Derek Haines is an author of quite a number of books; however, he spends most of his time blogging, making technology go horribly wrong, and being a rather senior ESL English teacher.
Born in Australia, but now living in a beautiful town on Lake Geneva in Switzerland with his wife and his black Cocker Spaniel, he passes many hours, trying to make technology work again, after inadvertently breaking it. It’s a painful process, yet it’s such an effective self-study method in acquiring new technological skills.
As I’m a writer – I can change adroitly from the third person into the first person, and say that I love what I do and where I live, and also, that I am a Douglas Adams fanatic, bordering on a tragic. So much so, that by some spooky coincidence, my street address is 42. That’s so much more impressive than simply owning a towel and having ready access to peanuts and beer.
However, peanuts and beer are extremely important, as they provide essential sustenance during my bouts of obsessive writing, which although rare, usually take place in a horizontal position. I should mention here that I am very fond of acronyms, anagrams, allegories and alliteration, also.
In addition, I quite like commas. The Oxford type, or otherwise. However, quite perversely, I am not enamoured by quotation marks. I use them, singularly if possible, but even then, only under sufferance. As for semicolons; who really knows how to use them?
Aside from my never-ending punctuation conundrums, I enjoy life, good food, wine, beer, and I take each day as it comes – thankfully.
My love of writing started with poetry before moving towards essays and then much later, fiction. Although my stories cover a wide range of settings and genres, I hope my writing style and voice communicate with, and engage readers through my characters, who are always less than perfect, yet hopefully have endearing appeal.
Most of all, my stories are about people and their feelings, regrets, hopes and struggles with life, love and sometimes calamity. The characters never take the classic hero and heroine form. Usually quite ordinary, but with extraordinary qualities that makes their story worth telling. Sometimes with splashes of black humour and satire, my writing can often change from the simplistic to the complex and then back again, leaving the reader to decide if it is time to laugh or cry. Or both.
Teaching English is my passion. I specialise in assisting mainly French speaking business and professional adult clients, who need to learn how to communicate and manage in a world where English is becoming an everyday necessity in so many business sectors. My students range from those who need basic business English language skills, through to those who are working towards advanced Cambridge certification.
For me, blogging is the ultimate means of self expression and is self publishing in its purest form. It is a medium to inform, be informed, interact with people throughout the world, and meet people who share common interests. It is also a platform that can encourage healthy debate and from time to time, disagreement of course. But this is what gives life to a blog. Blogging is about involving people, and that’s why I love being a blogger.
For more information about my various activities, click the links in the menu at the top of the page.