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Saturday, 29 December 2018

Dee-lightful: Savvy Sleuth Dee White Dee-scribes and Dee-seminates Truth at Mentone Public Library: Author Talk Reflection - 11am, Saturday, 24 November 2018


An engrossed audience sat captured and enamoured as we welcomed for the first time local author Dee White to Mentone Public Library.


With 18 books to her repertoire to date, Dee presented us with a sample of six to whet our appetites and take our minds off voting for this year's Victoria State Elections. In turn, giving all a head-start on filling our Christmas stockings to ready ourselves for the festive season.

Signifying Dee's transition into becoming a published author, "Letters to Leonardo" - currently out of print out, is a book that now more than ever, needs to find its way back into print. 

With the lid on mental health in our society being lifted and public dialogue becoming more prolific, Dee's story remains timeless as it depicts a teenage boy who discovers on his fifteenth birthday that his mother is in fact not deceased, but alive and gave him up for adoption on account of her shunned mental illness.

The story is uniquely narrated through a series of letters the protagonist writes to his idol; long-deceased artist Leonardo Di Vinci. The protagonist finds in writing to his idol, he is able to work through his raw emotions and make sense of his mother and past.

Equally engaging, is the story behind the story; Dee's hard life lesson about the obstacles within the Australian publishing industry.
Serving not only as a cautionary tale for new, impressionable authors, the story behind the story is also a celebration of an author remaining true to her beliefs, the integrity of her story and its characters despite pressures from the industry to buckle and compromise. 

To learn more about that story, click here:

Behind every good story, without question, is a good author.
On top of every good author, is a good research head on their shoulders.
And by the side of every good author, is a steadfast, supportive partner.
In Dee's case, meet her humble husband and greatest fan, Michael🙂. Dee publicly singled him out during her presentation for the integral role he has played in Dee's writing career, so we shall do the same on our blog!

Dee had quite a fan-base in her midst, as she introduced us to a sample of her other works and remained generous and diligent in responding to every question with respect to publishing in Australia, the research and the writing process.

Dee also gave cautionary advice about authors seeking to be illustrators of their works. Explaining that usually, publishers prefer to call upon their own pool of professional illustrators.
 And if, as an author, you are adamant about illustrating your own works, be sure to have an impressive port-folio to present to a publisher to support your campaign:

Dee reviews the illustrations of a talented artist and writer in attendance on the day
Among Dee's personal project favourites introduced to us were K9 Heroes: True Tales of Real Rescues
Dee's prodigious research on man's best friend and their selfless acts of bravery to sustain human life - from dangerous rescues, to protecting the lives of homeless children, to rescues involving natural disasters.

Dee's passion for stories heralding the heroism of dogs the world over resulted in a captivating compendium.

We could not hear enough!

And as the desk below reveals, Dee had plenty more tales to share!

From famed poet Banjo Patterson's "duel of words" with famed writer Henry Lawson in defining Australia's identity, to the touching tale of hearing-impaired Reena trying to fit in with her dog in the land of the hearing in Reena's Rainbow, Dee demonstrated an enormous diversity of devotedly researched stories to ensure authenticity and justice for its characters.

You can learn more about these stories here:

Indeed, it was a meeting with Dee at 
Melbourne's Jewish Holocaust Centre in 2017, 
where Dee was undertaking exhaustive research that even led her to Paris France, which compelled us to invite her to present at Mentone Public Library.

From that preliminary meeting, it was clear there were no limits to Dee's diversity of tales, dedication to her craft and commitment to the truth of the story.

We look forward to a future opportunity to host Dee when her Holocaust story for young adults, "Beyond Belief", is published in 2019 by Scholastic Australia. 
Galvanised by the true rescue of Algerian and European Jews - especially Jewish children, by Muslims who protected them from Nazi capture during World War II within 
Dee's story will focus on a Parisian-Jewish boy who finds refuge in the mosque.

We thank Dee for an incredible and eclectic display of fascinating stories.

Concluding words from Dee:

Thanks Julia and Tony for inviting me to visit your beautiful Mentone Public Library, and become a part of its history. It was so much fun to talk books and writing with such an enthusiastic and interesting group of book lovers and writers.
I have also blogged about my visit here:

Thanks again.

Warm regards,


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