Narrelle M. Harris is a Melbourne-based writer of considerable versatility in many creative areas. Narrelle’s earliest writing was through science fiction fandom, including work based in Star Trek, Blake’s Seven and V universes. Her genzine, Inconsequential Parallax (co-written with husband, Tim Richards,) was nominated for a Ditmar Award in 1992. She wrote the award winning short play “Stalemate” in 2003, while in 2006 she appeared as ‘Ginny’ in the short film “Outland”.
Last year I attended the Australian Natcon and spent time in the huxters room selling some of my own books and buying those of other authors. I was attracted to the Clan Destine Press table and amongst other works ended up buying the two vampire books by this author. I arrived home, read them on arrival, grinned and added them to my ‘permanent collection.’ This week I sat down and reread them to see if they held up and if I should do Narrelle as one of my Overlooked Authors. They do and I have – herewith. I like a good Vampire book, not the teenage angst of Twilight, but the sort of work that looks deeper. Several authors have done excellent work on this sub-genre, authors such as Barbara Hambly, Misty Lackey, and Lee Killough, and I can honestly say that I found Narrelle’s work was right up there with those. The books are The Opposite of Life, and Walking Shadows and I’m hoping the promised third book doesn’t take too long to appear.
Lissa Wilson is the librarian daughter of a tranquillizer-addicted mother, and an alcoholic tennis professional father. Hauled out by a friend for a night on the town (Melbourne) after Lissa’s breakup with her boyfriend, she walks into the toilets at the nightclub and finds a very dead woman. As if that isn’t traumatic enough on another night out to a club a local dealer is found in similar condition, and Daniel the nice guy Lissa is starting to fall for has vanished. He subsequently turns up dead, with two puncture wounds in his neck and bloodless. It goes on full-tilt from there. Her creation of Gary has to be a high point. He’s very unlike the sort of vampire commonly appearing in that genre, yet you can see what he was like before he became a vampire and he’s so realistic as a character, his interaction with Lissa is priceless, and is part of what makes the best and most amusing parts of the book. These books are funny, sweet, and clever, with well-written plots, and characters and I throughly enjoyed them. So much so that I’m hoping to lay hands on more of her work. Recommended.
Bibliography (so far as I know it) :
Fly By Night (2004, Homosapien Books) two novellas about a gay musical duo who solve crimes,
Witch Honour (2006, Five Star Speculative Fiction) Fantasy with some SF as is the sequel.
Witch Faith (2007, Five Star Speculative Fiction) I understand a third book is intended.
The Opposite Of Life (2007, Pulp Fiction Press).
Walking Shadows (2012, Clan Destine Press.) And again, I believe there is to be a third in this series.
Showtime, (2012, Twelfth Planet Press.) a collection of short stories (including one featuring Gary and Lissa from The Opposite of Life and Walking Shadows)
The Witches of Tyne (2012, digital omnibus edition of Witch Honour and Witch Faith, including several bonus short stories and a song. Available currently on Amazon.com
Also published under N.M. Harris – spy-thriller-erotica story, Double Edged, with the second in that series, Expendable, due out soon.