Friday, January 22, 2016

Preparing To Front The Media.

So, things behind the scenes here are beginning to ramp up as my publisher Central Avenue and I look towards the May release date for my long awaited new novel "The Recipient".

As we do so, I've been updating my site here to begin showcasing the novel while we approach media outlets both here in Australia and in the United States in the hope we can gain some important pre-release exposure for the novel. The following content in this post is replicated from the media section of my site but I thought it was worth showing off here as well in this one off post. Most notable of the new additions is our press kit (see below) which provides the most comprehensive introduction to the The Recipient. If you're in the media - or connected to someone in the media - and you think they'd be interested, please do invite them to take a look at the press kit. goes...

Central Avenue Publishing is proud to present the forthcoming new novel "The Recipient" from Australian author Dean Mayes (The Hambledown Dream, Gifts Of The Peramangk).

A tense and pulse pounding psychological thriller, in the tradition of "Girl On A Train" & "Dark Places", The Recipient follows a young, troubled heart transplant recipient who, upon discovering a terrifying secret about her donor, is drawn into a deadly conspiracy that threatens her life all over again.

"The Recipient" by Dean Mayes will be released by Central Avenue Publishing and distributed globally by Independent Publishers Group in print and digital formats on May 1, 2016. 

Press Materials.

The Recipient official press kit here.

Dean Mayes author image (hi-res) here.

The Recipient cover image (hi-res) here.

"A riveting read! 
All you can think 
about is turning 
the next page!"

Georgina Penney, Author "Fly In, Fly Out", "Summer Harvest'.

Author Dean Mayes talks with ABC Adelaide's Sonya Feldhoff about his upcoming novel "The Recipient" (click image to download).

Listen to "Ride This Feeling" by Kate Miller-Heidke, the song that inspired the novel.


Monday, January 4, 2016

Men Are Dickheads. Stop It!!

Men are dickheads.

It seems to be the case that my sex are increasingly displaying behaviour in public that has me dropping my head and shaking it in complete and utter bewilderment.

There have been three occasions within the past week here in Australia in which men have behaved like complete dickheads.

Last week, it emerged that a Minister of the Crown in our Federal Government, made inappropriate advances towards a female staffer from a Government department, known as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, whilst on a tax payer funded delegation in Hong Kong. The details of the "inappropriate advances" have, so far, not been made explicit, however they were deemed serious enough for the Minister, Jamie Briggs, to have to tender his resignation as Minister for Cities.

In the fallout from this, our national broadsheet newspaper, the Rupert Murdoch owned Australian, released portions of text communication that occurred between the female staffer and her superiors over the incident but they also published a pixelated photograph of the staffer posing with the former Minister's Chief of Staff (taken prior to the incident of inappropriate advances). It has since emerged that the photograph had been distributed to his parliamentary colleagues, revealing the identity of the female staffer, by none other the Jamie Briggs himself.

Let's be clear here - a Federal Minister has behaved in a manner that has caused a female staffer to make a formal complaint and then he has distributed a photographic image of that staffer. This is conduct that is not only illegal, it is immoral.

This whole train wreck continues however. On Monday, January 4th here in Australia, journalist Samantha Maiden (of Rupert Murdoch's News Limited stable) penned an excoriating opinion piece in which she similarly chastised the behaviour of the Minister and the ramifications of that behaviour. Subsequent to that opinion piece, another Federal Minister, this time the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton composed a text message, referring to Samantha Maiden as a "mad fucking witch. The intended recipient of this text message was his colleague, slain Minister Jamie Briggs.

Peter Dutton sent the text message to Samantha Maiden herself.

It has often been said that our current government and many of its male Members of Parliament have a problem with women particularly and sexism/mysoginy more generally. I have highlighted two examples of our Parliamentary leaders, our legislators - Men!! - who have made themselves look like complete dickheads and, by extension make men look like collective dickheads.

I have problems with authority - particularly unearned authority. Messers Briggs and Dutton are two cases in point. Both men should be sacked and bundled out of Parliament immediately.

But this is not the end of my frustration.

Last night, (January 4 here in Australia), during our limited overs cricket competition, known here as the Big Bash League, former West Indian Test Captain Chris Gayle, who is currently playing for the Melbourne Renegades, was interviewed following his innings by Channel 10 journalist Mel McLaughlin. In the exchange that followed, Gayle said, on air, that he wanted to be interviewed by McLaughlin "just to see your eyes for the first time." 

In what quickly became cringe worthy television, Gayle continued his sleazy flirtation with McLaughlin by adding, "Hopefully we can win this game and we can have a drink after". 

A clearly uncomfortable McLaughlin tried to steer the interview back to cricket but (dickhead) Chris Gayle misinterpreted her unease by saying, "Don't blush baby".

Yep. He said that.

Predictably, the internet has erupted this morning in reaction to this exchange and it has been on a sort of rolling boil since (dickhead) Briggs and (dickhead) Dutton made prize idiots of themselves in the past week.

Men - particularly men of influence - treat women appallingly. Men everywhere treat women appallingly and I am completely bloody sick of it. Most men are dickheads and if we men that are left don't call out this dickhead behaviour then we are dickheads too.

There is a really nasty undercurrent of behaviour perpetrated by men in Australia that has been allowed to fester for far too long. And it has to stop. We have to stop it.

Stop. Being. Dickheads.


Friday, January 1, 2016

The Snore Of Destiny.

So...I have a snoring problem.

I've had it for some time and it appears to be becoming more consistent. At least, this is what my partner tells me. For a while, I did the oft-done thing and denied it. Told her that she must be dreaming it and I know for sure that I do not have a problem. And here was my first downfall - because my partner has an iPhone...and she knows how to use it.

Now, with this rather sobering evidence in hand, we both agree (trust me, I've checked) that my snore is not ground shakingly terrible, nor is it constant. But it is significant enough that it is waking my partner (who is a light sleeper) at night and forcing her to leave our bed. This is  depressing on two fronts.

Depressing that she has to leave the bed and thus I wake in the morning, alone...and depressing because of the realisation that another night has gone by in which I have snored.

Once I got over myself...and admitted that I have a problem, I have set about trying to solve it non surgically. Since my snore, as I've said already, is not an extinction level event - yet - it is reasonable to assume that I can correct this without resorting to cutting my throat out. I began by trying to contort myself into positions in bed and on pillows in such a way that would enhance airflow into my throat and neuter my snore. All I suceeded in doing was straining parts of my body that I did not think could be strained.

So, I proceeded to the next stage of non-surgical remedies - the kinds that grace many a pharmacists shelf. But herein lies the rub. There are so many non surgical "remedies" out there that it is almost impossible to work out what is B.S. and what is, well, not B.S.

I like to think I have a reasonable bullshit meter but, in the interests of solving this problem, I have committed to trying as many as I to see if I can hit the jackpot.

I first happened upon a packet of adhesive nasal strips or "splints" at my local chemist that are supposed to open ones nasal passages to allow greater airflow into the nose and throat. On night one, I applied one of these strips and, right away, I was dubious at best. At worst, I felt like a dickhead. Come morning, the snore hadn't resolved and the strip had disappeared from my nose and it was a complete mystery to us as to where it had gone.

Until I went to the toilet.

The adhesive is actually really strong. My pubes can attest to this.

The next remedy I tried was an anti-snoring throat spray. "Clinically tested" and boasting a "92% reported reduction in snoring" I gave it a go.

This shit is a cross between that cream in a can you can buy mixed with diesel fuel. You are required to insert the supplied applicator as far back into your throat as possible and spray for at least a full 1 - 2 seconds. It fills your throat with a foam that temporarily blocks your passages until it coats your throat in a disgusting slick.

It didn't work.

Yesterday, whilst on a leisurely drive out here on Kangaroo Island, we stopped by a Eucalyptus Oil Distillery at Emu Ridge.

Entering the shop attached to the Distillery and seeing the rows of little bottles of essential oils on the shelf, I immediately began to wonder if there might be a remedy worthy of exploration. There was, contained in a little booklet, just such a remedy supplied by a lady from Victor Harbour, who I am sure is a lovely lady who wears floral aprons a lot and bakes beautiful sponge cakes. The remedy consists of one drop of Eucalyptus oil, one drop of Tea tree oil and one drop of Lavender oil onto your pillow or a tissue at bed time.

Attracted by the thought of not having to shove a probe down my throat like a Face Hugger from "Alien", I bought three small bottles of said oil. Last night I tried the recipe on a tissue and couldn't decide whether to lay the tissue daintily on my chest or shove it up my nostrils. I tried both and dropped off to bed reading "The Casquette Girls" by Alys Arden.

I woke this morning, alone again...naturally.

These are early days admittedly, and the three failed experiments I have outlined here were always going to be a little out there. But, for the sake of my marriage and a harmonious budoir, the search for the Holy Grail continues. I'm the Indiana Jones on the trail of the Lost Ark of the Banished Snore.

I'm not happy.

Oh, and by the way...Happy Fucking New Year.