Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Welcome Author Dean Mayes


Author Bio:

In one form or another, Dean Mayes has been writing and creating for most of his life...or at least for as long as he could wield a pen and knew how to use it.

Born in country Victoria, Australia, Dean grew up with an early love of words - a trait a little out of step for most children of his age. His creative streak was inspired by his third grade teacher, Mrs. Furnell, who challenged him in his creative writing exercises which he initially "sucked at". After producing a surprisingly poignant piece about a soldier's experience of war (based on his grandfather), Dean received his first writing award - a Purple Dragon sticker.

Dean's journey to publishing actually came about after he had virtually given up on the idea of ever being published. He had a story he wanted to tell and decided instead to start an internet blog where he began posting the first chapters of a love story with a twist. Week by week, Dean added chapters to the blog and, quite unexpectedly, he found himself with an enthusiastic following – one that was growing more voracious in their appetite for the story he had to tell. Out of the blue, Dean received a message from one of those followers, Michelle Halket the Creative Director for a Canadian publishing house, Central Avenue Publishing. She gently encouraged Dean that he should take this project seriously and from there – a unique publishing partnership was born.

Dean's blog evolved into his first published novel “The Hambledown Dream” in 2010. Now Dean has returned to the international stage with his follow up novel “Gifts of the Peramangk”.

Dean is represented by Michelle Halket and published internationally by Central Avenue Publishing (Vancouver).

Dean lives in Adelaide, Australia with his wife Emily and his children Xavier and Lucy.

About Gifts of the Peramangk:

In this landmark new novel, Dean weaves an sprawling family saga that takes place across two time periods in the South Australian outback and the struggle streets of Adelaide's suburban fringe.

1950s Australia, during the height of the divisive White Australia Policy, Virginia, a young Aboriginal girl is taken from her home and family and put to work on an isolated, outback station, in the cruellest of conditions. Her only solace: the violin, taught to her in secret by a kind-hearted white woman - the wife of the abusive station owner. However, Virginia's prodigious musical gift cannot save her from years of hardship, abuse, and racism.

Decades later, her eight year old granddaughter, Ruby, plays the violin with a passion Virginia once possessed. Amidst abject poverty, domestic violence and social dysfunction, Ruby escapes her circumstance through her practice, with her grandmother's frail, guiding hand. Ruby’s zeal attracts the attention of an enigmatic music professor, and with his help, Ruby embarks on an incredible journey of musical discovery that will culminate in a once in a life time chance for a brighter future. But with two cultural worlds colliding, her gift and her ambition will be threatened by deeply ingrained distrust, family jealousies and tragic secrets that will define her very identity.

Excerpt from Gifts of the Peramangk:

The breeze rustled through the tops of the plane trees lining the street and the eucalyptus behind the buildings. The strong scent from the eucalyptus wafted through the main street catching Virginia's attention and she stopped for a moment to appreciate it. It was her most favourite smell of all. It was clean and crisp. It was home.

"Hey!"

All of the children turned then, almost simultaneously at the sound of Bobby's voice and followed his outstretched finger as a trio of vehicles came into view from the far end of the township. As they approached, the children could make out the familiar black and white colours of a police sedan leading the convoy of three, followed by a grey sedan which was in turn shepherded by a rickety looking tray truck.

They glanced at each other with a hint of nervousness.

Mrs. Stinson appeared at the entrance to her shop, having heard the approaching vehicles and she crossed over the street to stand next to Sylvia.

The vehicles slowed to a stop, drawing close to the curb on the opposite side of the street. The children watched as the engines were silenced and the three cars sat for a moment. Bobby stood, growing suspicious of the new arrivals.

The doors to both the police sedan and the grey sedan snapped open. Two constables stepped out, as did two suited men after them. They inspected their surroundings with a mixture of befuddlement and barely concealed distaste.

Virginia's attention was drawn to the two suited men who stood directly across from her.

The first man - the driver - was tall, possibly the tallest man Virginia had ever seen. Dressed in a drab, grey tweed suit and colourless bow tie, he sported spiky, balding hair that was perfectly manicured into an impeccable short back and sides. His features were sinister, with long sallow cheeks that gave his thin lips the appearance of being permanently pursed. His eyes were distorted behind thick, black rimmed glasses that sat, perched precariously, on the tip of his nose. He held a clipboard in one arm as he swiped his free hand down his jacket absently.

His colleague, who emerged from the far side of the sedan, rounding the vehicle to stand next to him, was an equally dour presence. This man was barely half his colleague's size, his head reaching to just past the top of his chest. Dressed similarly in uninspiring grey tweed, his slick, brown hair was combed severely to one side with Bryll Cream. It did not move at all in the afternoon breeze. This man sported a pair of gold rimmed glasses over small eyes and large, bushy eye brows and a short, thick moustache that gave him a perpetual scowl.

Virginia's mother glanced at Mrs. Stinson then placed her hand protectively on Virginia's shoulders, drawing Virginia close to her as the tall man set his eyes upon the group. She glanced to the old tray truck from which two more men had stepped from. She recognised one of them right away - the township's kindly local doctor, Dr. Flaherty, a man who usually wore a smile, no matter what his disposition might be. Today, however, he appeared particularly troubled. He was accompanied by a second man, unfamiliar to Virginia and her mother. He carried a battered leather Gladstone bag which was partly opened and revealed the end of a stethoscope that hung lazily down one side.

When Virginia looked up at her mother, the worry etched into her features was palpable and Virginia felt that worry seep into her pores, into her blood and it coursed through her.

The tall man adjusted the clip board he held in his arm and gestured wordlessly to the two medicos, approaching the two women who were now joined by the proprietor of the general store, the butcher immediately next door and the post mistress. The children, who had retreated a little further under the verandah of the store, watched as the man nodded to the police constables on his left.

Mrs. Stinson stepped forward through the group, puffing her chest out boldly, setting her expression like steel as the men approached.

"What seems to be the trouble Wally?" she queried Dr. Flaherty malevolently. "This is all a little theatrical, even for you."

Dr. Flaherty was unable to make his jaw move immediately and he looked down awkwardly at the bitumen.

"Routine inspection Grace," the doctor grumbled, gesturing to the two suited men. "This is Bytes of the Aborigines Protection Board. He's here to..."

"There have been reports, from this District," the tall man, Bytes, interjected abruptly, eye balling Mrs. Stinson. "...of mal-nourishment and serious illness among the blacks. It is our job under the Act to investigate any reported cases of neglect and intervene accordingly."


Purchase Here:
  Website     Amazon     Amazon.uk     Barnes & Noble

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2 comments:

  1. Thank you for the opportunity to be featured at your website Jeanette. I am really pleased to see it.

    ReplyDelete

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