Saturday, March 13, 2010

Want a FREE Trip to Thailand?

While this post is a bit old, the idea still sounds unique and exciting doesn't it?  The only catch is that you shouldn't mind sitting in front of your laptop, because it will be the magic carpet taking you to your destination.

Whether you've always wanted to travel to Phuket and dig your toes into the surf of their pristeen beaches or travel into the busy and thriving city of Bangkok where ladyboys, street fare and clubbing is the entertainment of choice.  Travel from end of Thailand to the other.  One thing is for sure; you will find every type of geography here.  Miles of perfect beaches, beautiful turqoise and emerald waters as well as thick and heavy vegetated jungles in Chiang Mai that is still sparse enough to allow elephants roam and the rich eco-system exist peacefully.

And, at the end of this country, you will find that road.  The most Mystical Road in the World.  Some say you are forever changed once you venture down Loi Kroh Road.  I've only written about it, yet I feel it's effects halfway around the earth.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

"The Mango Tree Cafe', Loi Kroh Road" Adventure Novel

Book: The Mango Tree Cafe', Loi Kroh Road
Authors: Taryn Simpson and Alan Solomon

Imagine owning a restaurant near the jungles of Thailand that sits upon the most legendary mystical road in the world. Legend states that whomever walks upon Loi Kroh Road will be forever changed or shall never be seen or heard from again. In fact, the English translation of "Loi Kroh Road" is "Wash Your Bad Luck Away".
Larry, the main character, is seductively lured to this world famous street to purchase this restaurant. The restaurant serves as a place where he observes world travelers such as himself as well as locals who discover their fate upon this historic road. He is on a journey to discover his mission in life as he is guided by a ghostly figure that appeared to him as a child. On his adventures, he comes face to face with his greatest fear, his lingering questions of mortality and his soul's lonely reflection.
To purcahse a copy of the book click here and start your adventure!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Google vs China - More at Stake for Authors Taryn Simpson and Alan Soloman

When I first heard about the tension between computer software giant, Google and China, I stopped what I was doing and thought about what this really means to me. One person in America. One of millions. I was struck with the oddest feeling and couldn't explain to others what it felt like. Which is another strange feeling for a writer.

The reason I was blindsighted is because my writing partner, Alan Solomon lives in China.

If Google decides to close operations in China, therein it closes shop for me and my partner as well. To hell with collaborating on a book (did I say that?) I would lose contact with Alan. Sure, I could write letters but it would in a sense, feel like sending smoke signals back and forth. It takes alot of time to send a letter, write a return response and send it back. For those Generation X and Y folks, the Boomers know all about letter writing before the computer information superhighway days. The delay in communication also would dull our collaboration.
In fact, I don't think we could do what we had done with The Mango Tree Cafe book.
Instant Messaging and lightening fast emails deep in the night in America spurred and inspired our writing. No doubt about it.
And, it conceived a novel that is spiritual, poigniant and memorable. The same as my friendship with Alan Solomon.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Gift that Keeps Giving

Even though "The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road" was written and published in 2007, it never fails to produce countless blog posts and articles. Why? Personally, I can tell you that co-writing that novel was a very pivotal time for my writing. The subject matter, the setting and the characters were such that I knew I it would stretch my writing muscle.

And after some comments from some readers, I think Author Alan Soloman and I achieved what we wanted with this novel.

Comments from Readers
"Did anyone ever tell you what a beautiful story this is?

I've actually just yelled at my mother for talking some kind of rubbish while I was trying to read. (poor thing) that's the thing with reading on screen, some books need to be held in comfort, lying in bed with a reading lamp until you are too tired to read on. A bookmark carefully placed where you left off. Nothing else is good enough for a story like this."

"The writing has a classic veneer. The prologue drops breadcrumbs along the way, back to Larry's unusual past. Plenty of description here, flows at a leisurely pace as if listening to a live master storyteller weaving a yarn."

"I could feel the tropical heat steaming off the pages. The intro is very literary, so well done, that for once I don't mind knowing how the main character ends up - well, I'm still hoping there's more of his fate, that how you've let his story then unfold will circle around. I've read all you've posted, and am intrigued to find out what happens - or has happened, to the farm, and to see him at the Mango Tree."

"I can never resist a story set in an exotic location such as Thailand – one of my favorite places in the world! This story has many excellent characters and twists and I found you both to be astute authors drawing your readers in with brilliantly crafted descriptions of places and personalities."

Want to curl up with a good book? Order your copy HERE.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Author Interview with Taryn Simpson

Interviewed by LINDA M. FAULKNER - Author Exchange Blog

Taryn Simpson is an award-winning novelist, Pulitzer Prize competitor, ghostwriter, screenwriter, and blogger. Additionally, Taryn has enjoyed success as a classically trained musician. She credits her musical creativity as a stepping-stone to her successful writing career. Her screenplay, Conversations with Pearl, was featured at the Southern Festival of Books in 2002. Her current novel, The Mango Tree Café, was written with co-author Alan Solomon.

Your first career was in music, which you credit with being the foundation of your writing career. Tell us about your musical background.

Sure, I had a love for music that began early in my life. I was always drawn to percussive sounds which began my interest in drumming. So I became involved in marching band throughout school which garnered me a scholarship to college where I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Music. I had auditioned at The Julliard School when I was 17 and discovered that Manhattan and Julliard were too expensive so I went to college locally. My background in music reflects classical training where I played in orchestras, operas, musicals, and percussion ensembles, master classes with Leigh Howard Stevens and other notables. I’ve also played in concert bands, jazz bands and even a steel band! You name it, I did it.

What got you started writing? Tell us about all the different genres and types of writing you do.

When I was around 4 years old, my mother made sure that I learned how to read before I attended kindergarten or elementary school. She is a voracious reader and felt that if I became one as well, all types of opportunities would come my way. As a result of early reading, I also learned to write poetry and short stories from her. She wasn’t formally trained, but had a natural talent for it, so I had a built in teacher. My favorite genre is fiction, although I’ve only come to love it within the last 10 years or so. John Grisham opened the door for me on that one with The Firm. So, I began writing fictional thrillers. After that, I developed an appreciation for literary fiction. Norman MacLean, Wally Lamb, and others have also shaped my writing. As a ghostwriter, I enjoy writing memoirs for clients, as well. You meet some really interesting people along the way. I still like writing short stories and blogging. I have a personal blog where I talk about my growing up years, politics, pop culture, and life in general. I love to read words that cause me to pause.
Your current book was co-authored with another writer you’ve never met in person and who lives in China. Give us the scoop about this!
Yes, that’s correct! One day, I suspect that Merriam Webster will have an entry that states: Alan Solomon and Taryn Simpson--See Serendipity. To give you the background, a writing colleague of mine called one day and asked if I would be interested in ghosting a fiction book for a client. I asked for the client’s phone number so I could get more information about the job. She chuckled and said, “You might want to email him. He lives in Beijing.” I couldn’t believe it. I emailed the client, who turned out to be Alan Solomon. I began asking him questions about the project and he stopped me and simply said, “Read the first chapter. If you hate it, no harm done, we’ll part ways and go about our day. If you like it, we can discuss further.” I read the chapter and fell in love at first read. I knew this would not be a ghostwriter job. The novel needed some tweaking, rewriting, and polishing and I was determined to be the one to do it. We always kid each other that we can never meet now, neither on the phone nor in person: It would mess up our chemistry for writing!
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer?
There are times like other writers where I get blocked. I’m going through that right now with a novel I am working on. But, I find if I give myself time and space, the right direction will come about. But I the biggest challenge, I would have to say, is to be truthful. I remember when I was watching the movie “Biloxi Blues,” there is a scene where the nerdy guy in the barracks is sneaking a read from Matthew Broderick’s journal. He read some unflattering thoughts about the nerd and he was confronted about it later. Broderick felt badly about it and tried to erase the hurtful passage in his journal. The nerd cautioned him to always own what you write. It takes courage to write the truth. I’ve never forgotten that scene and try to be true to the written word. No matter how vulnerable it might make me feel.
What is the title of your most recently published book? Briefly tell us what it’s about and let us know where we can buy it.
The Mango Tree Café, Loi Kroh Road by Alan Solomon and Taryn Simpson is the latest one to be published.
The synopsis: Imagine owning a restaurant near the jungles of Thailand that sits upon the most legendary mystical road in the world. Legend states that whoever walks upon Loi Kroh Road will be forever changed or shall never be seen or heard from again. In fact, the English translation of "Loi Kroh Road" is "Wash Your Bad Luck Away." Larry, the main character, is seductively lured to the world-famous street to purchase this restaurant. The restaurant serves as a place where he observes world travelers, such as himself, as well as locals who discover their fate upon this historic road. He is on a journey to discover his mission in life as he is guided by a ghostly figure that appeared to him as a child. On his adventures, he comes face to face with his greatest fear, his lingering questions of mortality, and his soul's lonely reflection.
The book is available on both and Barnes & Noble’s website, as well as other online book retailers.
What are you working on now and when/where do you expect it to be available?
I’m working on a novel that is tentatively entitled "The Long Road to Extradition" where you will meet Nicholas, a precocious yet sensitive teenager who is also the black sheep of the family. He witnesses a horrific act that tears his family apart. From the time he is 13 years old, he makes his way through the foster system until one day he escapes his life of misery. Through his journey, he meets unforgettable characters along the way who make lasting impressions upon him, which prod him to delve into his bruised emotional issues to make peace with himself. His extensive travels prove that his problems will always be a cumbersome and heavy burden that will sit upon his shoulders until he has his day of reckoning with his emotional baggage. His journey by foot is a long one, but his journey to made amends is even longer. It is through his journey that he discovers "The Long Road to Extradition." Sheesh, I hope to have this one completed by the end of the year and published soon after.
Writers, especially new writers, are always looking for tips and helpful information. What is the single most important “tip” you can give to a new writer?
Do not take any writer’s advice as “the gospel.” That may seem strange advice coming from a writer, but I have learned that there is no one correct way to do anything. Some writers break all the rules and enjoy success. Think outside the box! Follow your bliss! Be creative and take control of your career.
Are you a member of any writer’s organizations? How has membership/lack of membership affected your writing career?
I’m a member of Book Marketing Network; Authors, Speakers, Coaches & Pod casters; The Freelancer’s Union; and Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group. Being a member of all these different groups help you to see what others are doing with regard to writing or marketing their books. Sometimes it can spur some ideas of your own.
Do you have any upcoming book signings or appearances? If so, give us all the details.
Actually, we are working on that as we speak, but nothing is set in stone yet. You’ll be the first to know though when it does happen!
Here’s your opportunity to tell us anything else you care to share.
Well, aside from "The Long Road to Extradition" being a work in progress, Alan and I are also co-writing another novel titled He Played the Game, which takes place in England. It centers around a well-to-do family; their lives are forever changed when the father announces one day that he is leaving for no apparent reason. The eldest son begins his search for his father and the reason why he left his family so abruptly.
I am also co-writing a couple of children’s books with Nancy Mura, a very talented child author who penned the book series, “Willie Whistle.” The two books we are writing together are called The Table and Chair and Rosie and Baby. I will have my hands in a lot of different type of projects in which I’m thrilled to participate.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road has a Chance for Review by HARPER COLLINS Publishers

It's true. My co-writer, Alan Solomon emailed me this evening to let me know about a new site that Harper Collins is developing in order to find up and coming authors!

So, we ask you to review the site by clicking HERE. "BACK" the book and read a sampling of the book for FREE.

That's all there is to it! Be sure to let me know your thoughts...Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

To Follow the Journey, You Must Familiarize Yourself with the Surroundings

When I first started working on "The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road," I had no idea what to expect from the story. I had never visited nor read anything about Thailand. I had knew of Bangkok, Thailand but didn't really know what the countryside looked like or how people lived their lives in that part of the world.

As I imagined, it was much different than life in the U.S. It's a world filled with spirituality, mysticism, grittiness, primitive life, loneliness, tourism, overcrowded isolation, street dogs, natives dressed in coolie hats, and brooding angst. It's a world so unlike our current society, yet it somehow feels disturbingly familiar.

All these elements cast a shadow upon Loi Kroh Road which casts a spell of certain uncertainty. It is all of these reasons and more that I love this story so much. You will too.