Thursday, February 8, 2018

I Have Some Exciting News - Meet "The Artisan Heart"

So I've been sitting on some news for quite a while now. I've been steadily working away for the past year or so on a brand new novel. Now, thanks to the amazing team at Central Avenue Publishing in Vancouver, Canada, I'm able to share the news that later this year, that new novel will be released to the world. 

Rather than recount the news in full here, I'd like to invite you to click through to Central Avenue Publishing's official blog and read the sneak peek Michelle Halket and the team have shared there.

Of course, I can't help but share the amazing cover art that has been put together by Michelle. We nutted this design out over a few email back and forths and we had some late, breaking inspiration from my 8 year old daughter who, in her enthusiasm for Daddy's new project, was inspired to try her hand at some artwork of her own. Her inclusion of the railway tracks in her design ended up transitioning across to the final design. I think you'll agree it's a beautiful addition.


The Artisan Heart - final.


Concept Art by Lucy Mayes - aged 8.

I'm excited to tell you so much more about this novel but I'll hold off for now and share some more insights with you as the clock ticks down to September this year. For now though, let me know what you think in the comments and, if you're keen, sign up for my exclusive newsletter updates as we roll forward towards the Southern Spring/Northern Fall. 

DFA. 

Friday, January 26, 2018

I Dreamed Of A Chateau - A Look At Le Chateau by Sarah Ridout.



Le ChateauLe Chateau by Sarah Ridout

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What really happened at the chateau?

When Charlotte regains consciousness after an accident, she finds herself living a stranger’s life. The previous five years are a blank, and her husband, Henri, and daughter, Ada, are strangers. Arriving at their family chateau in southern France, she hopes to regain her memories. Instead she feels isolated and unsettled. Strange events hint at underlying darkness and menace. Charlotte doesn’t know who to trust.

Did she really have an affair with their charming Irish neighbour, as her enigmatic mother-in-law suggests? And what of Henri? He seems loving and kind, a good parent, but Charlotte is wary. Then there is Ada, a little girl who just wants her mother back.

With the help of her friend and fellow Australian Susannah, Charlotte starts to piece together events, but her newfound confidence is shaken with news that puts a deadline on her quest…

Le Chateau is a suspenseful gothic tale that will appeal to readers of Daphne du Maurier and Kate Morton
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I very quickly fell into the dream-like, gothic story scape of Sarah Ridout's "Le Château" and, by its end, I was very reluctant to leave. Told through the first person perspective of the protagonist Charlotte - who recovering from a mysterious accident that has robbed her of her memory - "Le Château" captivated me with its unfolding mystery as Charlotte struggles to rebuild her shattered life. Faced with a husband and daughter she cannot remember, and hints of darker truths she discovers in the idyllic French countryside estate her family shares, I was with Charlotte, experiencing her journey in equal measure as she. Ridouts patient story telling, her vivid visual style and her complex characterisations made this an all consuming reading experience for me - one that continues to echo long after I have finished it.

Le Château is a dream-like masterpiece.



Sarah Ridout has a Masters in Creative Writing (First Class Honours), from University College Dublin (UCD). UCD is the alma mater of James Joyce, John McGahern, Neil Jordan, Colm Tóibín, and Emma Donoghue, among others.


Sarah Ridout (photo credit: Merilyn Smith photography).

Over the past eleven years she has lived in four countries with her husband and two children. Her eight years surrounded by the vineyards and chateaux of southern France produced a baby, family of Francophiles, and the seed of this novel, completed in Dublin, Ireland. Le Chateau draws on her experiences as an expatriate, her knowledge of France, its people and customs. 

Le Chateau was selected to participate in the prestigious Queensland Writers Centre /Hachette Australia Manuscript Development Program before it was acquired by Bonnier Publishing Australia (Echo Publishing).

Sarah has been writing throughout her public relations career, before commencing memoir and novel writing.

The complexities of the role of women interest her as do identity and place as signifiers, and the multiple effects of displacement on identity.

Sarah loves travel and the immersion into other cultures provided by her twelve years living in Europe. She enjoys reading, film, music (especially David Bowie), and is an avid art lover and collector.

Purchase Le Château here.

Connect with Sarah Ridout here.

Tweet with Sarah Ridout here.

View all my Goodreads reviews

DFA.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Trailer Park.

One thing I've done in support of marketing my books is to put together a book trailer. It's not a new concept and plenty of authors are doing it. With a little bit of imagination, and some patience, book trailers can come out looking pretty good.

Of course, You Tube is the best avenue for uploading and promoting your book trailers, but Facebook, Amazon and Goodreads all offer a similar facility for uploading video trailers.

Here are three trailers I've put together for my three books so far.

One of the best pieces of advice I've received in creating book trailers is that no trailer should be more than roughly a minute long. Attention spans for an unknown or obscure quantity are only good for about a minute, after which, you can be guaranteed they'll switch off. 

I think I've broken that minute rule with every one of these trailers. Did you last? Let me know in the comments. 

DFA.

2016 International Teaser Trailer for "The Recipient" by Dean Mayes.



2012 International Teaser trailer for "Gifts of The Peramangk" by Dean Mayes.



2010 International Teaser Trailer for "The Hambledown Dream" by Dean Mayes.