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:

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)