Friday, January 29, 2010
Invariably I had an unconscious play list of songs I like to listen to whilst writing and editing. They helped to put me in that frame of mind that would get the best out of me. One song - well one band actually - assisted me more than any other to get into the headspace. British group Zero 7 have long been a favorite of mine. I discovered them a few years ago when I saw that fantastic Zack Braff directed indie "Garden State". Since then, they've had me hooked and not the least because a fellow South Australian, Sia Furler, appears regularly in their line up.
As I was retooling the final scenes of "The Hambledown Dream" the song "Home" happened to time itself on the random play on my smartphone. The effect was instant. Home became the song in which I said goodbye to the characters and situations I had created in my story. And it's influence lingered long after.
Imagine it then as say the closing theme to "The Hambledown Dream" and enjoy this video.
And the great news about this is that it will be streamed live on the web, so anyone in the world can tune in and listen to the interview. So to give you an idea of timing - for those of you in the States you can tune in live at 6:15PM Central Time on Tuesday the 2nd Febuary (because - I am in the FUTURE!!).
Dina, Marie and I will be chatting about the book, the inspiration for writing it and the nature of romance writing - particularly from a guy's point of view.
I do hope you can tune in to the show next week and have a listen to my first media engagement as a published author.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
When I first began entertaining the thought of writing this particular story, I had a clear idea that there was to be a father/son dynamic - a strained relationship where the father has little understanding of the son and vice versa. And again the visual part of my imagination kicked in and I saw clearly who it was that could best (physically) represent Bruce DeVries.
Starring Keith Carradine, Peter Coyote, Fred Ward, TK Carter, Brion James (a perennial favorite of mine), Southern Comfort is regarded as a classic, though perhaps not as much of a classic as others of it's era and or genre.
Southern Comfort also stars Powers Boothe.
Cast as the new-comer to the platoon of Guardsmen, Boothe plays Hardin - a quietly spoken but intensely 'present' man - who sort of becomes the reluctant leader of the platoon when everything goes to hell. He starts out in the film as a loner, hesitant about his presence in the platoon and thus he doesn't endear himself to the group initially. However, Hardin strikes up a tentative friendship with Spencer (Carradine) and this relationship becomes key to both men's survival as they struggle to escape the swamps and the poachers.
It was this quiet intensity that drew me to crafting the character of Andy's father in the story and, of all the characters in The Hambledown Dream, Bruce DeVries story arc remained pretty much unchanged from the time that I conceived him. Powers Boothe has been a mainstay character actor in film and television since the early 70's and though he has played a diversity of roles, this singular characteristic of quiet intensity has flowed through them all.
(Powers Boothe as Markham in The Emerald Forest, 1985).
Bruce is a distant figure when we first meet him in The Hambledown Dream. A long distance trucker for many years, Bruce and Andy are alienated from one another, they rarely talk to one another and given the destructive trajectory that Andy is on at the beginning of the story, it is not surprising that Bruce and Andy don't get along. However there is a hidden tragedy in Bruce's past that is only revealed when Andy comes to a critical junction in his own life. All is not what it seems.
Bruce DeVries is quiet but his presence is powerful and whenever Andy is in his father's presence, he feels inadequate. Andy has spent much of his life seeking his father's approval but he is constantly falling short. This only adds to the inner turmoil Andy experiences as the events of The Hambledown Dream unfold.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I have spent every spare moment of the past week emailing just about every conceivable media outlet I can think to garner interest in it, hopefully secure and interview for it or a review of it. It's tough going. Never have I scoured the internet more in my life in the quest for these three things. And in the process I have learnt something...
I have no idea about marketing.
At the moment I don't have any strategy. I am just emailing anybody and everybody. But in the past few days I have started to categorize "blocks" of people to contact. Those in the mainstream media - including print, radio and TV. Those in the online media - podcasters and bloggers and those outside of both these spheres - real people. Potential readers. I guess I've sent out over 200 emails - I've lost count. I'll give it a week or so and then I'll resend those emails if I haven't heard back from those contacts. There have been a few nibbles from a couple of quarters but nothing concrete as yet.
I started a Facebook Fan Page. It wasn't something I really wanted to do initially. I have always been a little suspicious of those fan pages because I get so many requests to join fan pages. For instance - I got a request the other day to join a fan page for people who "hate it how people don't indicate in traffic"??? But I took the suggestion of starting a fan page and ran with it and I've been surprised by the response to it. I actually have fans now. Whether those fans will actually purchase the novel is another story but...I have fans!
My publisher and I are in regular contact and she has been fabulous in her suggestions and advice and it has really helped me. The dialogue is great.
The ironic moment of the week came on Saturday when I purchased The Weekend Australian from the newsagent. In the "Review" magazine there was an article all about the rise of the eBook and how it is fast becoming the new way. Australians are relatively in the dark about eBooks even though we have one of the fastest growing populations of iPhone owners in the Western World. The common refrain I hear from people with regards to eBooks are "but I really like the idea of holding a proper book in my hand". There is certainly something tangible about a paper and cardboard (??) book so I'll admit, they've got a point. But the potential that lies within the digital world for budding authors to get their work out there is limitless. So much more so than in the traditional publishing sphere.
Australian publishing is a little backward.
To those of you who have purchased the Dream thus far, thanks so much. I hope you are enjoying it.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Mike breaks down day to day subjects with a keen wit and drives his points home fearlessly. Mike Stanley can be heard regularly on Chicago's Red Bar Radio. I was pleased to be able to have such a good physical representation for the character of Beck.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
"Walking On A Dream" is the unofficial theme song to "The Hambledown Dream" which is OUT NOW at iReadiWrite Publishing, Omnilit Books, and Amazon's Kindle Store.
Written and performed by Australian group Empire of the Sun, "Walking On A Dream" helped inspire me during the latter stages of writing and I have quoted the opening lyrics at the beginning of the story (crediting their authors appropriately). It is these lyrics in particular that say something to me about the journey of the central characters in "The Hambledown Dream", Denny Banister and Andy DeVries, two young men who are both both searching for redemption in very different ways.
You can watch the official music video of Empire of the Sun's "Walking On A Dream" here.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
First time author, Dean Mayes is pleased to announce that his first novel "The Hambledown Dream" has been released today (January 21, 2010) at iReadiWrite Publishing.
A lyrical and deeply moving fable, "The Hambledown Dream" tells the story of two young men whose lives become inextricably entwined.
Denny Banister had the world at his feet; a successful career, a passion for the guitar and Sonya – the love of his life. Tragically, Denny is struck down with inoperable cancer & he is destined to die. 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, and 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...
"The Hambledown Dream" is available in PDF, Mobi and ePub formats from the iReadiWrite Store at a price of $7.99USD.
Anyway...Michelle Halket and I have been in almost constant email contact, readying "The Hambledown Dream" for release on the iReadiWrite Store. I cannot fault her care and attention. Michelle has communicated even the most minor things to me so I can consider them in turn. She is readily available and nothing is too much trouble. Last weekend, Michelle did a review of the manuscript and found some minor grammatical errors (yes - still some errors after all the work I've done!!) and I have since found some more (ARRRGGGGHHH!!!). They are not at all major ones - but part of the success of this novel has to be fostered in the knowledge that it is 100% percent tight, flawless grammatically - otherwise critics will drive a truck through it. I have to temper my excitement with the technical focus of getting this thing perfect. I sent the revisions back to Michelle tonight (Australian time) so that she can review and fix them up.
I have developed some interesting trivialities in the past week. At 3:30AM Adelaide time, it hits 9:00AM in Vancouver - where iReadiWrite is located. I know this implicitly now so I kinda work on Vancouver time during the week. Which works fine since, through the week I am working nights so my body clock is all screwy anyway. It's a passing thought...just indulge me okay?
The Hambledown Dream is now officially listed on the iReadiWrite Store as "Coming Soon" (January 2010). I can't quite get my head around the fact that this...all this...is really happening.
Will talk soon,
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Right from the very first refrains of those brassy trumpets that herald it's beginning, you just know that Rocky is going to prevail. That, from all the effort, the self doubt, the trials and tribulations that have peppered his journey up until that point - you just know things are going to be alright - okay good!
On Thursday afternoon I had to run a couple of errands and I took my son with me for the drive. Do you know, I can't even remember, what the errand was that I was supposed to be running, my mind has been so preoccupied this week. Anyway, as we're driving along, my son Xavier begs me to put on his favorite song of the moment - which just happens to be Bill Conti's "Gonna Fly Now". After a little protestation from myself - I was happy just to listen to the cricket - I relented and I thumbed my smart-phone's screen until I brought up the Media Player. In a few seconds that familiar and rousing trumpet refrain burst through the car and Xavier was cheering in his seat, punching the air with his fists as we got into the song for the umpteenth time.
And within that treasured little moment between father and son, I got this sense that things were going to be alright...good even...
And so, fast forwards to Friday morning - to when I first wake up and, as I have religiously these past few days, I launch into the ritual of checking my phone (email) hoping that, that one message that I have been waiting nervously for since last week had arrived.
I blinked as they downloaded onto my device...and then...
there it was...
I am thrilled to officially announce today that I have signed with iReadiWrite Publishing of Vancouver, Canada and that my first novel "The Hambledown Dream" will be published as an eBook - to be sold in the iReadiWrite store and it's partner stores.
iReadiWrite Publishing is a small but growing digital press that has been a fervent supporter of new and emerging writers looking to get their works published in the growing market place of electronic books. With a focus on literary fiction across a number of genre's, iReadiWrite Publishing has a growing catalogue of exceptional works in it's store and they are all reasonably priced to make them affordable and attractive.
You can thank the emergence of the iPhone and more recently Amazon's Kindle for driving an increasing interest in the eBook. In fact it has been reported that eBook sales are fast over taking sales of traditional books, such are their appeal to the modern reading public.
Words cannot describe how thrilled I am to be achieving what I consider to be one of the most significant dreams of my life. Since I was in my senior year at high school I have held onto the dream of becoming a published author. I have had many attempts at crafting that one great story, that novel that I always believed was in me. And now here I am.
An official release date for the book has not yet been pinned down but I am hopeful that the book will go live on the store within the next month or so. There is still a lot of work to do prior to it becoming available but rest assured that I will keep the updates flowing here.
I would like to invite you to spread the word about my book. I believe in it, I poured my heart into it and I would like as many people around the world as possible to read it and hopefully enjoy a tender and emotional love story that is quite a lot different to what you might expect.
Will talk soon,
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
The new phone directory arrived on the doorstep the other day. It was all fresh and new, no dog eared pages, the cover fresh and vibrant, it smelled great. The arrival of the new phone directory is always cool, if for no other reason than I get a chance to ditch the crappy old and bask in the glory of a brand new one before it gets thoroughly trashed.
The phone directory is society.
It's more than just names on a page or a means to find a business or service. In it are hundreds, thousands of stories. Individual stories, family stories, success stories and stories of failure...of heart ache. It is a microcosm of the world in which we live and it more than any other piece of literature has the ability to connect people.
Do you ever scan through the pages of peoples name on your search for that one person you are looking for and wonder just who these people are? I do, but I'm kinda screwy in that way...
So the phone directory came the other day and, like previous years, I brought it in and set it down on the kitchen table. Each year when it arrives I do the same thing, bring it into the house, set it down on the table then I go about my business. I try to go about my business...but there is always a question, a ghost if you will, that returns each to foment in my mind and persist in tugging at my conscience no matter how much I try to ignore it.
Is she still there?
I'll go outside, mow the lawn, tinker in the shed, weed the garden, wash the car. But the question lingers. It won't leave me alone. Each time I go in the house and walk by the table, there it is...and the question lingers.
I put the directory away in the cupboard, to get it out of my sight...yet the question still lingers.
Is she still there?
The past for me holds failed love and loss. Though time has moved on and I have moved with it, sometimes, ghosts from the past pull me back to remind me of those failures. It is not fair to my family now that I continue to be haunted by the past. It seems, to me, to be a sort of betrayal - yet I love my now serioso and I love my son and I would never give up on them. But the ghost of my failings still haunt me.
Though I tried so hard to fix those things that were broken, I was cut off at the knees. Things happened, decisions were made that I had no control over, no choice but to accept. I was forced to give up everything and to move on. Then...when I did move on, when I tried to rebuild a shattered life there were changes of heart, she changed her mind.
I can't live without you...We could keep it a secret...I was wrong about us.!!...please don't leave me!!!
There are still so many things that I don't understand about that time and, as a result, there is still a residual grief. There are, still, so many questions - questions that I will, probably, never know the answers to. That is one part of my story, though it's one that will never be hinted at through the phone directory because I chose along time ago not to have my name listed in there.
Every year, when the new directory arrives I do the same thing. I dance around it for a while, try to ignore it while the question taunts me, then I give in. I sit down and I look. And, there she is...in the same place she was last year. In a bizarre way I take comfort in that. What is that? Is it some sort of holding on to the past?
Just by seeing her name on the page, I feel a sense of comfort. But it's wrong...way wrong...Isn't it?This year it was different. When I finally relented and hurriedly flipped through to where the entry should have been...
She was gone...
No longer there...
I was at once stunned and then sad. Why would that make me feel this way? So empty? That it was a last connection to an old life perhaps? A reminder that I had lived before? A reminder of my failings?
We tend to seek solace in grief sometimes. It is a curious notion that I have increasingly found truth in. I have found a sense of solace in grief, a sense of comfort. I have no idea why that is so but seeing her name there, knowing she was still there in her own consequence, was a comfort. Her name is gone from the phone directory now and, for a moment, I felt awful. And I feel stupid because I felt awful. Now - I just feel empty...
What does that mean?
This week, I shall say goodbye to an old friend. A friend I have known for three short years, a friend who is one of the important souls I have ever met. Together we have shared the most wonderful and enriching conversations......yet we have never spoken to one another.
Together we have been on the longest walks...
...but my friend has never moved from the one place. This friend greets me every morning as I leave for work and again when I return home in the evening...
...yet my friend has never stepped inside my home.
My friend lives on a tranquil hillside that overlooks the township, in a meadow where cows graze and kangaroos sometimes pass through. I'm rather envious because the vista up there is beautiful and peaceful. There is an uninterrupted view across the valley. I shouldn't complain though, because I have an uninterrupted view of the hillside from my loungeroom window and my friend is always the centerpiece of it.
I guess my friend has lived there for maybe 60 or 70 years? I don't really know because he looks as youthful as ever. Always healthy, always straight and tall, limbs strong.
Our best conversations are usually on a Saturday morning when I sit out on the porch with a cup of coffee and the paper. It's ironic actually that one of our first conversations/debates was about a hurricane in North America and the government's response to it and, this week, our last will be about another hurricane threatening the exact same peace of coast line. How the government responds to it this time is yet to become clear but, no doubt, he'll have little to say on the subject...again.
There were a few other significant events we shared. The day I brought home my newborn son there was a sunrise over the hill unlike no other that I can remember that I could have sworn he'd had a hand in. When the was more than a few significant domestic rows within the house it was his counsel that I sought out more than anyone else's. I'm sure he recommended more than a few of the apologies I went back to offer. The day one of my heroes, the journalist Matt Price, died he consoled me for a time as I shed a quiet tear for a man whose articles I had religiously though I had never met him.
This week I will farewell the tree that's sits alone, on the hillside above my house. And I will shed a tear again because I don't think I will ever meet someone quite like him again. The friendship we shared healed me, it sustained me and it enriched me. Saying goodbye to that tree will be harder than saying goodbye to my house, for while I love my little country cottage it is still youthful and new. It has yet to sit for the years that tree has sat and experience the comings and goings of people.
Where will I turn to now?
Whose counsel will ever be as qualitative as that of the tree above my house in the Hills?
The roots of that tree hold onto the soil of a place, the only place where I feel I have truly belonged.
This morning, as I was emptying out a wardrobe I happened across an old newspaper my grandfather gave me a long time ago. God, it was something like 23 years ago! My grandparents were moving house at the time and I found this old newspaper in a shed outside their house that was full of all sorts of odds and ends. My grandfather was a bower bird - he collected everything!
Including a complete issue on the Melbourne Sun newspaper dated July, 1948.
I took it home and kept it. I took it out every so often and had a look through it, I'd show friends, I'd marvel at how times have changed.
I was a weird kid.
The crossword had been done. Pa was a crossword fanatic. He had a tattered old thesaurus which used to sit on the table with him every morning and I'd sneak a look through it sometimes and wonder how a thesaurus used to function as opposed to a dictionary. It took a few years before the penny dropped...
Like I said, I was a weird kid...
I can't quite believe that I still have that old newspaper. And I find that it usually comes out when I'm preparing to move - it's like a bloody talisman for moving. Russia was creating a bit of trouble for the Allies in post war Berlin - the first seeds of the Cold War. The Australian cricketer Donald Bradman was playing a golf tournament somewhere. That was the year he retired from International Cricket. Joe Lewis beat the crap out of someone whose name escapes me right now. I don't have the paper in front of me right now, so forgive my lax recollection. It's been carefully boxed away for the move. It is a time capsule of a time I had no part in - hell my parents weren't even born yet. But it is a tangible link to my grandfather who I was fortunate enough to have known for twenty years of my life.
It is yellowing now, it's pages are increasingly flimsy and tattered at the edges but I won't ever part with it...well I won't as long as I can help it. Maybe I could get it to it's one hundredth year and present it to the Melbourne offices of the Herald Sun. I'll be an old man by then, if I'm still around at all.
I was numb the day my grandfather died though I did not weep then. In fact, it was a good three or four months before his death hit me. And it came late one night when I was driving home from university. I was tired, so tired. And it just hit me that he was no longer around. I sobbed so hard that I had to pull over and just sit and let it out.
It seems that there are ghosts everywhere lately. I can't work out if that is a good thing or not...
Saturday, January 9, 2010
This evening I sent my manuscript, cover-art and profile pic of myself, my bio and my details via the submission form at iReadiWrite Publishing.
OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG...
After nearly 9 months of work, the sleepless nights writing and rewriting, the honing of characters and situations, crafting environments from real places and imagined ones, researching every little piece of minutiae of music and musical history that went into the story. From the completing the primary draft to entering the editing phase which I undertook with the help of my editor J, to the conception of the idea for my cover art to the execution of some beautiful photography just this morning, to the last minute fretting and fawning over the manuscript (have I taken care of every single grammatical error or loose plot thread or weak line of dialogue...).
I have done as much as I can do. Now it is for others to judge it's relative worth as a piece of literary fiction. I think it's a beautiful little story, it's well crafted, has a soul. I'm still - even now - unsure about certain parts of it but that being unsure is only minor as I have tidied it up as much as I can. I guess I will know in about a week whether it will be accepted.
A couple of last minute things I did was to finalize the acknowledgments, include a little blurb about myself and a synopsis of the story. I also included a dedication. On the sidebar here you can see a photograph of a guy named Matt Price. Matt Price was a journalist for the News Limited stable here in Australia. For years he wrote a regular column which featured in The Australian newspaper called "The Sketch". The Sketch took an alternate view to the theater of politics in this country and Matt Price deconstructed the pomp and pansiness of Australian parliament and parliamentarians. He saw through the bullshit and the ballsiness of politics and found something rather more human about it all. Of course, his articles were invariably bang on the money and they were so bloody funny. He was universally loved by both sides of politics here in Australia. His regular appearences on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's "Insiders" program on Sunday mornings were compulsive viewing for a political junkie like myself. When he wasn't writing about politics, Matt was ruminating about life, his love affair with the Fremantle Dockers AFL football team and his idol Bob Dylan - who he had the rare privilege of meeting.
In September 2007, I found out - like many others that Matt Price had been diagnosed with a brain tumour. He sent an email to all of his colleagues telling them of his news and ended it with the most poignant of words "Life is fragile - hug your loved ones". Two months later, on November 25th 2007, at the age of just forty six - Matt Price died, leaving behind a loving wife and two beautiful children...and a nation who wept openly for his passing.
Matt Price had a love of words and a love of a story...he was my hero.
The Hambledown Dream is dedicated to his memory.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed...
The second attempt at the cover shoot took place at Henley Beach this morning at 6AM. And while Adelaide has been sweltering in plus 100 degree weather in the past few days, the climate on the beach this morning was nothing short of perfection. A calm 81 degrees (at 6AM - I kid you not), absolutely no wind whatsoever and a color palette to absolutely die for. What ensued therefore was a photo-shoot for which we couldn't have asked any more of mother nature. She was, in a word, serene.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
"The Hambledown Dream" is a story that has has a rich musical influence flowing through it. Music is particularly important in a number of key scenes within "The Dream" where the central character plays his guitar to a crowd - not necessarily used to his style of playing. But music is also important in laying down a "feel" to the story. Like a painter who gradually builds a piece of art up through layering, I used music during the writing process to help me tap into a particular emotional texture. It allowed me to imbue certain scenes with a soul that I think carries really nicely. In the initial drafts of the manuscript I even included the lyrics to certain songs that I thought would complement scenes but I quickly learned that the copyright considerations surrounding the use of certain lyrics was a mine field that I just didn't end up wanting to traverse so I gave up on their inclusion. Which, in the final analysis is probably a good thing because it keeps the story my own - the borrowing of lyrics can actually work against you because it takes away a little of your writings authenticity.
However, tapping into the emotional heart of certain songs in order to translate what a character might be thinking and feeling at a particular moment is a different proposition entirely. By interpreting a song and marrying that with the character's state of mind and what you get is something that remains true to your own writing style but it allows you to add a little texturing and layering to a scene. You have allowed a piece of music to add to that tableaux in a subtle way.
Can you see what I am getting at?
I wrote "The Hambledown Dream" across a period of about 8 months during 2009. I wrote it during rainy afternoons when it was cold out and I was sitting at the dining room table watching the rain fall against the window panes - the sound of quiet jazz playing in the background, a glass of wine nearby. I wrote it on a warm day on the patio of my house with classical guitar music on the radio, a cold beer sitting beside me and my dog laying beside my chair. I wrote it in the early hours of the morning - I mean like at 3 or 4 AM when I had a quiet moment at work and could steal a moment to pen some lines on my smartphone. Often I would have some quiet music as an accompaniment, maybe Zero 7 or Dido, or even Vince Jones - one of my favorite artists. A cup of good old caterer's blend sugared to the nines completes this particular occasion. Music helped me create, it helped me to see things clearer, it helped me to tap into an emotional heart in my story.
So here is what can be loosely regarded as the unofficial soundtrack to "The Hambledown Dream" - Music that inspired the story. I'll refer to it as unofficial so as not to piss off anyone in the recording industry who may deem it worthy to slap me with some sort of infringement notice.
1. Walking On A Dream - Empire of the Sun.
2. Cursed Diamond - The Black Crowes.
3. Deciso - Astor Piazolla (as performed by Slava & Leonard Grigoryan).
4. The Sounds Of Rain Part 3 - Slava Grigoryan.
5. Throw Your Arms Around Me (Acoustic Version) - Hunter's and Collector's.
6. Landslide - The Dixie Chicks.
7. Come Alive - Foo Fighters.
8. Here With Me - Dido.
9. But Beautiful - Vince Jones.
10. Sonata Prima - Fernando Sor (as performed by Slava Grigoryan).
11. Concierto de Aranjuez 2 - Joaquin Rodrigo (as performed by Slava & Leonard Grigoryan).
12. Home - Zero 7.
They are a fairly eclectic and personal collection of songs that reflect the overall 'feel' of "The Hambledown Dream". Most of the pieces - particularly the classical ones - are depicted in the story and described in detail, because both Andy and Denny play them, while others serve as the background to particular scenes and are mentioned in such a way as to paint a picture. Most of these songs can be found readily across the breadth of the internet. I encourage you to seek them out - by legitimate means - and have a listen to them. They will give you an impression of the mood and the texture that I was trying to achieve whilst writing "The Hambledown Dream".
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Sunday, January 3, 2010
For the past eight months I have been writing the novel with the working title "Dreams Of A Love Indestructible". However I have grown increasingly concerned that this title is too "Mills and Boon" and not nearly as classy as say a "Notebook" or a "PS I Love You" (okay so maybe the latter of these two can be cast as gushy/lovey-dovey romance chic). Dreams Of A Love Indestructible does not readily roll off the tongue and, to me - as well as a few others I have run it by - it does sound a little questionable. I named it so because it is the dreams of two people that form a central motif in the story. They are more or less sharing something but they don't know it.
So in the past few days I have reconsidered the title whilst finalizing the remaining edits of the manuscript. I have written down a few ideas on the page, moved things around a bit to see how they fit. And in the process of doing so I kept hearing or seeing the word "Hambledown" in my mind. I don't know how it came to be there but I wrote it down regardless - and then an idea fomented.
During the early part of the writing process , in the copious amounts of notes I had written, I had brainstormed an idea where I would name a particular location in the novel Hambledown Road. I had no idea where this location was, only that it was going to be there somewhere. Then, further along in the writing process Hambledown Road become the location of the beach house where my two star crossed lovers first live together. For a time I worked to include it somewhere in the piece but for some reason it kept getting moved back or put to the side. But I really liked the name Hambledown.
While I was away on holiday on Kangaroo Island, I revisited the whole title issue and decided that "Dreams Of A Love Indestructible" was definitely too much and I could no longer move forward with it. So I gave Hambledown one last look in. I named the town where Denny and Sonya lived Stafford - and this was another aspect of the story that I was never fully happy with. I named it so because of a street I found in the seaside township of Tathra on NSW's south coast and from that I created the fictional village of Stafford on the south coast. I thought at the time "That'll do" but I was kinda "meh" at the same time.
So last week I asked myself the question "What if I renamed Stafford, Hambledown instead?"
Sometimes, in life things just fit in my mind. And this is just one of those. To me the title is a lot more succinct. It is wistful without being overly gushy and to me it sparks interest rather than hits you in the face with a potentially misleading gush fest. With the dream still very much a favored word for the title I have decided and by extension announce here for the first time that my novel will be hence forth known as
"The Hambledown Dream"
Now let me just hope that the same superstition convention that applies to the re-naming of boats doesn't apply here and this decision doesn't damn me to bad, bad luck...