Posted by: Lisa Hill | November 13, 2020

Virtual launch: This is not a Lie, by S.C. Farrow

With launches and author events cancelled around the country, a virtual launch is a good way to introduce new fiction to readers of ANZ Litlovers. So I am pleased to introduce Melbourne screenwriter, author and teacher of creative writing S C Farrow, who last year published a short story collection called Open Wounds. This is Not a Lie (also published by Dixi Books in the UK) is her debut novel.

This is the blurb:

The Blackhearts were based in St Kilda, Melbourne’s music capital in the early 1980s. They were looking for a new singer when a good-looking newcomer named Harry Engel turned up to audition. His blistering vocals were all they needed to rocket the band into super stardom.

Secretly gay, Joel fell for Harry hard and fast, but nothing could have prepared him for the tragedy that was about to befall them.

More about the book:

In 1984, St Kilda is the heart and soul of Melbourne’s thriving music scene. Joel Reed, a brilliant young guitarist and songwriter, followed his sister Karen to the bohemian beachside suburb to chase his dream of becoming a rock star. On the surface, it seems like Joel has got it all together. He’s in an up-and-coming rock ‘n’ roll band and is surrounded by people who want to see him succeed. However, Joel is also a high-functioning heroin addict and closet homosexual. Desperately lonely and dangerously self-destructive, he hides his true self, lives a carefully constructed lie, lest he be discovered, outed, and shunned by the city’s legion of hard rock fans.

When the band is forced to audition for a new frontman, Joel’s world is turned upside down. Harry Engel, offbeat, charming, and disarmingly charismatic, walks into the rehearsal room to audition and rocks Joel’s carefully constructed world. Joel’s never met anyone like him before – and it’s not long before he falls in love. However, there’s no way he can tell Harry how he feels. There’s no way he can’t tell anyone how he feels. He can’t do anything to jeopardise the band’s success. And so, he lives the carefully constructed lie – until tragedy strikes and threatens end Joel once and for all.

About the author 

Born and brought up in Australia, S.C. lives in the leafy green northern suburbs of Melbourne.  She has a master’s degree in creative writing and teaches creative writing at institutions across the city.   She hasn’t always been a writer: in the past she’s had some wacky jobs like a lampshade maker, cigarette girl, dressmaker, and vocalist.  She’s also done some wacky things like spending a week in a Swiss castle with the Hugh Jackman of Cuba, and climbing inside the Great Pyramid of Egypt.

​She has always been creative, which has proved to be both a blessing and a curse. Through the years, she’s been able to express her creativity in a variety of ways, through music, fine art, and even dance. However, it’s writing where she finds her greatest joy.

She is fascinated by myriad topics and uses both beautiful words and broken characters to explore the human condition and to challenge the status quo on some of society’s most widely held perceptions.  For example, she co-wrote and co-produced Killervision, (2010) a micro-budget psychological horror/thriller about a brain-injured man whose friends are being murdered one by one.

Above all, her life experience and painstaking research ensures that her work is authentic.  You can find out more about Farrow at her website.

This is Not a Lie will be available from November 28, 2020 (Dixi Books) at Waterstones,  the Book Depository, Fishpond, and Amazon UK.

Early readers at Goodreads have this to say:

  • Ayse: ‘This is Not a Lie’ is less a story about the struggle of a music band and more about a young man’s fight of finding himself when all seems lost. It celebrates being true to yourself, whoever that may be.
  • Michael K: Farrow’s writing is melodic and is among the most emotive I’ve ever read.

You can see more reviews at Goodreads,  and there’s a book trailer here.


  1. I like the sound of this… on to the wishlist it goes!


  2. Sounds intriguing. One to put on the ever expanding wish list.


    • We just need to clone ourselves so that we have more time for reading:)


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