The author Ron Murray will be talking about his book ‘Coromandel Dreamin’ and signing and selling copies ($30 incl. gst). He will talk about the book, its inspiration and the process of writing it.
Ron is a professional writer, and author, poet, and communications manager. He has written six books but this is his first novel - a love story with elements of high drama. It has been described as “a tonic for tough times” Its’ setting is the Coromandel Peninsula in the 70’s. Whitianga and Coromandel Town and Thames are some of places around which his story is set.
‘Coromandel Dreamin’ has taken four years to write, roughly coinciding with Ron’s up-and-down battle against metastatic melanoma - first diagnosed in 2019. Ron is 66 years. Set in the mid-north of the Peninsula of the title, in the late 1970s, the book doesn’t draw on the cancer struggle though.
“I was driven as a writer, by a desire all my working life really, to pen a novel,” says Ron.
“I was also driven by the urgency of the moment – I wasn’t sure how much time I might have up my sleeve to achieve this. I’d written poems and published poetry books, as well as a couple of non-fiction books – but a novel is the holy grail. It’s like being a runner and aspiring to a marathon - or an ultramarathon.”
The book’s inspiration came from an old English ballad “Thomas The Rhymer”, made famous by ‘70s folk-rock band Steeleye Span. “The ballad tells the story of Thomas, who’s a musician just kicking round on some side road in old England when a woman on a white horse appears and invites him to jump up and come back to her place.”
The novel opens with a similar pickup. The lead character (and narrator) of the story is hitching through the Coromandel on a wet and late Autumn afternoon, when he gets a ride with a woman who has a small settlement in the back blocks of the Peninsula near Coromandel Town. He ends up staying a while (and we’ll let the reader discover what ensues).
Ron, who began his career as a high school English teacher before switching to journalism, says the setting of the story was a no-brainer.
Launching a new Coromandel novel
‘Coromandel Dreamin’ by Ron Murray
Meet the Author and Book Signing
November 25 , 2023 -11am to 1pm
600 Pollen St., Thames
Caption: Ron Murray