Thursday, March 7, 2024

Playing Book Trivia with Chris Wallace, Author of the Historical Fiction THE DREAMING TEAM


It’s time to play Book Trivia!
Periodically, we scour the Internet for interesting authors who would like to play Book Trivia with us.  By answering our book trivia questions, we get to learn things about the author no one else knows!  So, let’s get ready…let’s play…Book Trivia!

Today our guest author is Chris Wallace, author of the historical fiction, The Dreaming Team.

Thank you for playing Book Trivia with us! 

In the movie Castaway, if Tom Hanks unearthed a copy of The Dreaming Team, how would that help Tom find a way off the island?

One thing he might do is tear out all the pages (after he’s read the book, of course), find some pebbles to hold them down and scatter them out until he writes H E L P in the sand.  If he has a few left over, he could add an exclamation point !

Everyone knows Miley Cyrus is the wild child in the music business.  But she read your book and wants to let you know that it changed her life for the better.  Why did your book give Miley a new lease on life? 

I’m in danger of taking this question seriously, so, cautiously, I’ll say that the only way my book will change anyone’s life is if it makes them confront the present time on Planet Earth, seeing what has happened in the past, and learn something.

A homeless man was caught stealing your book out of a bookstore. When asked why he did it, he opened the book and pointed a passage out. What was that passage?

The Aboriginal cricket team is on its way to England on The Parramatta, a huge sailing vessel.  An enormous storm is raging and the team are all in their quarters, except for one man, Johnny Mullagh, their leader.  When the captain of the ship learns that Mullagh is missing, he painstakingly makes his way on deck in search of him.  He sees him lashed to the rail, facing the storm.  His clothing is plastered to his body.  When the captain reaches him, he says, “This is weather at its most ferocious. It is not a wise idea to tempt Nature like this.”

Mullagh turns and looks directly into his eyes.  “It’s all right, Captain Williams, I am Nature.”

You have a chance to appear on the hit talent show for authors, American Book Idol, and the mighty judges will determine whether your book will make it to Hollywood and become a big screenplay.  What would impress them more – your book cover, an excerpt or your best review – and why?
Wow!  Well, I have to assume that whoever is turning it into a movie has read the book.  So, I’d say that any true story about a group of people who had everything they knew ripped away from them and were marginalized to invisibility and then went on to be celebrated internationally in a sport they never played before would make a pretty good yarn . . . and probably a decent movie.

Finally, you just got word that your book has received the 2024 NY Times Bestselling Book Award and you have to attend the ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan.  Anyone who’s anyone will be there and it’s your shot for stardom.  On stage, you must give an acceptance speech.  What would you say and who would you thank?

I would say, “Nice to be back in New York.  Did you miss me?”  And when the chorus of NOs dies down, I’d say, “This is a dream I never want to wake up from.  When you sit there putting one word after another on the page and you delete it and do it again and again until you have accumulated thousands of words, and they are now a story with a beginning, middle and end, and then some stranger reads those words and is engaged by them in some way, and tells a friend who tells a friend who tells another friend, and someone in a position of influence reads the words and finally The New York Times says the words are worthy of an award, if you can make any kind of coherent speech after that, you’re a genius.  I’m not a genius.  So all I will say is thanks to all of you who were responsible for putting the cherry on top of this delicious hot fudge sundae.” 

Chris Wallace is a creative resource.  

As an actor, he was a regular on the hit daytime drama, All My Children, created the role of The Half-Percenter in Joe Papp’s production, Mondongo, appeared in countless television programs, including The Incredible Hulk, The Mary Tyler Moore Hour and had a starring role in the holiday horror classic film, New Year’s Evil.  

As a producer, he put on New York: A Great Place to Live at Lincoln Center which kicked off New York City’s Diamond Jubilee; for Channel Five in New York, he produced the highly acclaimed Harlem Cultural Festival; at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, he produced Uptown Sunday Afternoon, which was hosted by Harry Belafonte and featured Richard Pryor, Bill Withers, and a galaxy of other performers; for the National Organization for Women, he produced A Valentine’s Day Tribute to Woman at New York’s Town Hall;  was associate producer of the first Ali-Frazier Heavyweight Championship Fight at Madison Square Garden, and produced the gigantic block party, hosted by Gwen Verdon, which named West 46th Street as Restaurant Row. .

He earned the Silver Award at the New York International Film and Television Festival for In the Balance, a film that advocated sustainability and common sense in wildlife management.  It was also singled out by the Department of the Interior as one of the best films of its kind.  Chris wrote, narrated and wrote the musical score for that film.

He performed on several children’s television programs in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Jacksonville, singing his original children’s songs.  In Hollywood, he performed them for all denominations of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America.  He created a musical, A Special Thing to Be, at the Los Angeles Children’s Museum that featured his kids’ songs and the museum’s children’s chorus.

He wrote the songs for two children’s theatre productions in Hollywood, Hooray, Here Comes the Circus and Sleeping Beauty; wrote and performed the songs on Strong Kids, Safe Kids, a video produced by Henry Winkler for Paramount that dealt with the protection of children from sexual molestation and exploitation.  He created his first musical revue, Greatest Hits, in Hollywood, which played several venues, including Carlos ‘n’ Charlie’s on Sunset Strip and The Backlot in West Hollywood.

Upon relocating to Australia, he produced A Helping Hand at the Victorian Arts Centre, a benefit for Quadriplegic Hand Foundation; wrote book, music and lyrics for Nothing to Wear, a musical based on “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” also produced at the Victorian Arts Centre.  He created a one-man show, A Thing of Shreds & Patches, for the Melbourne Fringe Festival; created another one-man show, The Mark Twain You Don’t Know, which toured Australia, then Pacific Palisades, California, and played in New York City on the 100th anniversary of Mark Twain’s death.  He created several cabaret shows for The Butterfly Club in Melbourne, most notable of which was Les Femmes which featured an all female cast.  He wrote, produced and performed in Huckleberry: A Musical Adventure which premiered in Melbourne.

Which brings us to The Dreaming Team.  This is his second book.  The first, Hollywood Mosaic is written under the pen name, Pete Joseph.

You can visit his website at


In the 1850s, Australia was a thriving colony of the British Empire, with its own sense of importance and sophistication.  But the people who had occupied this vast land for upwards of 40,000 years didn’t fit well with colonial expectations of the future.  In every way imaginable, white Australia tried to keep its “darkies” in line.

It is against this backdrop in the 1860s that the amazing story of an all Aboriginal cricket team, the first Aussie team to do so, played at Lords, the home of cricket in England.  Conventional wisdom predicted that Indigenous Australians would die off by the next generation.

The Dreaming Team brings those Indigenous players to life and follows them on an adventure that would appear to be unbelievable if it weren’t true.  They not only changed the minds and perceptions about Aboriginal Australians, they arguably changed the course of Australian history. 

Praise for The Dreaming Team:

“A beautiful story, beautifully written, about a piece of Australian history that, if you don’t know about, you probably should. Heartwarming, heartbreaking and brimming with relevance for today’s Australia. A poignant example of how far we’ve come and how far we haven’t.”

“The Dreaming Team tells the true story of the all Aboriginal cricket team from Victoria who did a tour of Great Britain back in the 1860s and all the drama, setbacks, and cultural divide between the Aboriginals and white Australians involved. Considering the state of affairs for Aboriginal people in those days, the team’s accomplishments are no small feat!”

“What an interesting story. It is truly an Australian story about indigenous Australians. The story grabbed me from the first chapter, and drew me further in to where I could not put it down. I don’t want to give anything away, so I will say that the twists and turns makes you want to know what happens next at the end of each chapter. To say it is a sports story is not fair, it is a people story, told from the heart, about the hearts of people who love the land, and their story. I recommend it highly, and look forward to more from the author, Chris Wallace!”

You can purchase your copy at Amazon.


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