Battle of Bands, Paul Milnes’s debut novel, reflects a positive creative outlet and a shining light during the darkest period in Paul’s life. It has been described as nostalgic, chilling, and thought provoking.
Published in August 2020, the novel is an emotionally powerful story that is based in the early to mid-1980s. It follows the life of two characters, Archie and Lucy Saunders, who leave the familiar comfort of their home farm in Victoria, Australia to begin a new life in the hustle and bustle of Melbourne at a private Catholic school. With memories of her mother’s heart wrenching death in a tragic accident that haunt Lucy, she spirals out of control in the dark and twisted underground of Melbourne. On the other hand, Archie reaches to the stars to win the Battle of the Bands competition in order to fulfil his dreams of following in his father’s footsteps in becoming a band singer. The only thing stopping them is an arch-rival band that has the same agenda. The story touches on various topics for adolescents including bullying, sex education, petty crime, and the difference between right and wrong.
“This book has been in the making for literally three decades. First putting pencil to paper back in 1991, I wrote the first chapter or so while spending two nights in a hospital bed at Moss man, North Queensland. This was followed by many countless late nights writing bits and pieces over the years. The past two to three years have been more intense, bordering on obsession, with the completion of writing, hiring, and collaborating with professional editors,” said Paul Milnes, the author while explaining how he came to finally finish the book.
“Battle of Bands was born around a handful of songs that had been written and performed. The Song ‘Carefully Sold’ was written on a farm when I was 19,with various other songs over the years,” said Paul,whose singing and performing dreams were cut short after he was hospitalized suffering whooping cough, a disease that damaged his vocal cords, destroyed his confidence, and trashed his self-esteem, in early 2010. But writing the story became a positive creative outlet for him that shone a much-needed light on those dark times for him.
Those who have read the book describe the author as a great storyteller and a writer who has achieved a great mix of fact and fiction easily. Lovers of the late 70s and 80s music have also been urged to read the book, as it not only brings back memories but also ignites the nostalgic events that shaped that period.
Published by Australian Self Publishing Group, Pty. Ltd / Inspiring Publishers, the book is available at www.battleofbands.com.au and on Amazon as in Kindle format. The book trailer can be viewed and the first chapter can be read for free on the website.
About the Author
Paul Milnes wears several hats. He is the founder of Lizard skin Talent, a former radio announcer, singer, songwriter, musician, DJ, talent agent and band Booker. After a bout of whooping cough cut short his singing dreams and any chance to continue performing in a band, he fell into dark and stormy places. This is when he started to focus on finishing a story that he had started to write over 30 years ago in a hospital bed.
Writing this story became a positive creative outlet, shining a much-needed light during the darkest of times and helped him cope with his loss.
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