I’m no good at this spamming malarkey…

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(click to enlarge, as it’s tough to read like this)

Forget that! What the hell is that picture?

I was teaching MASAKO! on Saturday and i was going through illnesses. The book had an exercise to suggest 2 things to do if you had a certain illness. Me being me i got bored waiting for her to finish it so i wrote this on the board. For some reason i was thinking of Samuel L Jackson quotes at the time so i thought it would be funny to put my own interpretations of what he might say.

Oh God! You know, some people get the sack for this…

Don’t worry, i made sure she didn’t write it down, and the bosses never walk in on a class anyway over here. It’s not like China (so I’ve heard) when one of your bosses will sit in on a least one of your classes per week. Here they kind of just throw you in a class with zero preparation or information and expect you to work miracles. So there is no evidence of me ever doing this in a class…except for this…hmm, maybe i didn’t think this through…

I wouldn’t worry. Most people don’t spend their days off searching through obscure blogs just in case they are mentioned.

And even if they did, i would deny it. If you say it enough times it must be true…

OK, this conversation is dying out. Lets go back to the original post. Why are you spamming?

I’m trying to get people aware of my book(s). Unfortunately for me i don’t know what i’m doing, plus i don’t have a six figure budget to ram it down people’s throats. This means that i joined the spam club. I posted on a few horror sites on Facebook (since my latest book is the diary of a killer) and after a couple of days Facebook wouldn’t allow me to post on some pages. It didn’t come up with a warning or anything; i just wouldn’t register when i pressed post. Then i tried Plan B (by now i’m way in over my head. I thought that if i didn’t get lynched i would have considered that a bonus) Plan B consisted of sending private messages to Admins of pages saying that rather than spamming their pages, i would send it to them personally and if they chose to post it on their page then i would be happy. It didn’t work…

Are you not selling any then?

Sales are going well, but my philosophy is you could have the best book in the world, but if no-one knows it exists then nobody is going to buy it. I want people to enjoy it. Money is a tertiary thought. The most important thing to me is that people enjoy it. Followed by reviews. Reviews to me are important because if i get good reviews, then more people are likely to want to read my work. If i get honest, bad reviews, i know where i am going wrong and i can tweak myself to become a better writer, which in turn will make people enjoy my work more.

What did you do this week?

It was my birthday last weekend, so me and my family went to a place called The Windmill. It looked incredible. After that we went to the place next door which was called The House of Beer. When we walked in they handed us a dinky little drinks menu that had 4 different beers on it. I joked that it should have been called The Studio Flat of Beer (I’m so fucking hilarious……) Luckily for us they had a backup menu which contained over 50 brands of random beer. I’m not a big fan of beer, but i thought i would give it a go since it was a beer specialist place (You don’t go to an
Italian restaurant to try their chicken caesar salad do you?). I ended up having a beast of a Hoegaarden that i needed to pick up with two hands, followed by a slightly smaller beer called Floris, which was a chocolate flavoured beer from Belgium. Drunk mode achieved, new rewards unlocked! Apart from that i’ve just been chilling, i hope to finish my fifth book by either this week or next week.

windmill pic

a FIFTH book? I thought you had only written two.

No, I’ve published two. This one is my attempt at a romcom. I’ve done horror, fantasy, comedy and a psychological thriller. Now i thought i’d try my hand at romcoms. Unfortunately they are not as easy as they sound and i’m not as happy with this as my previous books (mind you, i say that about all my books! I suppose i subconsciously think that to keep myself on my toes!) so after i’m done i have to send it to a few people to get critiqued then i will plot my next move. Other than that; i’m done. See ya!

hoegaarden

The beast of a Hoegaarden

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It’s official, The Butterfly Killings is done!

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BOOM!!!!!!!!

Yep, published it on Saturday. Thanks to everyone who made it possible. There were times when i wasn’t sure whether i was going to meet the release date or not but everything worked out in the end. I was up until 3 in the morning the last couple of nights doing final edits but now it’s a huge weight off my shoulders. 2 books in a year. Not bad for someone who didn’t have the slightest interest in writing this time last year!

What’s it about? 

It’s the diary of a killer. It documents their slow demise into insanity. Click here if you want to read the blurb. If not, be a poo and ignore me, your karma, not mine!

OK, i choose to ignore you. I bet you are going to shamelessly plug it anyway….

A wise bet my friend, a wise bet… Click here or on the picture to buy this absolute beast of a book on Amazon.

How’s Thailand?

Thailand’s good. No real teaching stories in terms of comedy. I had a student who was terrible at life and i was getting very frustrated with her, simply because she wasn’t trying. I knew the potential to pass her exam was there, but she kept turning up 20 minutes late (Which isn’t uncommon here…) and half arseing everything she did. Eventually i pushed her enough so she snapped. She started spitting out the correct answers to my questions and generally doing  better job than before. Some students need a metaphorical arm around their shoulder and some need a right kick up the arse, she needed the latter.

At the end of the lesson i told her to go in the other room as ‘there was something in there for her’. She walked in to see the brownie that i had left her as a reward for not being shit any more. I also left a note next to the brownie that said:

Much better today. I can see that you clearly have the potential to pass, but you need to study. And i mean really study and not just say that you are going to study. If you continue this standard i think you can easily pass (although you are not ready yet)

I hope that motivates her to get over the finishing line. Her parents said that she has failed this test a couple of times and this is her last chance. She doesn’t realise how great of an opportunity she has and she’s about to piss it up against the wall. (Rich kids, eh?) Hopefully she will take this chance and go on to study abroad and absorb another culture, instead of blaming everyone else but herself for her own shortcomings….

So… No teaching stories then?

No, but i did have a strange conversation with my laundry lady when i went to pick up my washing the other day.

(It was in Thai, so this is the rough translation…)

Double L (laundry lady): Where do you live?

Me: <shocked> Sorry?

Double L: Do you speak Thai?

Me: A little bit

Double L: Where do you live?

Me: Erm… over there, about a five minute walk.

Double L: Do you like Jason Statham?

Me: Er… Yes

Double L: I LOVE Jason Statham!

Me: He’s from London, near where i’m from. (turns out that he’s from Derbyshire, nowhere near London. I found that out through the power of Wikipedia…)

Double L: Yes

<AWKWARD SILENCE…>

Double L: And i like Benny….Bennezie…..

Me: Benecio Del Toro?

Double L: Yes! I also like Jason Statham because of his teeth.

Me: Oh…OK

Double L: Bye! <smiling frantically>

After 3 years of conversations like this, i highly doubt that i will be able to function in the real world. Especially when i go back to England….

So is that it in terms of writing?

No, i’m in the process of writing my 5th one. I’m over 40,000 words in. I reckon i’m about four fifths of the way through. I know roughly how it is going to end now, i just need to physically write it. I reckon i will be done before the end of November. After that i am planning to take a long break from writing. At least until the end of January. Just to recharge and gather my thoughts. Don’t worry i have plenty of books left in me (Let me rephrase that: I still haven’t got the hint yet….) In fact, i’m itching to write another two books already! But honestly i know i am mentally drained, and i need a few months to stop everything and give my brain a rest. I might release another book in the meantime. I haven’t decided yet. It will depend on how bored i am.

Mum’s 50th birthday present

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We went to the night market on Monday. We saw countless stalls selling the same thing over and over before we got some Pakistani food from a restaurant that i go to about once or twice a month (Pakistani food is delicious by the way if you have never tried it. It’s very similar to Indian food but it has a bit more of a kick to it). After we annihilated our food, we set off on an adventure in no particular direction; or so they thought…

I was casually guiding them to the wood carving shop. Mentioning a few times before that i wanted to go and show them how detailed they were. Eventually they slowly followed me to the shop. Once i was standing in the middle of the shop, i turned around to Mum and said “I lied. Pick one!”

She dismissed it and said they were way too expensive and i shouldn’t be so stupid. You know, Mum answers. However i stood my ground and said “I’m not leaving this shop until you pick one.”

“How about i spend a few days deciding what i want and i’ll come back later?” She countered. “That old chestnut!” I thought to myself.

“I’m not falling for that! Come on, pick one!” I repeated.

She then proceeded to look at the smallest possible ones. I was expecting to spend at least 600 pounds but she wouldn’t even glance at any that were over 200 pounds. She clocked the monkey one straight away, then the one next to it which was a carving of some monkeys in the jungle, it was far more detailed but she said she preferred the “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” as she called it.

She was also looking at the elephant one. “Sod you, i’ll buy them both!” I thought to myself. “You think you are being clever by picking the cheapest one, well i see your two pair and i raise you a full house!”

So in the end i got them both. The lovely family that ran the shop were incredibly friendly, telling me about their daughter who is studying law at Brighton University at the moment. Also because i spoke Thai they give me a massive discount without me having to barter. So overall i paid around £200 for the two wood carvings, and two small elephants that will stand beside the elephant carving and give it more depth

Just as they were wrapping it i realised that i hadn’t taken any photos of the carvings. They spent a good twenty minutes wrapping them up carefully so i didn’t fancy unwrapping them just to take photos. I asked the guy if i could take photos of similar ones and he was fine with it. So these aren’t the exact carvings that i bought my mum, but there are very similar. A slight difference here and there. In general they are the same

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Oh by the way: My latest book ‘The Butterfly Killings’ will be out on November 15th. Just in case you are interested…

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And here’s some pictures of Runt somehow getting herself locked in the apartment building….

Milk and cookie night

My parents came to Thailand on Monday. They told me they were going to land at 4:45 so i told them that i was working. I lied.

In fact, i actually held a piece of paper up saying “I lied!” When i met them at the airport.

I had the whole evening planned out; they were expecting to arrive at the airport and mime their way to the apartment. Then wait for me until i got home at 9:00. Instead i held a milk and cookies night for them.

What is a milk and cookies night do you ask? Cracking question! It’s Ronseal quick drying woodstain; it does exactly what it says on the tin. (nice obscure reference there for any English people over the age of 25) You get a glass of milk, followed by a wide variety of biscuits and cookies to dip and eat. We’re English, so i had to get the McVities! I also got TimTams for Cara and Geoffrey the Australians (they said that they weren’t real TimTams though…), dark chocolate brownie Pepperidge Farm cookies for the Amurrican. (who didn’t show up in the end, so i ate them!) and some Thai sweets that to be honest i wanted out of my life. I got some shortbread biscuits as well in case anybody wanted them.

So overall there were 7 of us; Me, my mum, my step-dad, Cara, Geoffrey, Jack (the Dutch guy who is an artist on the pool table!) and Dave the Canadian. We held the milk and cookies night just outside my apartment. I live on the top floor in the furthest room. This means that no one ever has to walk past my room. And as such, the front patio area outside my room has been turned into a balcony of sorts, complete with patio furniture. We have a nice breeze that swishes past our floor so it is nice and cool in a country which is normally the complete opposite. Anyway, we all chilled out there and destroyed various biscuits. 2 and a half hours later once the cookies had dried up, (i’m lying again! I took them in so i could dismantle them in my own time…) I placed a can of Pringles outside, saying, “I don’t know if anybody fancies these, but i’m just gonna leave them out here.” They succumbed to the Canadian within 4 minutes!  I don’t know if anyone else had any but Dave the Canadian looked pretty darn satisfied with himself. “Mission successful!” I thought to myself.

Most people started to disappear at around 10 o clock in the evening. Once the last of them had thanked us for a nice evening i finally took my parents to a local Thai restaurant. 30 baht (60p) for meals that are absolute beasts! They looked like they had a good night, so overall the milk and cookies night was a success! I’ll definitely be holding another one of those in the near future…