Let's give a warm welcome to Dean Mayes, author of The Hambledown Dream. Please check out his website, and let me know what you think of it when you are done.
1. Please tell readers about your current book.
Thank you Freda for welcoming me here today.
The Hambledown Dream is best described as a contemporary love story which has very subtle paranormal undertones - chief among these is the notion of reincarnation. The story introduces two young men - an Australian, Denny Banister who has had the world at his feet; a successful career, a passion for the guitar and he is in love with Sonya – who his best friend and soul mate. Tragically for Denny, however, he is struck down with inoperable cancer & he is destined to die.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world Andy DeVries has almost nothing; he is alienated from his family, he moves through a dangerous Chicago underworld dealing in drugs, battling addiction & now he’s gone and overdosed - jeopardizing the only thing that matters to him; a place at a prestigious Conservatory for classical guitar.
Having been snatched from the abyss Andy recovers, but he is plagued by dreams - memories of a love he has never felt, and a life he's never lived. Driven by the need for redemption and by the love for a woman he's never met, Andy begins a quest to find her, knowing her only by the memories of a stranger and the dreams of a place called Hambledown.
2. Who or what inspires your writing?
I have been drawn to the works of Simon Winchester, a former journalist who has penned a number of fantastic non fiction books over the past 20 years. My favorite of his would have to be "The Surgeon of Crowethorne" which paints a vivid account of a very damaged man who provided more word and definitions to the creators of the Oxford English Dictionary than any other contributor - and he did it from the confines of a lunatic asylum in rural England.
3. When did you know you would be a writer?
Writing is something I have loved since I was about eight years old. I always cited English and Literature among my favorite subjects and pursued them right throughout my schooling. The desire to write a novel came about in my late teens and it has been something of an obsession with me ever since.
4. How long did it take you to write your first novel?
The Hambledown Dream took about 13 months to write from the time I committed to the project, although the idea for the novel germinated some 8 years ago. I wasn't in a position both mentally or practically, however, to write it until early 2009. I was - and still am in some respects - a terminal procrastinator.
5. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
I often cite dialogue as being the most challenging thing to master as a writer. I often struggle with it but I do believe I am getting better. I often compare myself to the 'Close Talker' from Seinfeld. I have a tendency to examine peoples conversations from a distance...until I realize that I've totally invaded their personal space.
6. Do you have any writing rituals?
I try to devote Mondays purely to the pursuit of writing but I mostly write at night whilst I am at work. I'm an ICU Nurse and there are plenty of opportunities in the dead of night when everything is under control, to get out my tablet and get some words down.
7. Have you written any thing else?
I am currently working on my second novel which carries the working title of "Gifts of the Peramangk". It is to be set in contemporary Australia and it follows a young Aboriginal girl who is an undiscovered violin prodigy. She lives in abject poverty with a dysfunctional family and there seems to be little hope for her. But she is about to be discovered and her young life will change forever.
I also write short stories and articles which readers can find at my website - http://www.deanfromaustralia.com
8. Any advice to aspiring writers?
So much of our writing is committed to the computer now days. I think it is important however for a writer to invest in a good quality journal with which to write down your ideas and brainstorms. And in doing so, always write your notes with a pencil. It's just a more organic way of doing this.
9. Who is your favorite Author?
I mentioned Simon Winchester earlier but this I will add the late journalist Matt Price. He was an Australian journalist who wrote a regular political column in our national broadsheet "The Australian" called "The Sketch". It was a wonderfully acerbic, satirical look into the inner workings of Australian politics and it basically took a lot of the hot air out of the daily spin cycle in our nation's capital. Matt Price died suddenly in 2007 after being diagnosed with a brain tumor and he was mourned right across the nation.
10. What is your favorite book?
My gosh, there are so many but I would have to say that Walter Lord's superb account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic "A Night To Remember" is one that I often read again and again. I have a tattered paper back copy in my library at home which I bought for 20 cents at a hospital jumble sale when I was a kid and it is a treasured possession indeed. Lord's minute by minute account is unquestionably the finest ever put to paper.
11. What are you currently reading?
"The Kings Speech" by Mark Logue. This is the true account of the relationship between King George and Lionel Logue - the speech therapist who helped the King overcome his crippling stutter and deliver one of the defining speeches of the 20th century at the outbreak of WW2. It gives a wonderful insight into the wonderful nature of both men and their friendship.
12. How do readers find out more about you?
My website, Dean from Australia (http://www.deanfromaustralia.com) is my central portal for everything I'm doing right now. Visitors can browse my short story work, listen to audio interviews I have done over the past year and they can download a free audiobook sampler of my novel The Hambledown Dream as read by me. A sort of try before you buy - if you will. And, of course, readers can also purchase my novel both in print and digital formats directly from my site.
Australian Denny Banister had it all; a successful career, a passion for the guitar, and Sonya - the love of his life. Tragically, Denny is struck down with inoperable cancer.
Andy DeVries has almost nothing; alienated from his family, moving through a dangerous Chicago underworld dealing in drugs, battling addiction; all while keeping a wavering hold on the only thing that matters to him: a place at a prestigious conservatory for classical guitar in Chicago.
As Andy recovers from a near fatal overdose, he is plagued by dreams - memories of a love he has never felt, and a life he's never lived. Driven by the need for redemption and by the love for a woman he's never met, he begins a quest to find her, knowing her only by the memories of a stranger and the dreams of a place called Hambledown...
Kindle Edition: 1532 KB: 284 pages
Publisher: ireadiwrite Publishing
Purchase at Amazon
AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY:
Thanks to Dean I have 1 Signed Kindle (mobi) copy to giveaway!
(Answer this question in the comment section, along with your email.)
What is your dream?
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GIVEAWAY ENDS JUNE 14, 8 PM EST