Sunday, February 28, 2010

Official Announcement - The Hambledown Dream Is Going To Print.

Dean Mayes of Hambledown Road Productions in association with ireadiwrite Publishing is pleased to launch today the official trailer for the upcoming release of Dean's debut novel "The Hambledown Dream" in print for the very first time.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Reverie Revisited

Time counts...& keeps counting...

The sea washes up gently on the shore, smoothing the sand, arranging the grains with it's delicate fingers.

Above, an inky blanket of twinkling night. Millions upon millions of stars dance a silent ballet around a crescent sliver of moonlight.

It is fresh on the beach on this quiet night but it is not cold. An autumnal breeze wafts languidly across the shoreline from the north, curling through the jacarandas that line the hillside above the beach, rustling the leaves of the accompanying eucalyptus and caressing the top of the long grass on the hillside.

A lone kangaroo, a compact grey stoops on a patch of ground just off the roadside that winds down nearby. Its nostrils flare, picking up the scent of faint smoke. It turns its head, focuses its eyes and in the dark pools of its pupils, the reflection of a soft reddish-yellow flickering dances briefly, before the young male turns its head slightly away.

Flames dance...

A sound, different from the sounds of the night time floats up the hillside from the beach and the kangaroo's tall ears twitch and move with the precision of a radar dish. The sound is foreign, yet gentle...intriguing...

Fingers on the strings. A dance of purpose...

A lone figure sits on an ancient log down on the sand before a welcoming fire. He wears a generous coat, woolen and lined that keeps in the warmth. A knitted cap upon his head, covers his ears, keeps them cosy. A pair of leather gloves lay beside him on the log - for he cannot wear them and play.

He cradles the instrument in his arms, holding it as though it were an extension of himself. It is an exquisite example of fine craftsmanship - of how rosewood, spruce and cedar can brought together with such precision as to warrant a sense of reverence in holding it.

The strings, expertly tuned, deliver a sound that could best be described as sublime. He plays a soft tune, a sequence that soothes him, quiets his mind, has him lost in the majesty of this quiet moment.

The fire crackles generously, licking at the fuel that sustains it. The flames dance while pin points of phosphorescence launch into the sky, disappearing as quickly as they appear - their life so brief yet so intense...

The warmth bathes the man's face and outstretched legs. The heat feels good It nurtures his soul.

It feels good to be alive.

Beside him, lying next to the log, the dog is fast asleep, blissful in his contentment. The black and white fur across his chest and flank rises and falls gently, lulling his master who, every so often steals a glance over at his faithful companion.

A night on the beach like this...could there be anything more perfect?

The man stops playing momentarily and sets the guitar down carefully on a blanket. He cranes his neck to look over his shoulder up the hillside. He can see the lights from a lone house up there and just below it, the beam of a torchlight winks in the darkness as a person approaches along a path that winds down to the beach from the house.

He smiles, knowing who is in possession of that torchlight.

Reaching beside him, he feels for the pile, takes a squat log of wood in his hand and deposits it onto the fires which crackles once more as though gleeful for this new source of fuel.

He watches as a new flurry of pin points shoot into the sky and then casts his eyes skyward, taking in the breathtaking vista above him. The Milky Way stretches like a ribbon across the night, seeming more vivid than he can ever remember it being.

And for a moment, a random thought crosses his consciousness.

'I was there once...for the briefest of moments. I was among the stars, I was one of them...I was where I was meant to be...before I was called back here...

...It wasn't my time'

He smiles again. The uniqueness of his existence is never lost on him, never taken for 

granted. He is here...

Two lives existing in one body.

He senses her presence. The dog stirs on the sand beside him and lifts it's head in the direction of the house. The woman emerges from the path and steps down onto the sand, extinguishing the torch's beam.

She takes the back pack off her shoulder as she rounds the log and sits down beside him. Her face is bathed in the warm glow from the fire. Her smile lifts his heart and fills him with love. Her beauty is wondrous. He touches her cheek, a length of her auburn hair that falls from her temple underneath her own woolen cap.

They kiss softly, tenderly before the fire, savouring the touch of each other's lips, of each other's skin. Then they draw back.

He picks up the guitar once more and strums absently as he searches his mind for a tune to play for while she unzips the back pack, revealing its contents. The dog watches them both for
a moment then falls back to sleep, groaning softly.

A bottle of wine, a five year old Cabernet Sauvignon from South Australia. Two glasses which she balances on a flattened area of the log upon which they sit. A platter, bone white with a chip at it's edge. It's an old platter but lovingly retained, a sentimental favorite. A cheese knife with a red gum handle. Then she reveals a selection of cheeses which are their favorites. An aged cheddar from Victoria's Gippsland region, a brie - also from Gippsland, a smoked cheese with a waxy rind and, finally a blue cheese from Tasmania - a favorite of his but one she has come to enjoy - marginally.

She arranges them on the plate with some dried figs & some water crackers and sets the plate down on the blanket while she uncorks the wine and pours them both a glass.

His eyes twinkle, picking up the faint aroma of the wine in his nostrils which in turn touches of a memory. He tilts his head as an idea foments. A song has entered his mind and his fingers immediately adjust in preparation to play it.

It is a song called 'Going Home' - a theme song for a movie called 'Local Hero' composed by Dire Straits front man Mark Knopfler.

In the absence of a band, he draws upon the sounds of the beach to provide an accompaniment. The sea washing up on the sand, the crackling fire before them, the soft breeze rustling the grass behind them.

She smiles as she cuts off a thin wedge of cheese and pops it onto her tongue then lifts the glass of wine to her lips. His playing is hypnotic, exquisitely beautiful. His skill is beyond doubt. He eases into the lyrical melody then nods the platter before them, hopefully.

She regards him with a mock frown of disapproval then grins, cutting him off a piece of the brie and popping it into his mouth.

Drawing the collar of her own jacket up around her neck, she nestles closer beside him and leans her head upon his shoulder, sighing happily as she listens to him play.

They savor these moments, this time together when they can escape from the busy-ness of their day to day lives, escape to this place of solitude and just be together.


Neither of them thought they would have these precious moments together again. Their experience of the past year, of having been nearly been lost to one another forever had ensured that, never again would they take time for granted, nor would they take circumstance for granted. They would make time for one another, at the expense of all others and enjoy the wonder of their timeless love.

For both Sonya and Andy knew how precious and how fragile life is...

Their evening together, here on their Hambledown beach, is more precious to them than any jewel.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

First Major Review of The Hambledown Dream.

I am pleased to announce today that Anne Riley has been kind enough to review The Hambledown Dream and post a comprehensive article on her site.

Michelle Halket of iReadiWrite Publishing made available a copy of the book for Anne to review and I am very pleased with her article.

I invite you to have a look at Anne's review.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Randomosity (Delta).

Another lull in proceedings.

3AM, quiet, patient is under control and this is the first opportunity I've had to sit down with a cup of good ol' Caterer's Blend and breathe. I was just thinking to myself that if I put a teaspoon of pepper into this drink AFTER the three sugars I garnished it with - it would still aproximately chemical waste without the class. But it's drinkable so...I shouldn't complain.

If you're ever feeling so inclined I invite you to look up Tufting's Enteropathy on the web. Then imagine what a 13 month would be like with it. In a word - heartbreaking. I have been doing all I can to settle the little tyke down to sleep but in between the rampant diarrhoea and the vomiting, it's been next to impossible. The babe sleeps now though, thank heavens for small mercies.

It seems I have stumbled across a rich seam of gold (calloquially speaking) in the past 24 hours. In the blog-sphere there are literally millions upon millions of blogs that pertain to writing, to reading and to book reviews. So it is to here that I have turned my attentions in order to drive the marketing of The Hambledown Dream. was unaware before now - just how many blogs out there specialize in the reading of and reviewing of books. Each of them have their own audience so they each represent a potential.

The email count up until now is somewhere close to 100 - all individualized so as to appeal to each addressee in a personal fashion. Mind you I think I stuffed up royally last night when sending out the emails because I was doing it on my smartphone and I discovered that half of the email text was getting cut off in the sending. So I can imagine how my doucheyness would have looked at the other end when the recipient is reading my introduction only for it to be cut off before I have even illuminated them to the reason for my contacting them. I rectified the problem since but I still feel like an idiot.

Note for future reference - make sure you have the bloody addressee's name right too (Arrghh I could punch myself in the nose seriously).

...I have to ask this question - what is going on with the Jackson's these days. We're getting this program on pay tv at the moment called The Jacksons - A Family Dynasty. I caught a little of it the other night before work. I say a little of it because after about 3 minutes I wanted to throw my f***ing shoe at the TV. Michael's plastic nose hasn't been in the ground a year and these parasites are riding the coat tails of his death in a morbid attempt to suck as much profit from the Jackson name as they can.

Yeah, yeah I know - I could simply turn the TV off - but I'm a voyueristic pig sometimes...I just can't look away.

TV seems to be sucking more and more these days.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Randomosity (Cappa...???)

I just had to relate this to you while the thoughts remain fresh in my mind.

My three point five year old son and I have this little thing we do where we'll start singing a song together that will become sort of our theme tune for the moment.

It's a small, silly, insignificant thing really, but it's one thing that I can say I truly teach my son - so I call it a waaaaay cool teaching...thingy.

Right now, for some reason that I can't explain, we've struck upon the old Masters Apprentices classic "Because I Love You". It's taken us no time at all to master the lyrics. It's great because for years, I was never truly sure of the lyrics to the song myself. It was one of those situations where, I always thought the lyrics went a particular way...and they were completely different to what I thought they were. It just reminded me of a doctor colleague of mine who has now returned to England. She revealed to me just before Christmas, two of those yuletides ago, that she always thought that the words to "Feed the World (Do They Know It's Christmas?) were ... get this ... "Fever - Who-oaa!" (Sorry Fi - I couldn't resist).

So, yeah, my son and I are reciting "Because I Love You" every chance we get now - much to the teeth grinding aggravation of his mother. A few months ago it was the theme to Rocky "Gonna Fly Now" which he still avidly requests as part of the in car playlist on the way home from day care. I think the day care worker was genuinely shocked when she heard those victorious trumpets issue forth from my car's stereo system once when I pulled away from the curb outside the child care center.

Makes me wonder now what my 3 month old daughter and I will end up singing once she develops a voice of her own.


(nb - this post was written at 0500 hours in the morning after a period of sleep deprivation totalling T-minus 23 hours. Thus the lucidity of the author cannot be garanteed).

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Randomosity (Beta)

Firstly, let me apologize in advance for the brevity of my posts these past couple of weeks. My life has been a constant state of activity which has prevented me from sitting still for more than a couple of minutes at a time. In the rare few moments that I have had to just "chill" the last thing I have wanted to do is sit down in front of my computer.

I have gotten some serious DVD watching in though - which has been cool.

So these past couple of weeks have seen a couple of really good radio interviews emerge between myself and a program on Melbourne community radio and on New York Internet Radio (check the archive on the side bar to find links to the audio). I felt hesitant about the results of those initially but on listening back I found they were pretty damned good - not too much umm'ing and ahh'ing on my part, enough information put forward by myself to showcase the book and a kind of nice conversational about writing and words in general. They are definitely keepers.

I've also had a piece published at The Creative Penn which is a fairly renowned portal for writers, authors and publishers and I consider the significance of this - fairly...significant! I was tasked by Joanna Penn (owner of the site and publishing guru) to produce a piece about "How to be a Man in the romance market" and it wasn't easy. It didn't know whether to imbue the piece with a sense of fun or whether to play it completely straight but I think what emerged was a piece that is humorously straight (???) - Oh God - I have no idea if that makes any sense at all...does it??? Anyway - it turned out to be pretty enjoyable and I am proud of the result. It's looks damned good on the page too. In a few days an interview I did with Kristi Faith of Random Acts Of Writing will go live. I'm looking forward to seeing that because it was a fun interview to do.

My B.I.L. who works in printing surprised the heck out of me this past week when he dropped round about a thousand (!!!) very high quality bookmarks promoting my novel which I can hand out to people and leave a few lying around in some cafes. It's an awesome idea and so far I've convinced a few places around the traps to let me drop some off.

I think the thing I am most chuffed about is the article that appeared in my home town newspaper "The Traf News" last week. I'm getting a steady stream of updates from my parents that it has set the district abuzz and everyone wants to get a hold of this book of mine. Apparently, even those who aren't at all computer savvy are attempting to become overnight experts on the internet in order to jump into the realm of digital books - which is really sweet. I have this image of an old dairy farmer I know sitting at his beat up old Win95 machine that he's not used since ... 1995!! and he's yelling to his wife in the kitchen "Margaret!! How do I "start this thing!!?? I want to get myself this eBook thing of Steve and Sue's boy!!"

Turning people on to the idea of a digital book - especially here in Australia - is a hard nut to crack. Despite the explosion of Apple iPhones and Digital Readers (that are beginning to take off down here) many a consumer still prefers the "feel" of the paper and card in their hands. They consider the eBook to be somewhat lacking in tactility - even though it's the story that is the tactile heart rather than the medium that it is presented in.

So I gotta (excuse the lingo) drag my arse of to work again tonight for another round of night duty at the hospital. Monday's are always a downer as I guess they are for most people but, getting yourself into night duty mode is always a challenge because you know that - after having been awake for a day as I have been, the knowledge that it's gonna be at least another 13 hours before you're gonna get to sleep again is a tad deflating. And I don't know what I'm going to be in for once I get to the hospital so that's always an additional little head screw.

And so it goes forth...I promised some people another "Character Inspiration" piece so I better hop to and get that done over the next couple of days.

Talk soon.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Dean from Australia talks Hambledown with Brink of Sanity Radio

Last weekend I recorded a great interview with Jason McKenna of Brink of Sanity Radio in which we discussed the book, the writing process and our mutual love of Dean Carlson...and hating Lady Ga Ga...

Enjoy this with a glass of '06 Montrachet - just because...

Dean from Australia talks with Brink of Sanity


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

First Media Interview - Available to Download

Back on Feb 3, I sat down with Marie Ryan of Melbourne's Inner FM to record an interview with her for her popular "Readings and Writings" program.

I am pleased to be able to make it available here for the first time. Grab yourself a coffee and a ginger-nut biscuit and sit back for 40 minutes or so as we talk The Hambledown Dream, the inspiration for writing and how music can be turned into prose.

Dean Talks The Hambledown Dream.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Randomosity (Alpha).

Forgive me if I seem a little screwy...

It's a little after three in the morning. I'm at work, in the middle of my forth night duty shift this week and I'm tired - I am oh so tired. I set myself a punishing schedule this week. Not only was there the big first interview for my novel - which was pretty much central to my week - there were a number of other appointments I had to keep during the day time, which interrupted my pattern of sleep so badly that I have been functioning on a less than optimal amount when it comes time for work. 10 hour night duty shifts at the hospital are demanding mentally even if they are not particularly demanding physically. One operates on a different level than they would if it were day time. In a funny sort of way, time tends to go into a flux state...I imagine it's kind of the same sensation that my patients feel while they are sedated and paralyzed on the ventilator. Time blurs...

I've spent the past couple of days fretting over that first radio interview. It's because I'm tired I know but I keep going over all the perceived mistakes I made in it rather than appreciate the positive aspects of it. The worst thing I've been obsessing over is that I'm sure I got my publisher's name wrong when I was telling the interviewer about iReadiWrite Publishing. I'm waiting in the hope that the interviewer will come through with a CD of the interview because I know that I won't be able to let my mind rest until I listen back to it. If I did get Michelle's name wrong - I am going to find a brick wall and butt my head against it a few time. And the "umms and the ahhhs - my god! I am sure I sounded worse than Molly Meldrum (note to overseas readers - this guy made a freaking artform out of saying the umms and the ahhs when speaking publicly).

I tweeted a rather cryptic thing earlier this evening - something along the lines of "it's a desolate feeling when the one's who you hope support you the most support you the least". My publisher did advise me to be aware that support for your novel will actually come from the places where you least expect it and not to be too disappointed if those you expected to support it aren't as enthusiastic as you thought - or something like that - again I am going by memory here. Without identifying anyone specifically - I have to admit that there have been a number of people - important people - in my life who have been "ambivalent" towards the novel.

I would even go as far as to say that they have resented it even.

And it has been a disappointment - I won't hide it. Because it is something that I poured all of myself into. Every spare moment I could scrape together went into the process of writing it and it just seems that acknowledgement and/or encouragement has been hard to come by. And I know I shouldn't expect it...I don't think that is what I am trying to say. But Jesus, you know...

It's a pretty good thing.

Isn't it...

I'm reading "The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows right now. It's a lovely story - told through the exchange of letters between a young woman - an author - in post WW2 London and an eclectic group of people from the island of Guernsey. It's a whimsical read and a lovely piece of escapism right now...It's good at three in the morning anyway. I think my tastes are evolving. I'm gravitating towards literature whereas before I was a sucker for biographies and current events analysis. In the aftermath of 9/11 I absorbed reams and reams of words on the FBI, anti terrorism units, the governments response to terror. But I hit a kind of wall at some point and got well fed up with it all. I picked up a copy of "The Shipping News" a few years ago and I think that was the point at which I began to look for more human stories, rather than get swept up in the politics of today. I loved "The Shipping News" actually. I love stories about small towns and their people. I guess it's because I come from a small town. It's elementary really.

I really need to sleep for about 48 hours solidly - with no interruptions. Then I think I'll feel more positive. That's what it is...the lack of sleep. After a while it messes with your head. Negative thoughts bubble to the surface and they f*** with you. A man once taught me a way of stepping outside of your thoughts - it was an exercise where you kind of place your thought stream out in front of you and watch them go by dispassionately until they kind of dissipate. I got close but I don't think I ever really mastered the art of this exercise. I've been told I'm not very good at embracing new things. But it's funny that...

...because I'm constantly out there trying them.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Talking the "Dream"

Well the first interview seemed to go very well.

Ths morning (here in Australia) I spent 45 minutes on-air with Marie Ryan of Melbourne's
Inner FM 96.5 and we discussed the novel, my journey from the germination of the idea to publication and we even touched on some of the musical influences which have inspired the novel. In short - I couldn't have asked for a better opportunity. Marie was very easy to talk to, she had obviously done considerable research in preparation for the interview and she made me feel at ease. I was more nervous than I gave myself credit for going in but it wasn't too long before I relaxed into the flow of the interview.

I remember saying umm and ahh a lot though (*slaps forehead with a flattened palm for effect*).
But most of all todays spot with Marie gave me that all important experience I so dearly wanted and I made notes about the interview as I went - what I need to cut back on, what I need to add to and at what point do I run the risk of waffling.

I am hoping (really hoping) that Marie will be able to put the interview onto a CD for me so that I can make it available here at the site and for any future promotional "stuff" I put together. She attempted to email me the file but of course it's sounds as though it was way too big for an attachment.

Over the weekend I completed two more interviews via email - one for a magazine called
Writing Edge Magazine and another for a really great blog called Random Acts of Writing. Those two have been really fun to do - the questions have been well put together and entertaining. I have also been given the truly great opportunity of contributing an article as a guest blogger for The Creative Penn which is run by a very dynamic and enthusiastic lady named Joanna Penn. Joanna is very active in the world of self publishing and digital publishing and her site attracts a lot of traffic so I consider this to be a pretty significant feather in my cap.

And I have received word just this evening from a friend of mine in the U.S. that a popular Star Wars podcast
The ForceCast gave my novel a great little promotional on their live show which was recorded earlier today. The ForceCast is one of the most popular Star Wars related shows on the web, it attracts a huge global audience and counts "Fanboys" director Kyle Newman, Star Wars Clone Wars (the cartoon series) director Dave Filoni and Robot Chicken creator Seth Green among their fan number. The podcast for this episode won't be available til the weekend but you can bet I'll be lining up to get a hold of it eagerly come Saturday morning.

It seems like the momentum is definitely building now and I am feeling good about it. I hope that momentum translates into more sales of the book but what am I more interested in right now is getting more reviews for the book. That probably means more to me than sales.

My publisher iReadiWrite Publishing got a significant nod today too for which I was very pleased. The
Preditors and Editors Poll sought votes across a number of categories including for best eBook Publisher. iReadiWrite placed 5th overall in a field of over 60 publishing houses. For Michelle Halket - the Creative Director of iReadiWrite Publishing - this has got to be a pretty proud moment and I of course offer up my congratulations to her.

So yeah, it's been a big week so far...fingers crossed that it becomes bigger...