Tuesday, December 4, 2007

You Knew it was Coming....

First of all, my apologies for not posting for awhile. You know how life is, you get caught up in it. Nonetheless, I'm posting now!

For those of you that have bought "The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road", THANK YOU! As you read the book, you have to know that the book reads as a prelude to a film. I could feel it when I was writing with Alan on this project. Sooooooooo, I've been contacting movie producers to see if there was interest. There is.

I sent one producer this blog, the 2 book trailers, reviews of the book that each of you emailed to Alan or myself and a synopsis. I waited thinking Ok, she is going to come back with Thanks, but No Thanks...I was wrong.

Her email to me: Hi, I checked the links you kindly emailed me and I'mgoing to buy the book to get a sense of how the storyflows. I'm heading next week for Europe where I'll befor a few weeks so as soon as I have read the book,I'll come back to you.

So, friends it may turn out that "The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi KRoh Road" may become a film. There's many a slip between the cup and the lip, but my fingers are crossed.

Now.....who should play the role of Larry?

Monday, October 15, 2007

And The Reviews Keep Rolling In!

Dear Alan
I read the novel Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road and I am a harsh critic when it comes to what I enjoy, well I can tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed the novel and hope that you write another soon.

This novel should be pitched to some publishers worldwide as it has courage and real human moments of achievement and failings in life.

Thanks for a good read.

Ross Kilmister
Incidentally, this book WAS pitched to publishers all over the world. It was passed over and now the book is nominated for numerous awards as well as a PULITZER PRIZE.

Special note to the publishers and agents that passed on this book: I bet you're just kicking yourself right about now, aren't ya?

Friday, October 5, 2007

End of October and Shopping for the Holidays

Well, hopefully I will have great news to share with you all at the end of this month. That is when the USABooknews.com announces their winners for the year. As you may remember, "The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road" is up for Best Fiction.
Also, is anyone having problems posting a review on Amazon.com for the book? If so, please drop me an email...for some reason, reviews aren't showing and I need to know specific names so that Amazon can investigate the problem.
Also, now is the time for shopping for the holidays! Why not buy a friend or family member a copy of the book? It's as easy as a click of a mouse! Take a look at Barnes & Noble's website, some of the reviews are showing up there and the site has been tweaked it appears.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I Got An Email Yesterday

Dear Ms. Simpson:

We have received THE MANGO TREE CAFE for entry in the 2008 PulitzerPrize competition.

The entry is complete with books, entry form,entry fee, bio and photo.

Thank you for your entry.

Sincerely,Claudia Weissberg
-- Claudia Stone Weissberg
Website Manager
The Pulitzer Prizes
Columbia University
2950 BroadwayMail Code 3865
New York, NY 10027 USA

It was the best email of my life.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Readers are emailing Alan after reading the Book!

I received your novel The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road, I thought I would glance at before getting into it as I am a regular to Chiangmai and know the Mae Rim region as well. I wish to tell you that my glance at the novel ended some 4 hours later when I finally got to the back cover I am going to re-read it, something I have never done with any novel before in my life. An easy read, a really very good yarn. The characters leapt out at me and somewhere inside me is Larry. Thanks to you and Taryn Simpson for such a good read.

Chris Collins

Hi Alan your book arrived today! Read the first 8 chapters before I decided I really needed to do some work. I thoroughly enjoyed what I've read so far it is an easy read and made me think so much about my own life.

Colin Leigh

Hi Alan, Taryn

I have just finished reading the mango tree cafe, well done it is a great book and I hope that you win the book of the year prize!

Ted Osborne


Are you guys aware or interested in the Kiwi guy living in China who has written a novel called The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road. I purchased it off Amazon and it is a really good read.The Promo number 2 on Youtube is good as well. Great to know Kiwis do fly!!
Hi Alan and Taryn

Thanks for writing your novel. it's so exciting!
This video is exceptional and clearly depicts what you can expect from this read.
(Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road PART TWO)

Hi Alan.

I showed the novel to my family in Kansas and they are all well-read people. Their first response was its a good story.

wOW, WOW, WOW!!!!!!! How cool...I gotta get your book...The Nashville article was grest I will buy the book monday..you must be rapt..and wouldnt it be fab if you got even a nomination for the pulirzer...keep me in the loop!
Keep smiling and be positive!

Iain Taylor

Just read the review in the Tennessean - looks good. I'll definitely have to pick up a copy once I get back to the UK.

Erik Gaustad

The Mango Tree Cafe may very well be a fabulous hit. The book so far is very good..............in fact it is a bit hard to put down. I am only part way through and the movers are supposed to deliver our sea shipment tomorrow so I will probably be forced to take a break from the book. I will get back at it soonest to finish. It is totally imaginative..........and it reads as though it is being spoken to me. It is a fabulous read, that's for sure.
Let me know how it is going!
Take care,

Friday, September 7, 2007

The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road - Part TWO

More about the book:

Friday, August 31, 2007

LIVE! From the Beijing International Book Fair

Alan Solomon reported back yesteday with loads of pictures and this brief comment. If you're in Beijing, stop by the fair and say hello to Alan!

Probably about 200,000 people in the place when I was there! I have some photos, did not even get near where ours was on display owing to crowds.


More news to come directly from Alan in Beijing, China!

Monday, August 27, 2007

The International Book Fair in Beijing!

Well, the time is drawing near when "The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road" will be on display at The International Book Fair in Beijing. The book is scheduled to be shown by the Jenkins Book Group to various book retailers that are looking for books to stock on their shelves.

I can tell you that from the looks of things, the novel has been practically flying off the virtual shelves at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com!

If you're in the area on Aug 30, 2007 - Sep 3, 2007, please feel free to meet Alan Solomon at this book fair.

For more details:CLICK HERE

Layout of the fair: CLICK HERE

Friday, August 17, 2007

Interview, Interviews, and MORE Interviews

Well, I didn't get to talk with Alan via phone, but I continued the interview anyway. The show must go on, right? Sigh.....One day, Alan....One day.

Had the most fun with Revvell on her radio program! It was like we were just chatting and having a great conversation instead of an "Interview".
Here's her review and listen to the show, it was a blast!
Having read Taryn Simpson's and Alan Solomon's book, "The Mango Tree Cafe"; Loi Kroh Road" I was anxious to interview them for my program. Lately it's been rare that I've picked up a book and not been able to put it down. "The Mango Tree Cafe" is just such a book. Set in Thailand it tells the story of Larry and the colorful characters he encounters on Loi Kroh Rd. I feel this story will HAVE to be made into a film for those whose imaginations don't do the book justice. It's a "must read" for those who love adventure and discovering new places while sitting comfortably in an easy chair accompanied by a warm cup of tea.


http://podcast.thebookcrawler.com/2007/08/15/revvell-interviews-taryn-simpson.aspx or: http://tinyurl.com/3y5usj.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Not only is the book reading like a Who's Who, read below for the HUGE NEWS!

"The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road" is....

* Being shown at the Beijing, China International Book Fair at the end of this month

* Competing for Best Fiction Novel according to USABookNews.com

* Accumulating Interview Requests from

- Linda Della Donna (http://www.griefcase.blogspot.com/)
- Revvell (http://www.revvellations.com/)
- Virtual Book Review (http://www.virtualbookreview.com/)

* Selected as Book of the Month to read by an Australian book club

* Advertised heavily in "Ideas, Goals and Dreams" Magazine to premier in Sept 2007

* Scheduled to be translated into Chinese and Mandarin languages


"The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road" will compete for

Best Fiction Novel for the Pulitzer Prize!!!!
All I can say to Alan Solomon is, "Cheers, Mate!"

Saturday, August 11, 2007

An Interview with Revvell Promises to be MONUMENTAL

I spoke to Revvell (www.Revvellations.com) yesterday morning to discuss when she would like to interview me regarding "The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road" book.

While we chatted, I suddenly had a thought. "Do you think we could bring Alan into this interview as well?"

Revvell was game, so when I asked Alan about it (via email as always) he responded that he would be glad to.

This would be the FIRST time we would talk to each other regarding the book. Due to time differences, it will take some doing, but it should be a monumental occassion.

More details later on when the program will air.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The First Review Is IN!!!!!!

An author who also conducts radio shows as well as review books:

..."If you get a chance to read this book, do so. It is MAHVELOUS!!! It's been awhile since I've not been able to put a book down. Going back to reading it now. We're doing an interview, right? HAVE to talk about THIS book!!!"


You know what to do, right? Click here: The Mango Tree Cafe', Loi Kroh Road by Alan Solomon, Taryn Simpson (Book) in L

Monday, August 6, 2007

A Virtual Conversation with Solomon & Simpson by Linda Della Donna

Welcome Readers! Have I got a treat for you. Recently, I caught up with authors, Alan Solomon and Taryn Simpson and asked for an email interview. Solomon and Simpson teamed up to write The Mango Tree Cafe' Loi Kroh Road. What is stunning about this union, is Solomon makes his home in Asia, and Simpson resides in the USA.

Here's what Taryn Simpson and Alan Solomon had to say:

How did you come across this project?

TS: A writer friend of mine got a lead from a gentleman that had written a rough draft of a book and needed someone to "punch it up". She forwarded the book to me because it was fiction and she knows that it's my speciality. I thought it was going to be 'just another writing job'. Enter Alan Solomon and The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road. I read the synopsis he wrote for the book and was immediately taken with it. Why did you write this book?

AS: I received the power to write this novel from the moment I entered Loi Kroh Road and felt the mysterious magic of the street.

What was it like working with another author from a different part of the world? Were there barriers? Name one?

TS: Absolutely! Being an American, it's hard for me to fathom that people in other countries don't have the same freedoms that we do. Even when it comes to something minor such as the internet. If you have lived in the USA your entire life, you tend to adopt the mindset of "If I have a certain freedom, surely everyone else has it too". Although watching the news I know differently. It's just different when you become aware of how rich our freedoms are in this country when you hear people from different parts of the country talk about certain limitations they have. For example, when I created the blog for the book, Alan wasn't able to see it online for quite some time due to China's strict internet laws. TS (continues): Another barrier was I had a certain time frame where I could catch Alan on line. Remember, if the time in Nashville, TN USA is 8pm, it is 8am in Beijing. So, when I'm winding down from the day, Alan is beginning his. From 7:30pm my time until however late I could make myself stay up is when we had brief conversations about the book. Once I logged off for the night, Alan would leave me emails for the next morning (which is his night!). It was crazy!

AS: No barriers working with Taryn, Taryn was so enthusiastic and so helpful, for me it was like we were seated in the same bar side-by-side discussing our next move.

How long did it take you to write The Mango Tree Cafe'? Were friends, family members supportive?

TS: Well, that's hard to say. Although the book was written, I re-wrote roughly half of it and added/deleted sections of the book. Generally a novel takes 2-3 months or maybe more. That's not including editing. Yes, my partner endured many conversations about the book. When I become enthralled with a book, look out. I talk about it non-stop!

AS: The novel from start to finish took around 4 years, however the 'pull' to write was in my head for as long as I can remember, probably in High School. My family and friends never knew I was writing the Mango Tree Cafe, however if they had known they would have been supportive with a roar of laughter.

Without giving too much away, what is your favorite part of The Mango Tree Cafe? Do you have one?

TS: Oh, this is going to be difficult. Overall, I loved the fact that I got "lost" in this book as a reader. I've never been to Thailand and never had a yen to go. But, the events of the novel were so real to me that I felt like I have been there. It was a very strange feeling. And, meeting people in Nashville that had actually been there was just surreal. TS (continues): I love many sections of the book. The ones that stand out in my mind is the metamorphisis the main character goes through. It covers from the time he is a child to current age of around 50ish. He is able to gain a realization about himself and his father which is very melancholy at best. It's a sweet, sad, and all too painfully familiar feeling of knowing what it feels like to be so ultimately different from others and realizing that regardless of the lifestyle you lead, you can't run from what is inside yourself. I don't want to give too much away, but it is a very poignant story. I promise you will be in tears at the end. Not to mention that the setting includes visions of a lush jungle full of exotic fish, elephants and street dogs. I tried to put that feel in the You Tube video I did for it.

AS: In the novel there are many personal favorite parts I enjoy, however I guess if I had to identify just one part I would have to say it was when Larry realized he lost his only love Noo and to the end of the novel believed he was hearing her and seeing her and that someday she would return to him.

Did you accomplish everything you set out to do when writing this story?

TS: I think so. This question would probably be better served if answered by Alan Solomon. But, after he read the final draft I sent him. I could tell he was quite pleased.

AS: Yes I believe so.

What do you want readers to come away with after reading your story?

TS: I have to remind people that the story was created by Alan. But I want people to come away with whatever makes them think about the book. It has a lot of messages and there is one for everybody. I loved how the book describes the misfits of Loi Kroh Road as beautiful and exotic. Yet, the lives they lead were very gritty and difficult.

AS: Questioning life and how things happen to us as we travel through life which we can miss unless we are alert and seize the moment.

Are you working on anything at this time? Can you share what it is?

TS: I'm having to FORCE myself to move on from this book! LOL. I'm marketing the heck out of it as we speak. But, I have a couple of ideas for books that I am working on. The Mango Tree book has created a real desire in me to start writing "literary fiction" much in the same vein as "The Color Purple", or "A River Runs Through it". This book is pivotal in my career. My next book is tentatively entitled "Invisible Fences". Although it can change.

AS: I am thinking all the time, I watch and listen and keep a notebook. Something may happen. I am not too sure.

Any advice to a writer in the process of writing her own book?

TS: Some writers will say write at any cost. I say write when you have alone time and if you don't have it, make time to write. Even if it is for 10 or 20 minutes a day. Don't be discouraged. Get it down. Worry about deleting or editing later. Listen to music or do an activity such as people watching that will help you get in the mood for what you are writing because I think it bleeds through.

AS: Place a mirror on your writing desk and as you write occasionally look up and you will see what your next line is to be, because looking right back at you will be the lines, the eyes sending you the message and experience of life.

Thank you, Taryn, Thank you, Alan, for your time. Much success with The Mango Tree Cafe Loi Kroh Road. I'm off to do get a mirror and do the 10-20 minute-a-day writing thing!

You have permission to contact Linda Della Donna to do an interview at littleredmailbox@aol.com


Sunday, August 5, 2007

Interviews, Interviews and More Interviews!

As I am putting the finishing touches on the novel, I'm getting more requests for interviews. Normally, I don't care for doing numerous interviews about a book but that was before I did an interview with Linda Della Donna.

Linda is a talented writer that specializes in conducting thoughtful interviews with people she finds interesting. Alan Solomon and I are her next subjects. I've done my part of the interview and now we wait for Alan to return to Beijing after traveling to Singpore on business for his portion of the interview. In the meantime, check out Linda's FANTASTIC blog, Griefcase.

www.Griefcase.blogspot.com and look for www.Griefcase.net coming soon.

I'll post it as soon as she is complete right here. By the way, if you would like our book to be featured in your local newspaper, ezine, blog etc. Drop me a line.

Don't forget to purchase the book. Then drop by the mangotreecafe yahoo group and leave a message! I look forward to hearing your comments.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

An Interview with One of the Co-Authors, Taryn Simpson

Thought I would include an interview the Freelance Union did with me recently regarding my writing career. I knew I would be talking about "The Mango Tree Cafe" book quite a bit, so in 'keeping with our theme!' here's the interview: CLICK HERE

I can't seem to quit talking about it. It's a very special book, and I thank Alan for allowing me to be a part of it.

Feel free to leave a comment, I've learned several since I've known Mr. Solomon! He's quite the amusing fellow!


Monday, July 30, 2007

Buying Books while Bellied up to the Bar

Paid a visit to one of my favorite watering holes this past weekend. Bellied up to the bar and plopped 5 copies of "The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road" next to me as the bartender slid a cool one in front of me.

Of course, my friends bought them eagerly and began reading excerpts of it. "Hey, this really looks good! Can't wait to read it!" each of them said. I smiled and thanked them. I know they are going to LOVE it. More than they know.

Then, a guy catches my eye at the corner of the bar. He's staring at the book and has a haircut that indicates he might be in the military. He asks me, "Is that book sort of philosophical?" I nod yes. "Why do you ask?" He nods and says that he went to Chiang Mai to find himself.

"The countryside is gorgeous. Very primitive in sections. But it gives you such a sense of being able to look within." I smile and know he'll enjoy the book.

"I began every morning by jogging on Loi Kroh Road. The bars were closing down from the previous night, there were still some party revelers stumbling home and there were some like me listening for answers. I even saw The Mango Tree Cafe. It's true what you said in that book."

"What do you mean?" I ask. "The legend is true. You're changed forever when you go on that street. Scary stuff...." He shakes his head and buys me a beer.

I get the impression he still searches for answers.

Friday, July 27, 2007

News, News and More News!

Here is the latest news on "The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road" (hold on to your hat!)

  • The book has been selected as the next read for Melbourne, Australia's Book Club in October! I'll forward comments when they come in!
  • The novel is also competing for "Best Fiction Novel" in USABOOKNEWS.COM's annual list!
  • Books2Mention Magazine is also interested in reviewing the novel! You will be able to see the review on Barnes & Noble as well as Amazon.com when complete.
Stay tuned for MORE news and updates! Don't forget to buy your copy of the book!


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Something Amazing Happened This Morning...

I opened my email and got an invite to a new yahoo group called "The Mango Tree Cafe'".

Swing by and join, won't you? I anticipate that there will be discussions about the book and other Cafe Questions.

Click here: mangotreecafe-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

I told you big things were going to happen!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Mango Tree Cafe', Loi Kroh Road is FOR SALE!

Be sure to buy a copy hot off the presses!

Available soon on Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com and all other major book retailers.

Monday, July 16, 2007

No Rest for The Weary! On To Beijing, CHINA's Book Fair

If any of you are in the Beijing, China area during Aug 30 - Sep 3, 2007, be sure to check out "The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road" book on display with the Jenkins Group at their international book fair!

Thousands of books are expected to be displayed and The Mango Tree Cafe book will be there as well with a one very excited co-author on hand, Mr. Alan Solomon. So take this opportunity to shake his hand if you are a book seller and order our book! We are hoping it literally flies off the shelf with orders!

Stay tuned for more details!

WE ARE PUBLISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pass the champagne, "The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road" is scheduled to be published and available for purchase within the next week or two!

I just finished polishing the book and am sending via email to Alan in Beijing to proof a bit further. Then, dear reader, you will be able to hold in your hands the book that started it all!

Just look at the crowds clamoring to get a copy of the book!

Continue to stay tuned, more exciting news is on the way!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The Music and Text in the Book Trailer

Thanks to all that stopped by to either watch the book trailer here, or at You Tube. Quite a few of you remarked about the music and text that was in the trailer.

The music/lyrics of "Solitaire" was written by an American named Neil Sedaka. He's had numerous hits throughout his career and this song is a particularly touching one.

The singer's name is a British citizen named Tony Christie. He's definitely got a beautiful voice and sings the Sedaka composition with such feeling. The song was chosen because Alan mentions it in the book. So, we tried to be as true to the book as possible when doing the trailer.

Check out the performance of this song with both Sedaka and Christie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVCLdzBYjEs

As for the text, all I can do is mutter an "aw shucks it was nothin'". I wrote the text based upon my affection for the book.

Alan and I are so glad you enjoyed the mini-film. Please continue to link to the You Tube link

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Vote for Book Cover is.......(drumroll)

Both covers by Joyce Tao were great, but Alan and I both felt the darker cover captures the intrique and mystery of Loi Kroh Road.

Now to find that agent.....

Friday, June 1, 2007

Start Spreading the News...

I contacted an agent in New York City and sure enough, she requested to read 3 chapters. So I ran down to my trusty post office and mailed it and it's been 3 days or so. Now, that's not alot of time gone by, mind you. But, I requested she recieve it in 2 days, so at least she is taking time to read through and digest it.

I read where the minute she recieves a package, she will either "send an email stating yea or nay".

My kind of gal....cross your fingers for us.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

This would be a Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney Movie if their weren't rejections

Dear Taryn

Thank you for your submission.

Unfortunately, I did not feel that the agency could place this successfully on your behalf. May I wish you the best of luck in your search for representation.

Yours sincerely

Philip Patterson
Marjacq Scripts
34 Devonshire Place, London W1G 6JW

"Let's put on a show!"
And so it goes...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


There is nothing better than logging into your email account first thing in the morning and seeing the following words:

"Your proposal sounds very interesting. Please forward the first three chapters and a synopsis to my attention."

And, as Tom Petty would sing, The Waiting is the Hardest Part.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

30 pages and 30,000 miles

This past weekend, I put together a synopsis, 3 chapters of the book and a detailing of this blog, the interest that we have generated thus far, etc. I carefully put it into an airmail packet and printed the agent's name and address on front.

The mail clerk asks me a series of questions of what is inside the package (due to 9/11 security issues) and I replied, "30 pages of a book and alot of anticipation". She smiles and stamps it to death and gives me a receipt.

I am continuing to query U.S. agents as well. Once I hear from these agents, I'll let you know (good or bad) what they say. It's all part of the process, right?

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Literary Agents....

I've started the process of querying agents for the MTC over the weekend. And, voila', I had two favorable responses from agents in London.

So today I will spend my time today gathering the info they are seeking and will send off for their review. Cross your fingers folks, I still predict that MTC will be HUGE. You heard it hear first.

I've read alot of novels in my time and inevitably, one of two things happen: either the novel doesn't hook me in the opening paragraph, or I love it from the first sentence.

I love this novel from the first word. Any book that captures me mind and spirit and has me in tears at the end counts as one of those books I'll remember forever.

More news later.

Friday, May 4, 2007


Let us know your thoughts....

The Excerpt

This was Larry, wasted by the struggle called age, a duel he hadn’t even noticed taking place until it crept up on him while he was just too darned busy fighting the reality to have seen time and infirmity racing up to engulf him. He rested his head on the back of the chair in defeatist reflection.

“It was just a time. Just a time, and then I had the rest of my life which bored me near to death,” he sighed. He offered me an early morning, expertly made Bloody Mary, full of I never figured out what special ingredients. I gladly accepted as I finished off the last of the Dewar’s.

“The days are in a hurry now. My memories are kept under lock and key never to escape. My mind recalls my ragged history with a reflex as natural as breathing so that I never forget the unpleasantries. As I think back to my life; I loved the farm but there are only certain things that can happen on the land, and one can only go so far there. Maybe I should have stayed to please the old man, or the ancestors. The farm was part of the family, and I’m sure I was expected to make sure it remained so. However, as it turned out I didn’t stay, and in all honesty it was not hard for me to leave. As a result, I am pleased I won’t die a bitter old man thinking of the dreams I wanted to chase but didn’t, because the tits of cows had to be pulled in order to relieve their stress and to keep the bank manager happy.

“I was determined never to go home again. I escaped grief, but also love to a point, and as I stand watching that old man struggling along past my home every morning, I wonder if I am torn with guilt, and if I am, why don’t I know for sure? Has time caused my recollections to dull? Life is full of strange mysteries and secrets,” Larry half smiled at his own summation as he stared transfixed onto Loi Kroh Road while he rubbed the stubble upon his face.

“Ah, but when the mysteries happen upon us we will gladly describe the experience to friends over a beer or two, but little secrets we prefer to keep to ourselves. It is often said that three people can keep a secret only if two of those people are in their graves. Another line is, ‘On the world stage, some of us have better seats.’ Odd things happen to us as we go about our daily life which later, after the dust has settled and we get back to some semblance of normalcy the road ahead is seen much clearer. It makes one wonder if what you experienced that moment was from some cosmic force aimed directly and only at you. I’m talking about the real things that end up changing your life forever. Are these happenings a coincidence, or are they planned by some higher spiritual force? He turned to me with answerless eyes as he asked his rhetorical question.

“Why do some people have the Sight, the ability to see ahead of time and deep into the past, while others cannot even see what is happening in front of their noses? I used to, and sometimes still do wonder if time is real, only to have had that pushed back into my face in my early thirties when at a party I latched on to this pretty thing in a bar and used the well worn line of, ‘Where have you been my entire life, darling?’ To which she, without a hint of embarrassment or hesitation replied, ‘Well judging from your looks, for the first half of it I wasn’t born.’”
Larry’s story is a strange one, with the added merit of being true. I witnessed much of it, yet even I have difficulty understanding how it all happened and why it ended the way it did, and why such an incident so late in the life of a man who thoroughly enjoyed his own company above all else, suddenly jolted him into the realization that life is possibly just an illusion, and that we do not actually exist. He came to suspect the people who live around him and those whom he believed were meant to be trusted based on their station in life or their profession might actually resent him for no other reason than because he was successful. He started to consider them parasites that, while sucking from the public purse, would desperately use him as a sponge for their own means. Then when they had used and abused him to satisfy their own insatiable greed and he found himself drowning, these same parasites would gladly throw him an anvil.

Such people held the ability to cause all sorts of problems for innocent people while they themselves disappeared into the eye of their own storms. Larry often recalled the old story of the new British Member of Parliament who, on being shown where his seat was located by the Whip pointed to across the room and said, “Is that where my enemy sits?” And the whip said to him, “Oh no, my boy, that's where your opponents sit. You will be sitting with your enemy.”

Larry mistrusted the so-called elite and their self-bestowed authority, those who lived in their own worlds believing they had control over those they consider of the lower class. “I don’t have a law degree, I am not an eminent heart surgeon, and I can’t even fly a fighter jet, but I know what shit looks like. They should receive tumultuous applause in recognition for their ability to survive in their world of dishonesty, corruption, evil, lies and Absolut martinis at breakfast,” was one of Larry’s favorite lines when he got angry enough with the so-called elite.

In his time, Larry had been called many things by various groups of people; some descriptions were not very flattering, with their name calling changing in color to suit their mood of the day and whatever intensity was required to accommodate their own hidden agendas. However, one description they failed to attribute to him, was the truth: a caring person who was generous to a fault and did not ask for anything in return. There was jealousy and there was evilness in the intentions of those who concealed their own weaknesses. They saw what Larry had to offer and clamored to feast upon his carcass with the hunger of a glutton. They wanted to seize his power- that certain something he had that was indefinable. But, they failed miserably, for they did not know his secret, the secret of being aware, his personal spiritualism, for unbeknownst to them all, Larry felt the force of the spiritual energy from his past life, and he was guided by the spirits of those who had gone before him many years previously.

He was led on a life which was to be full of love for those less fortunate but, as Larry found out, even those to whom he devoted his life to help sometimes would unexpectedly turn on the very person who had saved them. So this is the story of Larry, who ended up not trying to save his soul but desperately trying to save his life.

As this story is told, please do not judge Larry too harshly, as he had no real argument with the establishment. Try having corrupt officials all with their own selfish agendas in your background, praising you, slapping you on the back with the right hand while in the left they hold a knife that flirts with the glint of its own sharpness. "Cold and calculating people to whom conscience is a foreign concept," Larry called them.

Larry was a traveler like many before him, however, unlike most poor souls he knew, his path had been planned for him and he knew he was constantly guided by a powerful spirit, a spirit whose presence was revealed to him at an early age, a spirit to guide him and help him survive on the street where he eventually ended up. Larry knew that to survive on the street, the street must fall in love with you.

I know that from the day Larry walked onto Loi Kroh Road he never drew a sober breath again.

Post from London, England


I am a close friend of Alan Solomon and have worked with him on assignments around the world. If Alan has written a novel then I can tell you that it will be a winner for sure! His ablility to read people, and his story telling had many of his friends in awe of him. He has seen so much, thinks very deeply, and when he tells a story it doesn't matter whether it is true or not, if he is telling it to you, then you WILL believe it!

Alan ran a good business at the Mango Tree Cafe' and many others became jealous of his success and they tried everything to emulate his style and success, but they could not achieve this as it takes that special personality, that abililty to laugh at yourself, to laugh along with others, to call yourself a silly bugger for mistakes and not blame everyone else, and there is only one guy who can do all those things. If you meet Alan you instantly like him, he becomes a friend for life, because you want him as a friend.

This novel will be a winner, if any publisher looks at this novel, my advice is don't let it slip through your fingers, it will be a winner!

Steve Quirke
London, England.

Monday, April 30, 2007

If You Haven't Read This Blog Yet - DO IT NOW

So you can get familiar with the background of the book, "The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road." The reason I say this is because in the next day or two, I will be posting excerpts from the book.
The Restaurant that inspired The Book
A brochure from the actual restaurant in Chiang Mei, Thailand

As I mentioned previously, the book is all a-buzz in Europe and it hasn't even been published yet. I will be contacting some literary agents in the next week or so to garner additional interest in this book. Who knows? Maybe I can even query Miss Snark and get some interest from her. If the reaction in the U.S. is anything like the reaction in Europe, Asia and South America, I would be willing to wager that we have a winning book on our hands.

Spread the word....

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Guest Blogger from The Mango Tree Cafe'


My name is Phatcharin Thungngoen, I found your blog site while surfing the net and was so thrilled to find news of Alan.

I worked with Alan at the Mango Tree Cafe the day he opened it. Alan worked hard and soon the cafe became very popular with famous people arriving and staying all day sometimes. The cafe won the Thailand Tatler award for the best cafe, and sometimes on Sunday's we would have to turn customers away because we were full up. We started with only a total of three people and in 18 months there were over 20 working girls employed at the cafe.

Alan never interfered with the work we did he always let us do our job while he would be around if we needed help. The cafe became the envy of many others who tried their hardest to copy the style but it was the Mango Tree Cafe that everyone wanted to be seen in. We had a girl who sang very good songs, she was a mystery girl. Then we had two girls who played the guitar and violin, they made a CD and went to London to perform.

The Cafe was very odd because it had a feel about it and people seemed to be drawn to it, it did not help when Alan used to say the cafe was haunted by friendly ghosts! We girls got very frightened. But it did have an unusual feel, and many lonely but interesting people seemed to find the cafe and come in and never leave.

Alan had the ability be able to read these peoples minds as he would have us girls with eyes wide and mouths open in shock as he would sit and tell us stories about the people who visited the cafe, not because he knew them but because he said 'they gave off signals and signs'

He studied everyone and was always writing in his notebook. One French customer asked some of the girls if Alan was a spy as he seemed to sit watching the happenings on Loi Kroh Road and taking notes. We now find out the truth!

Alan was a great guy, he was kind to everyone and everyone liked him. I know that his novel will be a big hit because what he wrote in his notebook was what he saw happening around him daily in the cafe and on Loi Kroh Road.
Spread the Word

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

He's a Hit in Beijing!

Here is a writeup located in the Bulletin of the International School of Beijing. Scroll down until you reach the headline, "Head of Security Completes His First Novel". There is a nice pic of Alan as well as the graphic artist is working with.


Click HERE to read the article.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Alan sent me a quick note this morning (or last evening if you're in Beijing) and mentioned the following:

Received this note from a reader who read the article about the book. Also I had several wondering when the novel will be published, as you predicted there is huge interest.... Note from reader: Regarding your book: I did not know what a great talent you are. I also learned new things about you - restauranteur, etc...Where can i read excerpts from the book? is it on-line? or shall I wait until it is published?


Copyrighting, Publishers and Agents, Oh My!

Sorry, couldn't help myself with the Wizard of Oz-"ish" title.

Well, to keep you abreast of the happenings with the book, I am still tweaking and rewriting spots. I have to really take a few steps back to do this because the story really draws you in to the main character's world.

But, I feel it's time to secure the copyright to protect the storyline and content. For those new to writing, copyrighting is really an easy process. It's a lengthy one, but it is easy for the writer(s).

Now, the completing of the form was a little different for me because my co-author, Alan Solomon has dual citizenship. That, and I will be pitching literary agents not only in the U.S. (most likely New York City) but London, England as well. This book will have a strong international readership I feel certain.

So for those of you that are writing books and don't know where to secure the copyright: http://www.copyright.gov/register/literary.html

I downloaded form TX which is what most writers use for their books.

So, make a note: The Mango Tree Cafe',Loi Kroh Road © 2007

Spread the word

Monday, April 16, 2007

An Interview with Alan Solomon - Author of "The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road

The Mango Tree Cafe', Loi Kroh Road is such an intriguing book, I thought it was high time that the readers of this blog get a bit of insight into the man responsible for the story.

A Conversation with Alan Solomon

You're from New Zealand, correct? Tell me about growing up in NZ

I was fortunate growing up in New Zealand; I came from a good home with a mother and father who cared. I was well fed and well clothed and given every opportunity to gain an excellent education. I was very happy and very fortunate. However while I was lucky enough to have caring parents, many children did not and one incident that sticks firmly in my mind to this day, was at age seven witnessing a boy also aged seven sorting through the rubbish bins looking for food and wondering why he had to do this. I still see his face now every time I eat.

What prompted you to move from NZ and move to China?

I felt New Zealand was too small for me and while it is a beautiful country with a great caring government, I needed to see what was on the horizon. I traveled extensively and during my travels I met a Chinese Police Officer Richard Ren around 1996 and we became good friends. One day somewhere mid 2003 out of the blue he asked if I would come to China and help him with a project and I agreed. I am still here, and Richard and I are still good friends.

What's it like to be a white man living in China?

One of the earliest New Zealanders who came to live in China was Rewi Alley. He lived here for over 50 years, dying on December 1987 in Beijing - There were many others, great men and women who came when times were hard here, who stood beside the Chinese people and helped make China the modern country it is now. Life for a foreigner in China is very easy today.

You really owned the cafe', "The Mango Tree Cafe'. Had you ever owned a restaurant before?

Yes I owned the Mango Tree Café in Loi Kroh Road Chiangmai. I started the operation with myself one girl as front of house and one chef. Eighteen months later I had 15 staff and three chefs. I had never owned a restaurant before but had visited many on my travels and figured that if I ever was to buy a café I knew what I would and would not do. However my mind was made up when I came across an old Chinese palm reader who told me that what I had to do was open a café or bar and 'the tourists will fly from many countries to come to visit it' she was right.

Have you ever thought about becoming an author before this book?

I wrote poetry and people interest me. I do a lot of watching and thinking. I wrote a poem for the opening of the Prem Tinsulanonda International School Thailand in Chiangmai, and it was read publicly and now is in their archives.

How did you come to meet Taryn Simpson?

I met Taryn through a contact when I was looking for someone to help polish my novel. I am very happy I met Taryn as we are getting along very well.

What are some of the most exotic places you have traveled to?

This is a very hard question as I have worked in over 15 countries. It was Thailand which gave me the enthusiasm to write, probably owing to the number of infamous, sad people who are drawn to the country. It is like this huge lonely hearts club. Thailand has a by-line for tourism 'The country of a thousand smiles' I added, 'And a million tears'

Is China home to you now?

Home is where I am at the time. I settle easily. I guess however the magnetic pull of New Zealand is very strong. However Larry says in the novel that he wants to die surrounded by the of laughter of children and the sounds of the animals and the jungle. We will see.

Finish this sentence: "The best piece of advice I ever received was...."

Be kind to those on your way up the ladder, for as sure as hell, you will meet them on your way down.

Finish this sentence: "Most people don't know this about me, but..."

Every song about being on the road, losing someone you love, that rough night, or being on the street, having been born 200 years too soon and 200 years too late were all written about me.

Thanks, Alan.

My pleasure.

* Note: Alan is Fedexing the article from the International School of Beijing cover story on "The Mango Tree Cafe', Loi Kroh Road". It will be posted here as soon as I recieve it.

Friday, April 13, 2007

My New Name: 辛 丽军

I had wondered about the Chinese writing that appeared next to Alan's name one day and I asked him, "Hey, what would my name look like? What does 'Taryn' mean in Chinese?"

Ask and you shall recieve as I always say. For some reason, I can't post the Chinese writing into this post, but at least it is showing in the title.

Xin is my surname and LiJun is my first name. Taryn is seen here as being a young pretty soldier, so your first name is LiJun which means beautiful army .... Xin is the nearest meaning to Simpson.

So I'm a Beautiful Army.....I guess you would have to ask those around me if that is a "true interpretation".


Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Alan emailed me this morning, which is his evening, with a great idea.

With the determination of 2 generals, we have divided our globe into 2 sections. He handles Europe, Asia and beyond, I handle the US, South America and beyond. Somewhere "beyond", we will meet in the middle!

He came up with a brilliant plan to contact London's infamous paper, "The Sun". He is, after all, a citizen of that country. What other paper can announce the type of buzz this book is making? My hat is off to our friends, the Brits.

I sent them an email alert this morning and am waiting for their response. I'm still checking the stats and so far we are getting hits in the following countries:

United States
United Kingdom
Russian Federation
Serbia And Montenegro

Remember, spread the word।

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The interest is building, Thanks to You!

Heard from Alan this weekend, and the International School in Beijing is going to run a story about "The Mango Tree Cafe', Loi Kroh Road" on April 13th! It'll be a great Friday the 13th, I guarantee!

If you want to see how well I am clogging the search engines, try googling the title of this book. People are actually ready to buy it before it is even published. Great job out there everyone!

Do YOU know an agent or publishing house that would be interested in this book? Let me know by leaving a comment. Do you have an Aunt Sally or Uncle Tim that would be interested in reading about the progress of a book? Send this blog to them.


The Co-Authors

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Polishing The Diamond

This morning, I awoke in a good mood. I knew it would be a good day, because I would continue my work of "Polishing The Diamond," or I should say, "The Mango Tree Cafe', Loi Kroh Road."

As I read through the beginning pages, my eyes were following punctuation, grammar and all the other nuances that a writer attends to. I tweaked here and there, offering stronger details and bits of poetic prose. Catching a bit of the reflection of my laptop screen in my reading glasses, I smile because I love what I am reading.

As a writer, it is one of the most rewarding experiences when you are asked to shape and polish a book that is so damned good in the first place. I was very fortunate to have stumbled upon Alan Solomon.

And, I feel blessed and priviledged to have this phenomenal book resting within the confines of my computer. I think somebody "up there" likes me, there's no other way to explain my good fortune.

More Musings Later-

Monday, April 2, 2007

The Cover

No, we're not putting the cart before the horse! The cover is integral to book sales. Let's face it, when is the last time you picked up a book and thought to yourself, "Hey, this is a drab cover, I think I'll buy it"?

So, there are several things authors have to consider such as :

  • The central theme of the book - how can it be displayed on the cover?

  • What colors should be used?

  • What font should be used?

  • What size book will it be?

There are all types of issues to consider. That's where we are right now, as Alan is working with a young lady that is a very talented graphic artist in Beijing. When she finishes a draft of the cover, she sends a copy to Alan and myself.

You know what I think? The internet is a godsend.

Stay Tuned and Spread the Word. Remember drive the traffic.

Stats for this Blog-

I just checked the stats for this blog, and am pleased to report that it is enjoying international exposure!

Some of the countries/states that are visiting are: New Zealand, Bangkok, Beijing, China, USA just to name a sampling. Slowly but surely, I am hoping to build this traffic because (yes, you will probably grow tired of my saying this) the Book is that good. Take it from one who was never interested in books set in Asia. I now find myself thinking about sections of the book and wondering what it would be like to see the jungles of Thailand and this famed road called Loi Kroh.

I've already tweaked/rewritten the beginning of the book and am satisfied with the results. Now, my job is to continue on. I will begin again tomorrow (April 3) and share with you my feelings about working on this book.

I'll go through every aspect of the book process with you. And, when the final project is ready for purchase, you can bet YOU will be the first to know.

Stay Tuned and Spread the Word- (don't forget our contest)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The First Steps...

I knew the first step in this journey would entail setting up a blog.

And, as they say, "Build it and they will come."

So we are standing knee-deep in our proverbial 'Field of Dreams'.

My question to you is Who is willing to help us get attention?

What is the payoff? How about a mention or link to your blog? I can guarantee international readership।
To the person that drives the most traffic to this blog (by commenting on the blog, forwarding to others and getting us attention in any way) will win a free autographed copy of the book upon publication.
So, remember: Spread the word.

The International School of Beijing

As busy as I have been promoting the book in the states, Alan has been just as consumed with spreading the word across Asia and Europe.

In fact, it appears that The International School of Beijing is planning to spotlight the book in the near future in one of its newsletters. The readership is around 5,000 which is tremendous exposure. When it happens, of course I will share with you here.

Make no mistake. This book is going to be huge.

Spread the word.

Meet Chris Watt

Note to our Readers: Chris Watt is a friend of Alan Solomon. They actually owned cafe together।. See below as he blogs about getting to know Alan, but most importantly, the allure of Loi Kroh Road.

Finally, the job is almost done!

Having a seat in the cane chairs in front of the Mango Tree Café with Alan while watching the world go by and listening to Alan tell his amazing stories makes me that much more anxious to get hold of a copy of the book!

As partner in the Mango Tree Cafe' with Alan for part of the time, I too, was exposed to life and mysteries of Loi Kroh Road. It was in fact then, that I first met Alan, this amazing guy who had traveled the world and had so many incredible life experiences.

His tales could have you in tears but mainly rolling on the floor with laughter. I recall the times when we would close up the café, pour ourselves a beer and sit in the dark watching and listening to the foot traffic in the street which was full of intrigue.

Alan and I still remain very close friends to this day. I enjoy meeting him on trips to Beijing where we recall the times in Loi Kroh Road. For sure, this is a must read book when it hit the shelves. - Chris Watt

A Synopsis of "The Mango Tree Cafe', Loi Kroh Road

The original email from Alan Solomon to me:

The title is The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road. It is set in North Thailand, centered on a character named Larry, raised on a farm with a strict father and in his need to run from being trapped on the farm. He believed he had a mission in life and is guided by a ghostly figure which appeared to him as a child. On his adventures he sees loneliness in all the people around him, he falls out of love, loses the only real love he ever had and in reality, it is his own mortality and his own loneliness which he fears.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Meet the Authors - The Serendipity Project

So what type of a person does it take to write "The Mango Tree Cafe', Loi Kroh Road"? one that lives in Beijing, China.

Oh, and one very strong internet connection. I had never met Alan Solomon until recently, and as I detailed in my prior post, he is a gifted writer. And, he's photogenic to boot!
Alan Solomon is a native New Zealander living and working in Beijing, China as a teacher. He has worn a number of hats in his lifetime, and is pleased to report that "Author" is the latest to be added to his lengthy list of credits.

First things first: How do you do's are in order from Alan to YOU, his readers.
Spread the word.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Lead

Loi Kroh Road at night
I'm a professional ghostwriter and was searching for a book to write and or polish. A colleague of mine sent me an email asking if I would be interested in this book.

I read a chapter and was astonished. The book was unbelieveably good. I created a second draft of what I read and sent it to the writer. He was pleased. At that point, he made me an offer I couldn't refuse. Would I collaborate with him on this book?

My answer? Well, you are reading a blog about the journey that the two of us are taking on this book. My writing partner is located in Beijing, China and I am located in Nashville, TN USA.

Unusual? I suppose so, although the internet has established some incredible achievements. This book is one of them.

So, come along for the journey. We'll all walk upon the mystical road of Loi Kroh Road and discover the answers to some age old questions. When this book is published and you have had a chance to read it, you will never be the same.

That's a promise.