Finally, the news we’ve been looking forward to announcing for much longer than we anticipated or wanted:
The updated versions of both of Del’s novels—The Old Man and Ad Astra—as well as his biography of “Killing Fields” survivor Albert Cheng, Grace Will Lead Me Home, are all now available in both paperback and Kindle form, including Kindle Unlimited.
It’s pushing two years since we first began talking seriously about it, and we couldn’t be happier with the results.
The Old Man is his first novel, inspired by a vision in his head he couldn’t place or shake, of a weatherbeaten, troubled old man seated at a table before the massive fireplace of an old tavern. His intrigue with who this man was and what plagued him drove him to find out his story. He never imagined it would turn out to be the suspense-filled romance it did. We’re thoroughly excited about the new cover, courtesy of the super talented Samir Rakhmanov, a Russian artist Clint found through ArtStation. We can’t recommend him highly enough.
Ad Astra is essentially an alternative history. Del often wondered what his life might have been like had he been who he is but old enough to enlist in World War II. Those musings combined with the remarkable stories we’d come across of the almost-unknown bomber war in the Southwest Pacific to defend Australia. The story is informed by Del’s forty-plus years of experience as a pilot, and his fifty-five years’ experience with marriage, especially the excitement, anxieties, and promise of young love which figures indispensably to the story.
Grace Will Lead Me Home: Albert Cheng’s Story is a departure from both, but still shows Del’s typically thoughtful and detailed approach to a story. When he became familiar with the incredible, inspiring story of the Cambodian janitor of their church, he felt it was one he simply had to tell. Meticulously researched and drawn from hours of interviews with Albert, it reveals yet again just how much the human spirit can suffer and still, with God’s help and grace, not only survive but heal and thrive. It’s a remarkable, uplifting story that anyone can appreciate, but especially Christians interested in how one man faced the struggles of religious belief in the face of the starkest evil and strife, and his own eventual conversion to Christianity.
From 19th century Massachusetts, to 1940s Kansas and Australia, to 1970s Cambodia and Texas, Del has a knack for finding the all-too-human common denominator. It’s an element that appears repeatedly in his reviews. Not bad for someone whose writing for most of his life consisted of technical papers about anti-aircraft missiles and radar. But no one who knows Del, or who’s read any of his Del Hayes Press blog entries, can be surprised by it.
We’d planned to have them available well before Christmas, but 2020 had its own ideas for everyone’s calendars. So if anyone thinking about purchasing one of his books could possibly manage it before then—of the three, The Old Man is probably the quickest read (not just for being the shortest, but just to get to the bottom of the mystery of Abigail’s past)—Del would mightily appreciate the boost of some reviews before Christmas.
We have some fun plans for marketing his books going into 2021, so stay tuned for those, as well as some early peeks at Del’s forthcoming memoir, Final Approach. Until then, we wish everyone a very safe and Merry Christmas and New Year’s.