As a debut author, I am riddled with self-doubt. My greatest fear has been that once my book is released everyone will point and yell...'that's the most ridiculous excuse for a book I have ever read....'. I have been biting my fingernails waiting for feedback. So it is with some relief that I share these early reviews....I say a big thanks to these people for taking the time to write some words about my story. I only wish Vince was around to watch my book's journey into the public arena.

Review by Music Journalist, Vincent Lovegrove 30/12/11

"Make no mistake, this book leaves most other precious 'public-relations' rock books well in the shade. It's a down-home sexually-charged, emotionally frayed roller coaster ride from one of the girls who helped make rock'n'roll what it is today.
Some called them groupies or band molls, I called them pro-active fans, and without them there would be no rock'n'roll industry. You'll know some of the rock stars, & if your heart has pumped at all in the past 40 years, you'll know some of the dens of iniquity, some of the drugs, and the thrill of the chase.
Not just one of the best Australian rock books, but one of the best rock books. The tables have turned, and I reckon this book will start an avalanche of rock books from the other side of the stage. I kid you not - sex, drugs, rock'n'roll and a woman's point of view. Very, very different. Hold tight, and may the sleaze, the tears, and the emotions be with you.                                                         Vincent Lovegrove  

Review for Bookseller and Publisher Magazine, March 2012

In her Gold Coast home in 1981, with the aid of a stuffed 
rabbit named Andy Gibb and numerous  Countdown
viewings, 15-year-old Nikki McWatters connects her 
ever-consuming lust with rock stars. ‘Rock and roll was 
the only sensible sex education I had,’ she says. With her 
three aspiring groupie friends dubbed the Vulture Club 
she sets out to bed rock gods, sneaking out of her bedroom 
window at night while her parents sleep, and working her 
way backstage. This memoir is a who’s who of Australian 
’80s bands with some big international names thrown in, 
full of backstage antics and teased hair, unflinching yet 
discreet enough to protect the identities of her conquests. 
Just. We follow McWatters to Sydney, and deeper into a 
world of sex, drugs and rock‘n’roll, right up to the birth 
of her first child on her 21st birthday. McWatters renders 
her story with skill, sensitivity, wit and honesty, and writes 
from a place of hindsight and maturity, adeptly lifting 
her telling above the mere salacious and sensational. Her 
story of groupiedom is not without its consequences and 
is a fascinating look into some of rock’s seedier aspects. 
This will appeal to those who love rock‘n’roll tales, fans 
of the ’80s, and anyone with an interest in Australia’s 
music history.
Deborah Crabtree is a Melbourne-based writer 
and bookseller

Review by Readings Booksellers, Melbourne

Review by Fairfieldbooks on Station

"It is as fascinating, shocking, thrilling and exciting as you can hope for an autobiography to be."

Review by Living in the Land of Oz

The book is called One Way Or Another, The Story Of A Girl Who Loved Rock Stars ($29.95, Black Inc). "Not another book about groupies shagging rock stars," we thought when we picked up a copy. But this book works because actor Nikki McWatters is a fine writer. She's got a story to tell, and she knows how to tell it. "Truth be told," she writes, "a rock star in real life would make a hopeless partner. Far better to be a rock and roll mistress than a rock and roll missus. Musicians were junk food, not a proper nutritious meal. Good and bad for you at the same time, like a plate of greasy chips and a bottle of red, red wine." Nikki is still a Gold Coast schoolgirl when she has her first sexual experience, with a member of Australian Crawl, who she doesn't name. She beds a Duran Duran member, and also falls for a star who sounds suspiciously like Steve Kilbey (who provides a plug on the front cover: "A great Australian rock 'n' roll read"), a relationship that has unintended consequences. Nikki gives Dragon a slap ("It was a running joke that Dragon was the ugliest band in Australia. Queen won the international title") and praises Pseudo Echo, calling bass player Pierre Pierre "a walking hairdo and an interesting musician and we chatted about current affairs. This was a breath of fresh air in an industry that often viewed girls backstage as meat on legs." More sad than salacious, One Way Or Another is a rollicking read. Richard Lowenstein calls it "a Puberty Blues for the '80s generation".

Booktopia Q & A

Not so chatty today so here's a link to a Question and Answer Press Release about my memoir 'One Way or Another'  that Booktopia shared online...........

Vince Lovegrove

I am so very sad today to learn of the death of my good friend Vince Lovegrove. He was such a wonderful human being and had recently been so supportive of my book. He was planning to help me promote my book and wrote a beautiful review for me. Vince was killed in a car crash yesterday near Byron Bay.

I'd known Vince for over twenty years and was inspired by his passion for rock and roll.

I will miss you terribly Vince. My thoughts and love go out to his family and friends........


Book Release book is in libraries and book stores....and I know at least one person has bought it because it was me. I couldn't help myself. I had to fork over thirty bucks but it was worth it just to say..."that's me....that's my book"  to the guy behind the counter at Dymocks in Carindale. My teenage son was with me and was a bit mortified but he should just get over it. I am his mother and I am meant to embarrass him.

Of course I went straight to another book store and found it there as well...but it was way up the back of the store so I took a copy and put it at the front on the shelf with 'The Hunger Games' where it might get noticed.

Publicity is just beginning and I never did get around to losing that last ten kilos...or manage to get Botox or any other number of self-improving things I had planned to do....

Looking forward to my book launch on April 20.

I think I might get a megaphone and do some spruiking outside bookstores. The weird thing is...I have looked forward to this day for thirty years, having always dreamed of having a book published and I thought I would feel....well.....different and somehow fantastic and the truth is....I just feel the same. It's a little bit anti-climactic.  

I'm still lounging around at home, tapping words on a computer, doing the housework, cooking the dinner...I guess I'll open some champagne and book is on the shelves..but until I sell millions and millions of is going to stay pretty much the same, except for the odd interview where a journalist asks you how many rockstars you've slept with......yes that did happen to me today. I wanted to say five and half thousand...but I didn't....and I haven't.  The truth is somewhat more conservative.

So book out. home from school driving me nuts....just another day really.

Writer's Arse

I am developing Writer's Arse.This unfortunate condition is caused by sitting around all day in my p.j/s writing, instead of having a real job which burns calories. I am busy writing my new blockbuster set on the Gold Coast, with hookers and cocaine, rock-stars and bikies, murder and mayhem. 'The Glitter Strip' promises readers a roller-coaster ride of grotesque violence, hardcore sex and designer costumes....

But while I am writing about hot chicks in high couture, I find I am slipping into a soggy pile of flesh, gorging myself on Tim-Tams and so much caffeine that my eyeballs are doing somersaults (the only part of me getting a workout).

I will start tomorrow. A make-over. I must find a way to write and move. Strangely, I find that when my brain is fully engaged, my body is unmotivated and when I get my body pumping, my brain shuts down and is unable to process more than counting to ten. So I think I'll exercise  in the mornings and then switch to more cerebral pursuits in the afternoon. My brain is feistier in the mornings though....and I'm usually ready for a  siesta in the afternoon. What a quandary.

Perhaps I could have one day of exercise followed by a day of writing.

Perhaps I should stop writing about exercising and just do it. Just go for a walk.

No. It's raining.

I'm going to have a nap and do neither.

I said I'd start tomorrow and I really will.

Kettles of Fish and Cans of Worms

Jesus H Christ. I am learning that the worst part of writing a memoir is the abject terror it elicits in those close to you.

The breath-holding, bowel-knotting fear that my immediate family is suffering from is so extreme it's almost comical. It's a moral panic about how my memoir, 'One Way or Another' will be recieved by the world of readers. They really needn't worry about their own portrayals because they are just background scenery in my torrid tale.  They are those gum trees over the fence at the back of the park at the bottom of page 11. But they don't know that, because I didn't let them read it. They have to line up and buy it like everyone else.

That might sound callous but you don't know my family. This book was always going to be a mega-drama because I have finally decided to peel off my mask and write an honest account of my youth. No family is terribly keen for one of their own to do that (unless they are all narcissistic extroverts or a Kardashian).

Memoirs are usually penned by that one renegade spotlight-hogger/mega drama queen/king that happens to a family once every few generations. Someone who wants to disembowel themselves emotionally for anyone and everyone to see.  Publicly. Really, really publicly. So I guess a memoirist is really an exhibitionist and readers of memoirs are voyeurs.

And believe me conservative Queensland, Catholic families aren't all that comfortable about letting the exhibitionist out of the cellar.

That said, one of my sisters has read it and liked it - by the time she got to the end. It was a bit like a rollercoaster for her I guess - a terrifying ride that becomes fun as soon as the end is in sight because you know you've made it through alive. My mother is extremely, pristinely  reserved and should not under any circumstance read my book because it would burst her bubble. She has been warned and I know her greatest fear (as felt by most mothers of  reality writers) is how she is I transcribed every reference to her from the book and gave her a tiny, weeny little mini memoir with things only relating to her. It's a bit like taking out one character from a horror film, telling just that thread of story, and Shazam - suddenly it sounds like Cinderella. I thought that was an inspired idea of mine. She knows I've been gentle enough with her now and she doesn't have to know about the sex, the drugs and rock and roll.

My father is far more broad-minded about the whole thing. He's read Nikki Gemmell's books and is aware that her father is not one of her most avid readers. I'm not sure if Dad will tackle mine but I think it will only cause him some eye-rolling and deep blushing with a slight rash of mortification if he's brave enough to read it. And frankly, he can slam it shut at any page....But he has given me his blessing and support and says  'Go for it and bugger anyone who gives you grief for it!' GO DAD! There may be sex in my book but its M rated, not Krissy Kneen rated.

What the family must realise is that I am not a limb of their tree. I might be the skin sack that carries similar DNA and personality disorders but as a woman of 46, I am my own separate entity.

I'm sure friends and family will remember the era that my story is set in, differently. They all had wildly different vantage points but I have remained true to my truth. I stand by that. I've been gentle with those other characters of the past, recording only how they affected me without infusing them with any philosophy of their own. That would be their stories to tell.

My husband wonders if selling a book about my sex life is tantamount to prostitution and I counter that there is very little in this world that doesn't constitute a transaction of sorts.

There is a memoir in everyone. Many memoirs. Mine only spans six years of my forty-six. And yes, there is another to follow which charts the next ten. But it's a whacky genre. It's like intense therapy for the writer, his or her family and friends and the readers who may be disturbed by or relate to the story.

I feel stronger, braver and more liberated for having written it and that's a good thing. Right???

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