Mangoes: The Perils of buying from street vendors: If it’s to good to be true it probably is.

Having spent time in Pakistan and Colombia I have some experience with Mangoes.

In Pakistan we had the most beautiful sweet and fresh Mangoes every lunchtime. My cousin showed me the easy way and the hard way to cut them up, a life lesson I haven’t forgotten. In Colombia when going to the fruit store in the barrio we sniff and squeeze and buy Mangoes of different varieties, sizes and levels of sweetness. I’m not even going to mention the size of the Papayas or the fantastic variety of exotic fruits you can get there, if you like fruit there’s nowhere better.

So when I was walking along Holloway road yesterday and the pavement fruit stall had four Mangoes for a pound I thought “result.” I should have known better.

I picked the firmest expecting them to ripen over the coming days but when I cut up the first it was rotten from the core, as was the second and the third. The fourth which was rock solid to the touch hadn’t quite gone but was on the way.  So in the end it was a quarter of a Mango for a pound. At the supermarket they’re a pound each but they aren’t rotten.

It was the same when I bought some peaches from a market stall in Lymington in June.

Four Mangoes for a pound, a bargain? I think not.



Last year I published my first novel, Crossed Identity, via Create Space as a print on demand and as an Amazon and Kobo E-book.

I have tried to market the book, via this blog and Facebook but have sadly had few sales, which is strange as I have over 300 Facebook “friends.” Maybe they are not interested in thrillers, or have missed my posts, or are just not interested, When I look on Amazon the book does not appear in new publications even if I am quite specific about it, I only find it when I type in the actual title. Frankly it’s all a bit disappointing.

I want to get on with more writing and had planned a sequel but there doesn’t seem a lot of point now, especially a sequel. So what do I do? How do I motivate myself to put in all the effort of writing a book if no one will read it, it seems a pointless exercise.

Of course I should be more positive, this one may not have found its audience but another may, there must be thousands of writers in the same situation who are getting on with it. believing their next work will be the one breaks it but I am a realist.

Right, moan over, forget pragmatism, back to typing the master work that I started twenty five years ago and will be hailed the greatest novel of the 21st century!

In the meantime if you haven’t got it, get a copy of Crossed Identity. NOW!

U.S. Withholding Tax for UK Authors

Before I published Crossed Identity as an e-book and as print on demand I read a lot of stuff about U.S. withholding tax.

Part of me wanted to ignore it but you never know, what if suddenly the book took off and I had loads of sales in the U.S.?

I read a number of blogs and any other information I could find on-line and concluded that I needed to get a U.S. T.I.N. which could take some time. As it happened they were all wrong.

The U.K. and the U.S. have tax treaties in place which mean that, as a U.K. based author, so long as you fill in the forms on Amazon and i-tunes correctly you will not be subject to U.S. withholding tax. It’s that easy.

Crossed Identity – Publication – Inspiration


Last week I wrote a blog here and saved it as a draft. I came back to the site and it was nowhere to be seen. I was happy with what I had written and now can’t find the same words. Has this happened to you?

Nevertheless, in the spirit of self promotion, or more aptly promotion of the work, Crossed Identity is now available to download from Amazon Kindle at the bargain price of $2.99 or £1.99 or some other price depending where you are.

So what’s it all about do I hear you ask? Oh you didn’t ask, well I’m going to tell you anyway.

John Hunter is an American businessman who arrives on the Greek Island of Rhodes for a vacation and is mistaken for the former colleague of the the island’s organized crime boss. He is chased, he escapes. He meets fellow American ex-pat Kate Adams who due, in part, to a mutual attraction helps him, an action which leads her into great danger.

I’ll say no more in the hope that you will download it and read it.

It will soon be available from Kobo, i-tunes and in physical form from Amazon.

All of which leads to a question. How do people gain inspiration for their stories? In the case of Crossed Identity it was a location, an ancient ruined town. I stood at the top of the ruins looking down toward the sea and pictured a scene from a Hitchcock movie. Not literally, but imagine To Catch a Thief meets North by North West.

So I wrote a film screenplay. I had the characters, I had the location, but how I took the characters from A to B and what the McGuffin was proved slightly more difficult. Still I got there. However, getting a non-commissioned script made, when you don’t have an agent is next to impossible even more so in the UK than the US. If it is possible I’d like to know how.

The screenplay was lying around for a while, then I thought why not rewrite it as a book. This I did, but of course it was too short, so it changed again. Draft, redraft, correct, I’m sure you know the score.

When I was happy with it I tried to find an agent or a publisher, again not so easy, publishers won’t read manuscripts that haven’t come from an agent, agents won’t take on new writers without a recommendation, so to the world of self publishing.

Now it’s out there I hope people read it and enjoy it, if they do there will be another one next year. I wait with anticipation to see what happens.


I find it hard to write about myself, I have an ego, we all do, but I have never been comfortable with self promotion. However, if I want to publish on line I have to promote what I have written and myself. So here I am and I hope that I won’t be  writing a lot that is either pretentious or self absorbed.

So….I have been working with Tim Dorsett on the design and layout of my first novel ‘Crossed Identity’. I think it is safe to say that neither of us has felt the greatest urgency to get on with it, although Tim has been putting the effort in so we are in the position where publication is imminent.

‘Crossed Identity’ is a thriller set on the Island of Rhodes and is, I  think, a jolly good read. It’s not demanding, it’s not literary fiction, but the few people who have read the drafts have wanted to turn the page and find out what will happen next.  I’ll post a synopsis when it’s ready to go and hope that you give it a read.

How did this come about? Well I’ve always been writing, since I was a school kid, but apart from film screenplays and non fiction have never completed anything that I’ve been happy enough with to want to publish. In fact ‘Crossed Identity’ started as a screenplay but getting a non-commissioned film made is extremely difficult so I thought I’d novelise it.

The problem was the original was too short for a full length novel. The process wasn’t as easy as I had expected. A bit of a re think and the story was rewritten. Soon it will be out there with a life of its own. Exciting stuff.