Thursday, January 31, 2013

Gifts of the Peramangk features in Adelaide Hills Magazine

The summer edition of Adelaide Hills Magazine, a lifestyle magazine here in Adelaide, is out now and features the best of food, fashion, life and style throughout the Adelaide Hills Region of South Australia. 

I was really stoked to discover today that on page 152 of the magazine, under the heading of Mikyla's favourite things, Gifts of the Peramangk has been included among some South Australian icons as Menz Fruchocs, Parish Hill Verjuice, The Prancing Pony Brewery and jewellery maker Simone Walsh. 

Adelaide Hills Magazine is an award-winning glossy magazine that focuses on lifestyle and community. With its rich editorial content, every page embodies the diversity and cultural richness of the Hills region and throws light on the extraordinary within the ordinary.

Published quarterly to cross over seasons, the magazine is all about ‘elevated living’, the Hills culture, the history, its characters, its places, and at times even its secrets!

It is the publication of choice for newcomers, long time Hills residents, and potential visitors to get in-depth information about the region’s people and places, discovering where to shop, dine and visit, and find out what’s on. It’s even got a strong readership base interstate, and around the globe, purely on the strength of its high standard of quality editorial, photography and design.

The Adelaide Hills region begins only 15 minutes from the Adelaide CBD. A short journey up the South Eastern Free-way transports residents and visitors to a place that boasts four distinct seasons, clean air, abundant wildlife, a lively community spirit, fresh produce, award-winning wines, and people with a zest for living.

Distributed nationally by Integrated Publications Solutions, Adelaide Hills Magazine is available from all good newsagents.


Download my interview with Adelaide FiveAA's Ali Rodda Now.

(Click on the Image).

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Rockstar Ballerina

The world has lost a light this night and she returns to the stars to shine brighter than she ever had before.

Where to begin...

I first met Rhian as a member of the Keith and the Girl forums, a community of listeners - fans - of the Keith and the Girl comedy talk show out of New York. It was around early 2007. I, like many at around that time, was still new to the idea of a forum community off the back of a podcast, but I quickly found my groove in the art of message board conversation - helped in no small part by Rhian. She welcomed me to this community with warmth from the get go and it was the beginning of a six year back and forth that was as enriching and as tangible as any friendship I have ever known.

So who was Rhian?

Rhian was a Canadian from Ottowa. A sunny and bright young woman, an extraordinary humanist who supported a variety of causes, an enthusiastic conversationalist and, as I was to discover, a passionate dancer who lived and breathed ballet. She learnt it, she performed it, she taught it. She brought dance to the most under privileged kids in her native Ottowa giving them inspiration and hope, a means of expression. But her love of this most visual of arts was cut short by illness in the form of the debilitating auto-immune disease Lupus.

Upon being diagnosed some time in 2007, Rhian took the positivity and energy she devoted to her ballet and focused it on conquering the disease. It was a battle that she fought with a courage that won her many admirers. She often spoke of her battle through her own podcast - Uncast, updating everyone on her progress, her fears and her hopes. She was confident of beating the disease. And through it all she remained one of the warmest presences around the community that has become known as the KaTG community. She was present at many of the official KaTG functions and meet ups, was a ubiquitous part of the fan community known as Team Drunk Ottowa and did much to advance the knowledge and love of Keith and the Girl around the world.

Rhian saw immense worth in everyone she met, no matter who they were. To Rhian, everyone was valuable, everyone had a voice she wanted to hear.

She was one of the earliest supporters of my first novel,  back when it was merely a weekly blog and all I hoped for it was that the story would be complete. It might sound a romantic notion now, and I can't remember if it is true, but I think Rhian always sensed that the novel was destined to find a publisher.

But my fondest memory of Rhian was the support and friendship she gave me a couple of years ago when my daughter was pretty ill. At the time my wife and I did not know what it was that was afflicting our daughter and I recall discussing our fears and frustrations with Rhian who was always willing to listen, to offer words of encouragement, of grace and of love. She invented a little twitter hashtag for my daughter - #teamweepeanut - that we often used when speaking over that particular platform. Her steadfast positivity and care for our particular situation was a great.comfort and for that, I shall always remember her kindness.

These are just two instances of the small but important friendship I had with her. There are others who knew and loved Rhian far more than I did. But she touched me none the less.

I had a sense maybe a year ago that the battle Rhian fought would ultimately claim her. A string of setbacks, false hopes from clinics offering treatments that came to little and the progression of the disease itself was alarming and only gave weight to the reality of her situation. In the end the reality overwhelmed and consumed.

She died leaving behind her husband, her family and a global community of those who championed her, who loved her and were better for having known her.

She dances now, free from the burden of her mortality.

Rest In Peace Rhian.

Donations to Rhian's favorite charity can be made via the following:

The Shanty Royce Memorial Dance Fund
c/o Sarah Thomas: Client Care Manager
RBC Royal Bank of Canada
Carlingwood Mall Branch*
2112 Carling Ave.
Ottawa, ON
K2A 1H2

Email: sarah.thomas @ (remember to remove the spaces in the email address).
Call:  (613) 725-3119 or  (800) 769-2511


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Dean Mayes with Ali Rodda on Adelaide's FiveAA Radio.

This evening here in Australia, I sat down with interviewer Ali Rodda in the Pirie Street studios of Adelaide Radio 1395 FiveAA to talk about my latest release "Gifts of the Peramangk". We spoke for around 20 minutes but managed to pack a lot into that time and, I gotta say, having been totally gripped by nerves - I had a great time doing it.

Thanks to a few people who were listening at the time the interview went live, I was able to secure a recording of the entire interview. A big, BIG thanks goes out to my mate Scott Taylor up in Aberdeen, Scotland (yes - you read that right), who secured the recording that I've been able to use to present here. Also, big thanks to Jason McNamara in Canberra who recorded a back up and finally, Greg Ralls over in Perth, Western Australia, who also chipped in with his own recording. 


So yeah, here it is - the interview I recorded with Ali Rodda this evening. I hope you enjoy it.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Dean Mayes To Feature On Adelaide's 5AA Radio

I am pleased to be able to share the news that this coming Saturday, 26th January, 2013 here in Australia, I will be the in studio guest on Adelaide 5aa's Weekends Program with Ali Rodda from 6PM.

We will be discussing my newly released novel "Gifts of the Peramangk", my writing journey and also my career as a Paediatric Intensive Care Nurse. 

Listeners will be able to live stream the interview from 6PM Australian Central Summer Time by pointing their browsers to and clicking on the listen live button.

For listeners in the United States, tune in on Friday 25th of January from 11:30PM (PST), Saturday 26th January from 1:30AM Central and Saturday 26th January from 2:30AM Eastern.

Listeners in the United Kingdom can tune in from 7:30AM Saturday 26th January GMT. 

My new novel Gifts of the Peramangk is a sprawling Australian saga that takes place across two time periods in the harsh Australian Outback and the struggle streets of its suburban fringe. 

In 1950's 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.

I do hope you can listen in and I thank you in advance. 


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Picture In A Frame.

I returned home from my summer holiday (which I'll share more about in the coming weeks)  knowing that a parcel would be waiting for me on my door step. I have come to regard it as a  belated Christmas present to myself.

Last year, I happened across a really cool Kickstarter project with the curious title of "I Want To Take A Portrait Of Eddie Vedder". Being a supreme Pearl Jam fan from their very beginnings, I clicked on through to the project itself and discovered that it was the brain child of a fellow Adelaidean and Pearl Jam devotee, photographer Jennifer Sando.

Jennifer's mission throughout 2010-2011 was to attract the attention of her personal hero, Eddie Vedder, via an ingenious social media/web campaign. Through the medium of photography, of which Jennifer has an exquisite skill, she slowly but surely built the momentum, attracting the support of fans world wide as well as some heavy hitters close to Pearl Jam themselves. 

It culminated in what can only be described as a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend time with Eddie Vedder himself just prior to his March 2011 show here in Adelaide and take his portrait. The experience can only be described as a religious one. Not only was Eddie Vedder gracious, generous, funny and charming, he dedicated a song to Jennifer Sando with the apt title "Picture In A Frame" during that show at the Thebarton Theatre.

The journey is now immortalized in the sumptuous hard cover title "Picture in a Frame" which chronicles the photographic journey Jennifer took. As a backer of the project, I received a personally signed copy from Jennifer as well as a lobby card, a colour print of Eddie Vedder from the shoot, a book mark and a guitar pick with the cover imagery. 

The book speaks through it's imagery though it does have some written recollections from Jennifer herself as well as people close to the project as it began and traversed the path towards its rather heart warming conclusion. It is truly a must for any discerning Pearl Jam/Eddie Vedder fan.

Of all the gorgeous projects that I've kicked in for via Kickstarter, "I Want To Take A Portrait Of Eddie Vedder" is perhaps one of more quirky but certainly one of the most endearing and fist pumpingly inspiring projects I've seen. 

"Picture In A Frame" can be purchased now via the Official Portal that has been set up for the book. 

Connect with Jennifer Sando via her Official Site.

Tweet with Jennifer here.

Follow the books history here