Apologies for the absence of a blog last weekend – I’m afraid it’s going to be the shape of things to come due to my contract writing commitments. At the very least I will make every effort to write a blog at least once a fortnight.
Although I’ve pretty much given up on my latest novel, AZZY, selling in meaningful numbers, but as I’ve put so much time, effort and heartache into it, I’ve decided to keep plugging away at trying to promote it. After all… you never know…and it gives me something to cling to and dream about.
Every morning when I sit down at my computer, one of the first things I do is to check the updated sales reports for my books on Amazon. The only book that is moving in anything resembling encouraging numbers is my short story – “The Bahrain Incident”, which of course, can be downloaded on Kindle free of charge.
I guess it tells me something about the book reading public – they love a freebie and aren’t even prepared to fork out a couple of quid ($3) for a book of 457 ‘print pages’. At the back end of the digital version of The Bahrain Incident, I have included ‘tasters’ of all my other works, including AZZY. All the reader has to do is click on a link and buy it. So far I have drawn a blank.
So this week, I am trying to draw attention to the incredible reviews AZZY have received on Amazon. Sure, there’s only ten of them, but every single reviewer has given my book the maximum 5-stars, and some of the narratives are quite extraordinary in their praise.
Here’s a few excerpts:
“…Characters are complex and unpredictable; the setting is rich and beautifully described. In Azzy, the world of oilmen, prostitutes, and Nigerian juju comes to life…”
“…Throw a young, beautiful, scheming, highly volatile African woman like Azzy into that mix and the fun begins…”
“…The book is a roller coaster ride of events, people and emotions. The reader is left wondering what can possibly happen next. Sure enough, more adventures and excitement unfold…”
“…this book has copious amounts of everything you could ever wish for in a book. Adventure, travel, romance, interesting family dynamics, “coming of age”, humour …”
“…The book is a roller coaster ride of adventure, emotions and unforgettable characters. I couldn’t put it down once I had started. The excitement, tension and pace continue right up to the last pages…”
“…Mobi writes about his life and loves in an amazing and gripping adventure…”
“…Laugh out loud funny, sad, touching, exasperating…the book takes us through the peaks and troughs of Mobi’s first wife, and boy, what a wife she was!…”
“…Recommended for anyone that wants a great, well written, read and to be plucked from their surroundings and landed in a tropical setting of days long since passed…”
I do not know the identity of the reviewers, so I take their positive comments as being 100% genuine. This only leads me to think that with the right promotion, the novel book would sell quite well; Unfortunately, so few people know about it, and it is almost impossible to sell a no-name author without substantial PR.
But we are where we are and it’s no use crying about it. Life has to go on.
Happy New year
I had a week off from my website content writing this past week – not because I was feeling lazy, but I wanted to continue with the same work provider who has already given me a lot of work but had been delayed in getting some new work to me. It has now arrived, so I will start again on Monday morning.
New Year was very quiet as Lek took the kids and drove to her home in Nong Khai for a few days to celebrate New Year with her extended family.
I was left at home on the Darkside to take care of the dogs. I ended up spending several hours over New Year nursing them and calming them down as fireworks exploded all around us.
Here’s a few pics that I missed a couple of weeks ago when Song’s school were having some kind of parade. No idea what it was all about…
She’s a real cutie isn’t she – destined to break a few hearts one day.
Parental discipline – Thai Style
I usually leave Lek to manage and discipline her two kids – Neung and Song. After all, they are her kids and we westerners have a slightly different approach to how to raise kids and I don’t want to intrude and cause confusion with my western ideas.
But there are limits.
On most days we still take our three dogs for a run in a nearby park. Recently Neung (he 14-year-old son) has refused to go with us because he is too preoccupied playing games on his phone. He has also slipped into the habit of telling his younger sister to do all his household tasks. So when Lek tells him to wash the plates, empty the rubbish or feed the dogs, he tells Song to do it for him.
“Why do you put up that, Lek?” I asked her.
She shrugged. “I’m tired of arguing with him, it’s all too hard; I’ve given up with him.”
So I took matters in hand. I called him to come down from his bedroom and I took his phone away. I asked him if he knew why I was doing this. He didn’t answer. Then he started arguing with his mother. I told him to stop arguing and go to his room. I could see he was angry and upset, but off he went.
He was still angry hours later and he told his mother he was saving up for a new phone.
“How much have you saved?”
“How much is a new phone?”
She laughed at him.
So did I, and told him even if he managed to save enough money to buy another phone I would take that one as well. Anyway I can change the Wi-Fi password, so it would be useless.
He spent the next 24 hours, sulking. Eventually, he came to me and asked me for his phone back. I told him he could have it back on condition that in future he did what his mother told him – promptly with no arguments! I also told him not to tell his sister to do his chores for him. He agreed on both counts.
Peace and harmony has now returned to the Mobi household and so far the young miscreant has been as good as gold. He even went with us to the park yesterday.
How long will it last? Who knows…
Avoiding your debts – Thai Style
For the past couple of months, one of our neighbour’s children has been joining us every evening when we take the dogs for a run. Her name is Bill and she’s few years older than Song but they get on very well together. It’s nice for Song to have someone to play with other than her brother who tends to bully her.
Then the other day we had to stop on out way home so that Lek could help Bill withdraw some money from an ATM machine for her mother.
“Why doesn’t her mother get her own money?”
“She can’t leave the house.”
“Why? Is she sick?”
“No, she’s scared to go out.”
“What is she scared of?”
“A money-lender; he is looking for her.”
“So she owes money?”
“Yes, and she’s in hiding. The money lender has been to the house, but her family told him that she wasn’t in Pattaya, but he keeps coming back to check if she’s there.”
“She never goes out?”
“Very rarely and only very early in the morning. The doors to the house are always locked .”
“How does tBill get in?”
“She has her own key.”
“What will happen if the money lender gets hold of Bill’s Mum?”
“He might kill her… or at the very least, beat her very badly…”
I hope not!