Book Jacket


rank 3146
word count 20385
date submitted 23.07.2010
date updated 11.08.2010
genres: Non-fiction, Biography, Harper True...
classification: adult

Taking Chances

Shane Owen

Taking Chances, the veil has been lifted to reveal a world of decadence, struggle, defeat and triumph! Are you open-minded enough to read the story.


A story about a boy from a small village in Wales who went on to be a successful child entertainer. A young man who experienced the decadence of a pre-Aids gay world. A man who went through a turbulent sixteen year relationship. A man who almost died but with determination, came through and survived.

Along the way I had many adventures, some funny, some sad, some strange but none I would regret, well maybe a few!
I made friends and lost friends during the journey, I learned how to fight for myself and others. I found an inner strength I could never have imagined.

I have been places, seen things and done things that I sometimes find hard to believe myself but they all happened. I have met wonderful people along the way, some famous, some unknown but all people who changed my life in some way or another.

So this is my life or so up to now, who knows what the future might bring, I have learned that what lies ahead of you is uncertain but if you take a few chances you can change everything.

So I hope you enjoy the ride with me.

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MJ Gleason wrote 463 days ago

Shane: You're quite a storyteller and, for a memoir, aren't hung-up on the traumatic events. That shows a real ability to "distill" and craft it so any reader can enjoy it. I also worried about Welch in-jokes but those were nowhere to be found.
Your comment on my semi-autobiographical Summer Of 1989 would earn you a round of drinks if you ever find yourself in Boston or on Cape Cod.

CAROLINE10 wrote 571 days ago

Hi Shane I Just wanted to let you know that this was a captivating read, and a very honest description of so many emotions, and highs and lows that life throws you.i would love to here more can't wait till you write again you are not just talented in singing and dancing but you are also a very gifted writer, i enjoyed the read, all the best. family friend from a long time ago

Msp12345 wrote 636 days ago

Shane, you are killing me and I am dying for more. Your life and mine sound somewhat similar although I am from the US. I read this so quickly and it is so interesting. It looks like its been a while since you wrote this do I truly hope that this is the encouragement that you need to keep writing as you inspire me. As a side note I have been considering telling my story. Although I was not a child star I did have a colorful life as a child, teenager, young adult and even as an adult. I was someone that took longer to mature and that like you provided alot of excitement with men.... But also a few women (a few.... I regret a few of them and how i wrecked their lives) I look at alot of it and laugh at not getting totally destroyed but also that it was a growth opportunity now. Anyway I live your story telling.... Give me more.... Love it.


kaz45 wrote 940 days ago

A great read, know the area well. keep up tha good work !

ReaderJoe wrote 1067 days ago

I read all the chapters you have posted so far and it was a good read.

inknpete wrote 1328 days ago

Hello Shane,
I must tell you that I am thoroughly enjoying your writings. I constantly keep returning to check for any additional chapters that you may have added and quickly devour them when you do. You have a great gift of expressing visions and emoting feelings with words.

Great success to you with "Taking Chances" and your future literary endeavours,

Barry Wenlock wrote 1338 days ago

Wow Shane, this is great. I know Wales very well so the settings are easily visualised. I love all the music references etc.-- The D'Monts -- excellent, Meat District, Freddy Mercury winking, Dancing on a Saturday Night, Danny Boy, Saturday Night Fever.
You have had an interesting life. The rape must have been so awful for you. That chapter is a real revelation and you write it well and with honesty.
Your first ejaculation made me laugh.
Backed with pleasure,
Best wishes,

Romilla wrote 1339 days ago


Dear Shane,

Taking Chances is an inspiring read - a brave telling that simply engages anyone looking for an honest read; although I must say you need to step away from the "I" telling which is apparent all throughout your writing, I still feel you have a lovely writing that binds your reader through - very engaging perhaps because of the manner in which you share your story with the reader; there's a personal touch there!

As such, I am happy to shelf your book!


Forgetting Sally

Linda Lou wrote 1339 days ago

hullo Owen. Thanks for sharing your autobography. Very good Already shelved and backed.
Please take a look at my book if you have not and thanks for that.
Linda Lou Long
Southern dis-Comfort

lionel25 wrote 1340 days ago

Shane, I read the first two chapters. Nicely done. You have a knack for providing just enough information to keep the reader interested, and then delivering great hanging lines at the ends of your chapters. Absolutely nothing to nitpick in those two sections.

Happy to back you work.

Joffrey (The Silver Spoon Effect)

Elizabeth Wolfe wrote 1341 days ago

Dear Shane,
Your opening chapter is quite a nice summation to your beginnings. It seems you were doomed from the start! But you must have been meant to be, as here you are! I like your writing style - sarcastic yet plaintive tone. There is a small typo in the second paragraph, last sentence - should be "that" not "than." Very nice writing!

Elizabeth Wolfe (MEMORIES OF GLORY)

Summer D'Vine wrote 1343 days ago

Taking Chances - I was drawn into this story by the narrative. It's gritty and sometimes painfully honest. An interesting life. Gladly already backed.

All the best,
:-) Summer D'Vine, Woment of the Trees

Julieh wrote 1347 days ago

Loved it! I want to read the rest! When will you publish?

Julieh wrote 1347 days ago

Loved it! I want to read the rest! When will you publish?

yasmin esack wrote 1347 days ago

Hello Shane

Hmm it must take much out of you to write this. There a re many with such stories of outright rejection from their mothers before and after birth. fter birth of course is when it hits hard. Your story is touching and would go far to help others who no doubt will identify with these hard knock at birth (Imagine!) and as a baby.

I truly enjoyed reading this and thank you for sharing it


klouholmes wrote 1349 days ago

Hi Shane, Very pleasant narrative to read. The incidents in the family background chapter made the names easy to remember and that’s important since there are probably many people in this book. The debut and the narrator’s first singing performances also become vivid and the other characters fall into the scene. Wish I could read more today. Happy to shelve – Katherine (The Swan Bonnet)

readergirl43 wrote 1350 days ago

Hi Shane, I eally enjoyed reading your chapters. Your book flows with real honesty and i like the humour you inject into each of the stories you tell. You really have had an incredible life. I can not wait to read the whole book. Any chance you can put some more chapters on?. GREAT WORK.

soutexmex wrote 1351 days ago

Shane: an awesome entry into the Harper True Life category. Think the short pitch would work better with just that last sentence.

I can use your comments on my book when you get a chance. Cheers!

The Obergemau Key

shaneowen wrote 1353 days ago

Thank You Virgina, I am so glad ti brought back memories for you and you enjoyed the chapters.
Hugs Shane

My era and brought back many memories! Well done and keep writing!
It Never Rains In Paradise

shaneowen wrote 1353 days ago

Thanks AUM3RLE I take your comments on view. I have explained twice on here that there is a gap between the last two chapters, I don't think I need to explain again. I may at some point add the missing chapters. As for my perceptions as a child, if you can find a child who has a perception of his/her self, I should very much like to meet them. As children we only have perceptions of other people and the world around us. We perceive how we are treated and how we react. Only with age, knowledge and experience can we evaluate who we are as a person. One of the points I was trying to make in those early chapters was that I had no idea of identity and self worth, I was a commodity and not a child. I can only write what it was like to be that because I had very little experience of anything else. Thank you once again for your comments, Hugs Shane

AUM3RLE wrote 1353 days ago

Personally not a fan of the style (but that's just me, far too set in my ways about how an autobiography should read).
There's double Hughie Greene with identical text but in different venues in different places (methinks another cut and paste accident).
It needs to be much more obvious here at the start or in the text when there is a break in the chronology (i.e. that you've withheld some of the text for good reason).
Was disappointed that there seems to be very little sense of you from the text, or at least how you perceived yourself at the time; I'm not asking for full on psychoanalysis (reaches for volume 7 & 8!) but it's often nice to identify with the perceptions of the child and see how those views solidify or drastically change over the years.

On the other hand I realise that this is a very brave thing you're doing, confronting and assessing, and the last thing I would want to do is put you off- Break a leg boyo

LFkBear wrote 1354 days ago

From my point of view, memoirs are indulgent and not wildly interesting. I have to say that I find "Taking Chances" to the complete opposite. It's rich with interesting detail, and its told in a fashion that feels like an intimate conversation.

Full disclose: Shane Owen is my partner. Of course, my inclination is to be kind toward his work. But, ALSO, and perhaps most important, my inclination is to be harder on his work and absolutely honest. To falsely cheer someone on is perhaps the most cruel act of all. I'm proud to say that I watched Shane write and re-write every word. He's created something to be proud of.

And the juiciest bits are still to be read!

andrew skaife wrote 1354 days ago

You attack this project with bravery and grace (a difficult accomplishment when truth is so close cutting to the bone). It cannot have been easy to have opened yourself up to the sort of rigour you will undoubtedly receive should this be in print. So kudos.

Also, your writing style is wholeheartedly truthful, that much is obvious, and your structure of dropping little hooks to end each chapter and clever device. I don't normally enjoy autobiographies but your writing is my goal of assessment here and that is wonderfully examined.


shaneowen wrote 1354 days ago

Hi Tournesol, I love your comments and I have ammended them as far as Hughing Green, that was a cut and paste error. I will add my ages through the chapters. As for the cliffhanger at the end of chapter 6, there are three chapters between that and "I Get the Fever" but they are of a very adult nature and I am not sure what the policy of this web site is regarding such things. It was just a taster chapter of my life a few years on. I assure you the interim chapters do connect and so the story flows correctly. Thank you once again for your invaluable feedback, hugs Shane

shaneowen wrote 1354 days ago

Thank you Sammy, I am so glad you liked the chapters. It was always my intention that if I should write my story, I would be totaly honest, warts and all! Hugs Shane

Tournesol wrote 1354 days ago

Hi Shane,
Good word work so far. I agree with the comment made by Craig Ellis about dialogue. I think it would really add another level to your story if you included more dialogue earlier on. I think it would also help if you specified your age more often in the earlier stages in the book. I think the first age you mention once you have started performing is twelve, though you must have started long before then.
I like that you try to provide some kind of hook at the end of each chapter to lure the reader on but with some of them, I felt that this was all it was and it you didn’t follow through in the next chapter with what you had hinted at. For example at the end of Chapter Six you talk say “…one night everything came crashing down upon me.” Having read the next chapter, I’m not sure what that night is, or what crashed down on you…..
Your anecdotes are great, the right length to sustain interest but not to become boring. The only point on this that there is some quite significant repetition of the explanation of Opportunity Knocks and Hughie Green in two different chapters.
Being pedantic, this really does need to be subjected to a good proof, at the least, to pick up the spelling, punctuation and grammar errors.
All in all, I really like your straight forward style of writing. It rings true and I had no trouble reading all you’ve uploaded so far.

SammySutton wrote 1355 days ago


Your story is incredible.
It is a courageous story, which comes from your soul and the text does not hide that fact.
There is an honesty present that is extremely refreshing. I must say my haert aches for the little
boy who endured such a horrible circumstances. I applaud the man that rose above.
Your story is deeply touching.
Sammy Sutton
King Solomon's '13'

shaneowen wrote 1355 days ago

Thank you Andrew, I am so glad you liked my chapters and I appreciate you taking the time to have a look at it, Hugs Shane

shaneowen wrote 1355 days ago

hi JD, firstly thank you for taking a look at my book. You are absolutely right about bonniness, I had no idea if it was even a real word, I have now ammended it. I have also added "Harper True genre" and thank you for the excellent suggestion. I originally started the book with my singing days then decided ot make it more chronilogical, but there is an introduction which preceeds everything which I did not put on here as it was only a one page lead in to the book. I really appreciate your help and glad you liked it. I added an extra chapter which takes place a bit later in the book and it is somewhat shocking but I hope it will give the reader an idea of what is to come later in the book. hugs Shane

JD Revene wrote 1355 days ago


Minor point, but early in the first chapter you refer to people commenting on your 'boniness', form context I think you mean 'bonniness' with two 'n's.

You tell the story straight forwardly and with a nice dose of underplayed humour. I read all that's posted and there's little to fault.

One, thought: you might consider starting later, grabbing the readers with the excitement of a young lad on stage, then later explaining how he got there. But, that said, it works well enough as it is.

You might like to consider adding the 'Harper True' genre to this work as Harper Collins review additional works from that genre from time-to-time, and yours would seem to fit the bill.


Andrew Burans wrote 1355 days ago

I do like your straight forward writing style - it is perfect for this genre. You have crafted a most fascinating book with insights that is both heart wrenching and heart warming with an occational touch of humour. Backed with pleasure.

Andrew Burans
The Reluctant Warrior: The Beginning

missyfleming_22 wrote 1356 days ago

You've led such an interesting life, and overcome so much. I was impressed by your candid look at it sometimes and by your writing. It was like conversing with a friend. You've done a nice job with this and thank you for sharing your life with us.


jcschaos wrote 1356 days ago

Shane - Larry tweeted this to me and I want to say I enjoyed it. I didn't always get the over-all picture of what you were trying to focus in each chapter on but the details where great and it flowed well.

LaughingRaccoon wrote 1356 days ago

OMG!! what an interesting life you have led, and what a great read. I am so looking forward to the book coming out, so I can read the whole thing. Thanks for sharing this preview, and I wish you much success with the publication of the book.

Audrie wrote 1356 days ago

I loved the part about your transformation into a "Performer." That moment really came through on the page! I like your writing voice, sage but vulnerable. You have deftly unravelled the complex and necessary codependence of highs and lows. Freddie Mercury startled me deliciously! Keep going, Shane. Like your captivated audience so many years ago, I might want to clap then hug you.

AlleJo wrote 1357 days ago

Fascinating story, just wished to read on.

It needs some checking for slips in the writing or
continuity, but the story is always gripping and emotionally
engaging - wonderful read.

Burgio wrote 1357 days ago

This is an entertaining autobiography: an inside look at what it was like to be a child star and how the repercussions from that can shade an entire life. Sometimes we see music stars and think they have it made; this is a sharp reminder that life can have ups and downs even for the very talented among us. I’m adding this to my shelf. If you have a moment, would you look at mine (Grain of Salt)? I’m in 4th place but only holding on by my teeth. Burgio

Debbie Hillyerd wrote 1357 days ago

OMG!! I was totally sucked into it! I felt like I was there in the moment. Not many books do that to me. You have had such a amazing life so far. I can not wait to read the whole book! I will tell everyone about your book and insist they read it!! Bravo, Bravo!!!

Debbie Hillyerd wrote 1357 days ago

OMG!! I was totally sucked into it! I felt like I was there in the moment. Not many books do that to me. You have had such a amazing life so far. I can not wait to read the whole book! I will tell everyone about your book and insist they read it!! Bravo, Bravo!!!

shaneowen wrote 1357 days ago

Thank you so much Liz for your kind words, I certainly have led an interesting life, the big surprises are yet to come and they are really big! I am so glad you liked it so far, hugs Shane

lizjrnm wrote 1357 days ago

This is an excellent biography! What an interesting life you have had! I love books like this and you have done an excellent job at story telling! Backed with pleasure.

The Cheech Room

shaneowen wrote 1357 days ago

Hi Craig, thank you for looking at my book, I think you are absolutely right and it is something I have thought about earlier. I still think the book is in the edit stage so I am very gratefull fo all the advice I can get. Many thanks Shane

Craig Ellis wrote 1357 days ago

Quite a debut for a baby! You have written an interesting account of your life, with a strong voice. I'm enjoying your book.

Your paragraphs are short, and flow well, but I wonder if you couldn't put in some dialogue early on, perhaps some conversations those around you had when you were young.


Craig Ellis
The Sun and the Saber

shaneowen wrote 1358 days ago

Hi Jillian, I am so glad you enjoyed what you have read, I wrote the book in a conversational format and though later I write about much more serious matters, I wanted it to show a sense of humour. As my first reader I thank you from the bottom of my heart, hugs Shane