In one form or another, Dean Mayes has been writing and creating for most of his life...or at least for as long as he could wield a pen and knew how to use it.
Born in country Victoria, Australia, Dean grew up with an early love of words - a trait a little out of step for most children of his age. His creative streak was inspired by his third grade teacher, Mrs. Furnell, who challenged him in his creative writing exercises which he initially "sucked at". After producing a surprisingly poignant piece about a soldier's experience of war (based on his grandfather), Dean received his first writing award - a Purple Dragon sticker.
Dean's journey to publishing actually came about after he had virtually given up on the idea of ever being published. He had a story he wanted to tell and decided instead to start an internet blog where he began posting the first chapters of a love story with a twist. Week by week, Dean added chapters to the blog and, quite unexpectedly, he found himself with an enthusiastic following – one that was growing more voracious in their appetite for the story he had to tell. Out of the blue, Dean received a message from one of those followers, Michelle Halket the Creative Director for a Canadian publishing house, Central Avenue Publishing. She gently encouraged Dean that he should take this project seriously and from there – a unique publishing partnership was born.
Dean's blog evolved into his first published novel “The Hambledown Dream” in 2010. Now Dean has returned to the international stage with his follow up novel “Gifts of the Peramangk”.
Dean is represented by Michelle Halket and published internationally by Central Avenue Publishing (Vancouver).
Dean lives in Adelaide, Australia with his wife Emily and his children Xavier and Lucy.
About Gifts of the Peramangk:
In this landmark new novel, Dean weaves an sprawling family saga that takes place across two time periods in the South Australian outback and the struggle streets of Adelaide's suburban fringe.
1950s 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.