"Oz Idol" winner Damien Leith cements fame with writing

Tue Apr 6, 2010 10:34pm EDT
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By Belinda Goldsmith

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Winning "Australian Idol" or any "Idol" TV singing contest may produce overnight fame but it tends to come after years of hard work and with the challenge of being taken seriously, according to musician Damien Leith.

Leith, an Irish-Australian singer-songwriter, shot to fame after winning "Australia Idol" in 2006 but he has coupled this success with a second career -- as an author.

Leith, 34, sealed a book deal in 2007 for his first novel, "One More Time," a psychological thriller set in Nepal, although the contract was in the works before his "Idol" success.

His second novel, "Remember June", is out this month published by HarperCollins. Set in Ireland, it focuses on a father-son relationship and has the same title as his third studio album that was released last year.

"Idol is a huge platform and great exposure but like all great exposure, it can die off very fast. It comes from a reality TV show which is, in essence, short lived," Leith told Reuters.

"You do need other things to spark an audience's interest."

Leith, who lives in Australia with his wife and two sons, said for him, writing and singing do go together.

"I don't think I could do one without the other," said Leith, who spent his childhood writing but started singing as a teenager as he wanted to write musicals.   Continued...