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Books By The Beach: Stripping Past & Present at Tugun Beach

Welcome to Tugun, the twelfth stop on my Books By The Beach tour!

Over the hill from Currumbin, Tugun is north-west of Coolangatta and 96 kilometres (60 mi) south of Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland. Tugun is a popular holiday destination, with a number of holiday units and motels lining Tugun Beach, its homey streets playing host to cafés and fish and chip shops. There are also has a number of shops located on its Golden-Four Drive strip.

Tugun

 

This is the Gold Coast without the glitz. Locals fondly call Tugun, Tugz (pronounced choo-gs). It’s joined to its neighbouring suburbs of Currumbin and Bilinga via the Gold Coast Oceanway.

Its name is believed to have derived from an Indigenous word of unknown dialect meaning “breaking waves”.

In 1898, the Farrell family walked overland from Tallebudgera Township along a track now called Simpson Road, to their block of land or selection just south of Currumbin Hill. They established a camp site there and started to clear some land for a home and grazing paddocks for their small dairy herd. The local Aboriginal people often bartered fish and crabs with the Farrells, supplementing the settlers’ diet when times were lean.

Over the creek, known today as Flat Rock Creek, and to the north-west of Currumbin Hill, another Irish family, the Mitchells had settled on their block a few weeks after the arrival of the Farrell family. At first, there was a degree of rivalry between the two families based partly on old country loyalties – the Mitchells were from the north of Ireland, the Farrells from the south.

However, years spent pioneering the land and the experience of isolation meant that inevitably the families became the firmest of friends.

The first home in Tugun village was built in 1916. The construction of a coastal road linking Southport to Coolangatta in the 1920s was a major achievement for the Main Roads Commission. The age of the mass-produced motor car provided the impetus for developing beach properties and accommodation facilities in areas such as Tugun and Bilinga.

The dairy and banana farms however, which dated from the early years, disappeared as the land was subdivided into areas such as the Currumbin Estates in the late 1950s.

In this post I will be delving a little deeper into the Paid To Dance series, and telling you all about the first installment, Paid To Dance: stripping Past & Present.

Paid To Dance: Stripping Past & Present is a comprehensive insight into the stripping industry, from its origins to its modern day evolution. Everyday women share stories of working in gentleman’s clubs, paying their way through university, funding travel and even escaping homelessness and crime. Parents and partners offer intriguing perspectives of their loved one’s occupation, and a manager shares his experiences overseeing the operations of a real gentleman’s club.

Paid To Dance looks inside the trials and tribulations of exotic dancers throughout history into the present day, and explores a livelihood that is often rewarding and always challenging.

What readers had to say about Paid To Dance:

“Wow! What a fantastic read! This book gives the reader such an interesting insight into the lives of strippers… and it’s not just reading their side of it.. but those people around them too.. their parents, partners, and even from a venue manager who does the hiring. Once I started reading I could not put it down.. as I wanted to know how everyone around them felt.. as I found this very interesting after only really knowing the strippers side of it. The history was also excellent and I enjoyed reading about the past and different cultures.”
Barbara, Gold Coast, Australia

“A most enjoyable easy read, lots of interesting facts and is light hearted on a subject that society still sees as taboo. Would highly recommend this book to any interested in the behind the scene in this industry.”
Sharon, Gold Coast, Australia

“The author gives a truthful, unbiased and non-judgemental insight into exotic entertainment industry complete with real stories from real people. Great read for anyone who’s ever been curious about what’s really going on behind the scenes in adult entertainment clubs and in the lives of exotic dancers.”
Julia, Brisbane, Australia

“A book I could not put down. A really interesting read into the lives of women in an industry that many of us no nothing about. Highly recommended.”
Sarah, Brisbane, Australia

“This book has opened my eyes to the lives of strippers and dancers, exceptionally well written and researched. Very much worth the read and I recommend it to all ages enabling a clear and concise understanding of the lives of these ladies.”
Jackee, Brisbane, Australia

PLEASE NOTE: At the end of this video there is information about purchasing the Paid To Dance books on Amazon/Kindle. My books are not currently available on Amazon/Kindle. Instead you can read a FREE PDF Excerpt HERE:

Paid To Dance Stripping Past and Present

Cover Image Book 1 Edited

I hope you have enjoyed your time here with me at Tugun, and I hope you will join me next time at Bilinga. Only three stops to go!

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Books By The Beach: Paid To Dance at Currumbin Beach

Welcome to Currumbin Beach, stop no.11 on my Books By The Beach tour!

Stretching from Currumbin Creek in the north to Wyberba Street in the south the area is easily identified because of its headlands that project into the beach. At the beach front, Elephant Rock and Currumbin Rock enclose a discrete surf beach. Currumbin Alley is a popular surfing site formed on the bar of Currumbin Creek, particularly for longboards.

Currumbin me

Samuel William Grey wa the first European to acquire land in the area. The first hotel in 1910 overlooking the mouth of Currumbin Creek. During this period tourism and industry significantly increased in the beach side and valley areas of Currumbin, and many of the houses at Currumbin date from the period of later subdivisions in the 1920s. The area also contains a number of ‘fibro’ beach houses.

Generally the area contains more natural vegetation than other areas of the coast due in part to the difficulty of building on the steep hillsides and in part to the presence of the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary- a long-standing icon and landmark at the Gold Coast. The Sanctuary comprises a substantial area of land on both sides of the highway adjacent to Flat Rock Creek.

In 2013, Currumbin was named Australia’s cleanest beach. At an award ceremony at Coogee Beach in western australia, the national organisation Keep Australian Beautiful crowned Currumbin with the prestigious title.

In this post I’m sharing with you about the Paid To Dance series.

Spanning three books, the Paid To Dance series provides a comprehensive insight into the stripping industry, from its origins to its modern day evolution.

The first installment, Stripping Past & Present, is a collection of stories from women who have worked as exotic dancers in Australia and overseas.

The second and third installments, Asha’s Story Part One and Part Two, focuses in on one young woman’s experience working as an exotic dancer in Brisbane and Melbourne.

The series was published between 2016-2018, after many years of ongoing research and writing.

PLEASE NOTE: At the end of this video there is information about purchasing the Paid To Dance books on Amazon/Kindle. My books are not currently available on Amazon/Kindle. Instead you can download FREE PDF Excerpts in the coming posts.

I hope you have enjoyed your time here with me at Currumbin  Beach. Next stop, Tugun Beach!

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Writing Fact As Fiction: Paid To Dance: Asha’s Story Parts I & II

Creative Non-Fiction: a term introduced to me by my mentor, fellow author Lee Scott. Finally I had a name for what I had been working on all these years! Up until that day I had been calling my first book a ‘biographical novel’.

The words ‘creative’ and ‘non-fiction’ describe the style. These are stories about real people and events, but unlike a biography or autobiography, are written to read like fictional stories. It is a way of storytelling that creates a safe platform for anybody to tell their story and retain their privacy. As the writer, you also have the ability to be more creative, free of the restrictions of facts.

Creative Non-Fiction is not restricted to novels. The genre, also known as literary nonfiction, includes travel writing, nature writing, science writing, sports writing, biography, autobiography, memoir, interviews, and essays.

Asha’s Story: Part Two continues the story of a young woman’s experiences working as an exotic dancer in Brisbane, Australia. Three years after daringly stepping into the world of stripping, Asha has left The Runway, the club that made her an exotic dancer, to make a fresh start at at rival venue Mademoiselle’s. Here she is faced with a whole new set of challenges, including an interstate adventure to Melbourne’s glamorous strip club scene. Asha’s personal and professional lives collide in unexpected ways, in the lead-up to the grande finale of her stripping adventure.

The character of Asha and her experiences are intended to represent the experiences of many dancers, and was also an opportunity for me to include some of the stories and events from the dancers stories I could not fit into Stripping Past & Present.

A Few Tips on Writing Creative Non-Fiction:

Get Your Facts Straight

Even though you are writing a story that is stylised as fiction, the bottom line is is that the story is still based on fact. While you can be more creative with the narrative, you are still responsible for getting the facts straight. For example, you might be writing a story about the Titanic. You might create your own characters, but you will still need to get the dates correct, statistics etc. You could come up against scrutiny otherwise, for which you will be ridiculed.

Disclaimer

Think of the opening of ‘Law & Order’.”The following story is fictional and does not depict any actual person or event.” Although we can tell by watching many episodes that they have been inspired by true events, with minor detail changes slipped in here and there.

Repercussions

In my experience of writing The Wilted Rose, my book was received relatively well by the family and friends of the main character. Some minor complaints were made that the book was too harsh on the Brethren church, however the events recounted in the story were based on the main character’s personal experiences, for which I had full permission to use.

Everybody has a right to tell their side of a story, even if someone else might not agree with their particular angle. However sometimes our best efforts to change detail are not enough. I have heard stories from other authors who, despite doing their absolute best to disguise detail, received complaints from readers whose inspired character had only a minute role and mention in the story. And even when you have the blessing of the person you’re writing about, be sure to maintain good communication with them about the details of the story, so that you are both clear on what will be included.

Be Objective.

When I am writing Creative Nonfiction, I like to think that I am laying out the facts on the table, telling a story from someone’s point of view. If someone else comes along and challenges the idea that I have conveyed in the story, then that is their opinion. Allow the reader to take from the story what they will and form their own opinion without creating an air of bias by putting your own voice and angle.

Language

Good news! Because you are working with a fictional narrative, you have the ability to be more creative with your language! You can veer away from the mundane ho-hum of factual nonfiction, with the ability to make full use of language and storytelling techniques.

Selection of Stories

As mentioned before, Creative Nonfiction is a great way for many people to share their stories, which may go unheard otherwise. However as the author you should still be mindful of which stories you select to use. A memoir about an ordinary person’s first year of college isn’t incredibly interesting. There would want to be some drama, something inspiring perhaps. When writing creative nonfiction, a clearly defined audience is also essential. Who can relate to the material you’re writing about?

What I love about the genre is that it gives the ability for more and more people to share their stories with the world, whether they write them themselves or utilise a professional writer to do so. I certainly hope we start seeing more of these types of stories in circulation.

Sexy Womanh hold hands and fingers on legs in fishnet stocking posing

Paid To Dance: Asha’s Story Part Two will be available worldwide on Amazon in paperback and Kindle eBook from July 20.