of plot bunnies that don’t give her a minute’s peace!

A firm believer that consensual love should come without labels and without prejudice, these themes often appear in her stories, as do Victoria’s passions for martial arts, cooking, yoga, and loud music. It was no surprise when these subjects began to resonate in her writing, frequently taking center stage, and rather than fighting it she’s learned to accept and enjoy that these will always be indispensable elements in her work.

Although Victoria appreciates that stories don’t always have to have happy endings, hers always do—because everybody deserves to find their true love(s).

In 2016, Love Unlocked—the anthology in which her story “Writer’s Lock” was published—was a Rainbow Award finalist. The experience fueled her desire to learn as much about the mechanics of writing as she could. In 2017 Victoria completed her training with the Society for Editors and Proofreaders and became a full-time freelance editor. Victoria has always loved reading, and still can’t quite believe she’s been lucky enough to not only create books of her own but also help other writers perfect theirs too!

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