Book Tour: The Hambledown Dream by Dean Mayes

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Australian
Denny Banister had it all; a successful career, a passion for the guitar, and
Sonya – the love of his life. Tragically, Denny is struck down with inoperable
cancer. 
Andy
DeVries has almost nothing; alienated from his family, moving through a dangerous
Chicago underworld dealing in drugs, battling addiction while keeping a
wavering hold on the only thing that matters to him: a place at a prestigious
conservatory for classical guitar in Chicago. As Andy recovers from a near
fatal overdose, he 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…

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Where you can purchase this book

 Amazon.co.uk

Author Interview

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Question: What have you published recently?

I am
represented by Michelle Halket of CAP Marketing and published internationally
by Central Avenue Publishing (Vancouver, Canada). I currently have three titles
which are available internationally – “The Hambledown Dream” (2010)
print/ebook, “Gifts of the Peramangk” (2012) print/ebook, and “The Regenesis
Cluster” (2013) ebook. I am also a contributing author to an anthology called
“Great Southern Land – Tales of Australia” which will be released
internationally on September 27th by Satalyte Publishing (Australia)
in print and ebook formats.

Question: How, and when, did you decide
to become a writer?

My love of
creative writing dates back to about aged 7 or 8. I had quite an active
imagination that my then teacher, Mrs. Furnell, sought to nurture. It was
probably the most significant moment I’d experienced as a student. I loved to
create grand adventures, some of which weren’t wholly original (cough *Star
Wars* cough) but I relished in the creativity I had discovered. 

My life kind
of got in the way and, throughout my teens and 20’s, my attentions were
diverted by academia, establishing a career in nursing, marriage and family. I
still loved the idea of writing but I just didn’t have the time or the
discipline required to devote myself to a long form project. 
In mid 2007,
a personal hero of mine, a journalist named Matt Price, revealed that he had
been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. 2 months later, he was dead and
his passing had a really significant impact on me. I myself had been diagnosed
with a similar tumor back in my teens and underwent a significant period of
recovery. Since that time I have lived with the possibility that it might come
back. When Price died, I decided then that I didn’t want to put it off anymore.
I wanted to write seriously. I had a story treatment that had languished in my
desk drawer for several years. So I took it out and began working on it with no
goal in mind other than to finish it. 

Question: Where can we
find your published writing?

All of my
titles can be reviewed and purchased via my official website and there are
links there for all the major book retailers worldwide, including Amazon,
Barnes and Noble, iTunes and Book Depository.

Question: What is a
typical day like for you as a writer?

I currently
devote two solid days per week – usually Mondays and Tuesdays – to the business
of writing. That is – the marketing and the promotion of myself and my work.
There is accounting and billing to address, the searching for new opportunities
for my books in bookstores and online retailers and looking for media
opportunities to discuss my books. The creative side of writing – actual
writing – usually takes place in the afternoons on those days. It’s quite a
schedule but it’s effective and productive. I am a nurse working in Intensive
Care and Paediatrics which is a pretty demanding day job but I can often steal
moments of time – meal breaks and tea breaks – to make notes and brainstorm
ideas and write on those other days when I’m not at my desk at home.

Question: What are your
favorite characters that you have created? Tell us about them

The dual
protagonist of Andy De Vries / Denny Banister from “The Hambledown Dream” is
one of my favorite creations because together, they represent both the dark and
light sides of myself. In Andy, I sought to portray somebody who we really
don’t like when we first meet him. He is a self destructive character, filled
with anger and resentment and he engages in the kinds of behaviour that would
be repulsive to many of us. However, through his exquisite gift with the
guitar, there is the tiny seed of good in him and it just needs that
“something” to nurture it. Contrasting that with Denny Banister, who is
everything that Andy isn’t, he is someone who is kind and considerate,
dedicated to his career and his true love Sonya. To be struck down by cancer in
the prime of his life, when he has the world at his feet, it’s something Denny
cannot reconcile and the journey he undertakes to win that life back throws up
an interesting character study into the lengths someone will go to achieve that
end. 
Sonya
Llewellyn – the other protagonist in “The Hambledown Dream” was loosely based
on my grandmother. When my Nana lost her husband of 48 years to cancer back in
the early 90’s, she did not grieve for a very long time. She just got on with
her life and was there for our family as they dealt with their own grief. It
wasn’t until about a year after my Pa died that Nana acknowledged her own grief
and she kind of collapsed for a while after. It was quite an experience, to
witness her own grief play out and it was one that never left me. In portraying
Sonya’s own grief in “The Hambledown Dream” I eventually came to realize that
this was my own journey towards understanding Nana’s grief and the impact it
had on her at that time.

Question: do you find
you “mentally edit” other writers’ works as you read them? Does doing this help
you or bother you?

I actually
don’t. I read for enjoyment and I’ll always prefer the story over the structure
of the story. That said, if there is a glaring error that leaps out at me
during my reading of something, my instinct is to correct it. Sometimes, I have
even contacted the author and asked them if they are aware of the error. I
don’t judge an author’s work on the strength of one or two grammatical flubs
because even the best authors have errors in their work that carry through to
the book store shelf. 

Question: What music do
you listen to, while writing?

It depends.
Classical music – guitar or violin – often complements my concentration and my
mood and helps me to access my imagination more effectively. Sometimes I’ll
listen to jazz and sometimes I’ll go for some ambient music. It is dependent on
what I’m actually working on at any given time. 
Question: What do you eat while writing?

I tend not to
eat while writing. 
Five for Fun:
What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

Ginger
beer.  

What is your
favourite cartoon character?

Clone Commander
“Rex” from Star Wars – The Clone Wars. 

What is your
favourite movie of all time?

I would
probably nominate the 1985 crime thriller “Witness” starring Harrison Ford. It
is probably the first movie I ever saw that made me realize that cinema could
be art. 

What do you like
to do for fun or just to relax?

I have a small
yacht which I like to sail during the warmer weather. I also cycle regularly.
I’m a fan of portable gaming which can be a blessing or a curse, depending on
your perspective (or my wife’s for that matter) and I like lap swimming. 

Question: Where can we find you on the web?

Corporate Site
(for my marketing and distribution business) – http://hambledownroad.com

Publisher’s
Website – http://www.centralavenuepublishing.com

 

Emerging onto the literary
stage in 2010 when in his mid 30’s, Adelaide based author and Pediatric ICU
Nurse Dean Mayes describes himself as somewhat of a late bloomer, having almost
given up on the prospect of ever being published. Dean had an idea for a story
that he dearly wanted to tell however, and decided instead to blog the story
rather than allow it to wither and die in his imagination.

Quite unexpectedly, the blog
took off, quickly logging upwards of 3000 unique visits per month as a rapidly
growing audience “tuned in” to Dean’s dream like tale of a young man who
discovers he has taken on the memories and dreams of a complete stranger in the
aftermath of a near fatal drug overdose.

Following a chance meeting
with Canadian based publisher Central Avenue in mid 2009, Dean was signed by
Creative Director Michelle Halket to an initial two year contract. In 2010,
Dean’s humble blog became his debut novel “The Hambledown Dream” – a lyrical
and moving romance about a young man’s journey on both sides of mortality. The
novel has since gone on to receive global attention and critical acclaim.

Having established himself as
an author of great passion and literary style, Dean set about penning a follow
up novel that was not merely a repeat performance. After 2 years of meticulous
research, Central Avenue Publishing released the powerful Australian family
drama “Gifts of the Peramangk” in October 2012.

A third project, an
experimental sci-fi novella entitled “The Regenesis Cluster”, was released in
2013. Dean describes this piece as an exploration of death and life, an
artistic interpretation of reincarnation using words.

Dean is now working on his
third feature length novel, the tentatively titled “The Recipient”.

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