Category Archives: Memoirs & Bios

Celebrating my first Paperback sale

Brian McMahon purchased the first paper-back copy of Thailand in perspective – Volume 3 of my Thailand Diaries series available on Amazon.

Brian shows off the first Thailand Diaries paper-back
Brian shows off the first Thailand Diaries paper-back

The Series of eBooks, just published by Pronoun, are all FREE so grab them while the generosity lasts by clicking here.

Last week Brian came to Phuket on holiday from Liberia where he now works. He kindly brought me the amazing hand-made shirt I am modelling so I will be easily recognisable and safer in the traffic. After the photo-shoot we had a drink or two and a sumptuous fish supper at the Sea-Gypsy village in Rawai. Continue reading Celebrating my first Paperback sale

You Want It Darker…

Sadly but gloriously I’ve found Leonard Cohen late in life. We miss so much during our struggle for survival. In the short time since his death his work has been an inspiration to me as I approach the final stages of my first novel. He obviously moved James Radcliffe, and this beautiful obituary is a fine tribute to a wonderful human being.

How did ’15 WEEKS’ become an Amazon No.1 best seller in ONE day?

15-weeks-2017
15 WEEKS  has been republished and is NOW available as a FREE eBook. The 2017 edition was only released today and it is already topping rankings at Amazon.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,523 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Travel > Asia > Thailand
#4 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Travel > Specialty Travel > Budget Travel

I am using Pronoun to  publish the 2017 editions of Thailand Diaries – 3 eBooks. Continue reading How did ’15 WEEKS’ become an Amazon No.1 best seller in ONE day?

15 Weeks – Republished 2017 – FREE

15 WEEKS  has been republished and is available on 16th February.

As I move towards the final stages of completing the first draft of my novel I needed to take a little time out to start developing my Facebook author page and re-publish my Thailand Diaries which has been on my mind for some time. The repub is now done and the three ebooks, published by Pronoun, are now all FREE. They can be found at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple iBooks and Google play. If you click where you see the link underlined you will be transported to my book page where you can choose your favourite retailer. Continue reading 15 Weeks – Republished 2017 – FREE

I'm back – But not yet fully functional!

It seems like a lifetime but it is only five months since I posted ‘Taking a break’ on October 17.

Only now do I realise that post was inaptly titled. The five months have been anything but a break; more a physical and mental ordeal I promise myself never to undertake again.

House warming
House warming

I have now built two houses in Thailand which, for an amateur developer, is quite a daunting challenge. Both have been vastly different experiences and I could easily write two books; novels even!! Continue reading I'm back – But not yet fully functional!

How I remembered TRINIDAD CARNIVAL 1982 by restoring old photos

In 1980 a friend of mine married a Trinidadian girl and two years later they invited me to visit them in St. Johns, Port of Spain for a three week holiday taking in the world famous annual Trinidad Carnival.

I'm watching you
I’m watching you

My wife and I stayed with the family and became totally immersed in the whole Carnival tradition and atmosphere at grass roots level. From the day we arrived until the day we left the island to return to England, we were involved in virtually every aspect of the Carnival, which was in full swing. Continue reading How I remembered TRINIDAD CARNIVAL 1982 by restoring old photos

Mark Twain on religion

Portrait of Samuel Clemens as a youth holding ...
Portrait of Samuel Clemens as a youth holding a printer’s composing stick with letters SAM. Daguerreotype; sixth plate. Plate mark: Scovill. Inscribed in case well: G.H.[?] Jones Jonco? / Hannibal Mo / 1850 / Nov. 29th. On case pad: Samuel L. Clem-/ens – [illegible] / Taken Dec. 1850 / Age 15. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Samuel Clemens was born in Missouri in 1835 and when he became a writer he adopted the pen name Mark Twain. He was called the father of American literature and died in 1910.

 mark twain Category:Mark Twain images

Mark Twain images (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and Becky Thatch...
Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and Becky Thatcher in Injun Joe’s cave. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I remember, as a boy, reading Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn and recall, without hesitation, that I thoroughly enjoyed them both. However, nearly sixty years have passed since then and I could not possibly remember why. It seems it was just so. Recently I discovered that Mark Twain, even though he was not believed to be an atheist, had very strong views on religion. In an excellent article, from Brain Pickings, his views are well documented and make for fascinating reading.

 

 

 

South Africa Diaries – Chapter 8

Central Cape Town from Lions Head
Central Cape Town from Lions Head (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Read my column on Expat Focus every month.

 

A Landsat image of Cape Town overlaid on SRTM ...
A Landsat image of Cape Town overlaid on SRTM elevation data. Elevation is exaggerated by a factor of two. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

April’s column – Chapter 8 of my South Africa Diaries is entitled ‘Back for Good’ and chronicles my return to Cape Town in 1995 and the real beginning of a permanent life in South Africa until 2011.

 

Read my South Africa Diaries from the beginning.

 

 

How good was James Dean?

A chance viewing on Youtube moved me to write this story 58 years after James Dean died. In that viewing I discovered a connection to my past going back sixty years which I never knew existed until now. It is tempting to dismiss it or put it down to coincidence or just one of those things, as we are often prone to say. But it did set me thinking, what a small, strange world we live in and how we are so closely linked, one way or another.

James Dean
James Dean (23)

In my youth I had a strong inner feeling about actor James Dean (1932 -1955) who sadly only made three movies. He starred in the film adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novel ‘East of Eden’ for which he received an Oscar nomination posthumously. Then the definitive ‘Rebel without a cause’ which made him an icon and role model for many young people and finally ‘Giant’ with Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson. He again received a posthumous Oscar nomination for ‘Giant’ and became the first actor to be nominated twice posthumously. That feeling or connection; call it what you will, has stayed with me throughout my life. It is certainly not an obsession but is nevertheless powerful. I was certainly not alone as he possessed such a powerful persona and a charisma that deeply affected many of his generation and generations thereafter. Many in the film industry believed that he was destined to be a great actor. Certainly his performances in such a short career were compelling so it is not unreasonable to think that we missed the best of a great talent. Continue reading How good was James Dean?