Books and News

Posted in Coming Soon

It seemed like a good idea at the time

History is written by the winners. Inspiration is found in success. Perhaps this story should serve as a warning then? Read on if you dare…

Posted in Coffee Books, News

Book Released!

On Saturday 1st September, I found this tweet:


It’s actually out! I am eagerly awaiting a huge box full of them. I’ll have some for sale on my Book and Beans stall at Centennial Market, and they’ll also be available in our local Chapters (“soon”) and of course, on Amazon, here currently only as a pre-order.

There is no cover picture on Amazon just yet – I will be doing an exclusive cover reveal via the Books and Beans mailing list this week and some sneak previews. Sign up here if you haven’t already!

Watch this space for details of the official launch, coming soon!

Posted in News

Books and Beans combined at last!


Exciting news!! Last week I launched another new little project – a mini bookstore! I’ve taken over a bookstall from friends on Centennial Market as they just didn’t have time for it any more. I’ve combined the book stall with my Wheelie Good Coffee cart, so there is now a very small bookstore-cafe at the market!

My selection is pretty tiny at the moment, but as with everything, it is a work in progress. Suggestions for what to stock are very welcome! Better still, most of my paperbacks are $5, and $6 will get you a new book AND a coffee. The perfect combination!

You can read all about the new Books and Beans stall over at

I will be stocking my own book when ‘It Seemed A Good Idea at the Time’ comes out very shortly. I have had the first round of edits back from my editor, and now the manuscript has gone off for Layout editing. Editing is a very strange process, and it’s taught me an awful lot about how I write, picking up on my annoying writing habits, repetitions and usual typos which I could not see by myself. There’s a lot of “Britishisms” in there too that I am not altogether comfy with having removed! Ah well, it’s all highly exciting, and I can’t wait to see it finished.


Posted in Coffee Books



I am happy.

It Seemed Like A Good Idea at the Time, my memoir work about my attempts to start different coffee businesses, is getting published next year, and I am madly excited!

Actually. “excited” is an understatement; it was a total surprise and I am over the moon about it! I had resigned myself to the fact that I was never going to get anywhere with traditional publishers and had started making plans to self-publish instead. I did a mini print run, and the dozen or so copies that you lovely people bought at the market the other week are (obviously) now exclusive and valuable first editions (ahem). Hang on to those flawed first attempts!

It took 16 months to find a publisher. I made a few very half-hearted attempts to find an agent, but soon gave in and focused on querying publishers that accepted unsolicited manuscripts. After 8 other rejections, one brush with a vanity publisher who didn’t advertise themselves as such (and wanted nearly $4000 to publish it) and one place that hasn’t ever replied after more than a year, I finally got lucky and received an offer to publish my book! Pottersfield Press in Nova Scotia publish a lot of memoirs and Canadiana, and so mine will come out with them in late summer 2018. I’ll even get a small advance!

The publisher assigned me an editor, Julia, and I will start the next stage of turning my words into something commercially acceptable in the new year. I can’t wait!

Posted in Uncategorized

From Chavs to Timmies 

I don’t do poetry.

At least, I didn’t think I did. More, I do poetry but of the sort I rarely write down. It’s the sort that gets scribbled on napkins or in the back of my diary, the beer – fueled and often beer – stained ramblings that I came up with at Word Up Wednesday, the local poetry slam night.

Slam poetry and spoken word is a very different beast to the consciously formed written stuff you learn in school. Most of mine were poorly disguised rants, but they do have a certain rhythm and cadence that you can only achieve through speaking it out loud. Once you’ve performed it, it’s gone!

Except it’s not. What you have left is the raw words. I always scribbled down the basic ideas, and that means there was something that could be edited….

Most of my rants tend to be about our emigration experience, (cos there are many, many things to rant about in that process!). To this end, I got enough together to make a little Chapbook. It’s called ‘from Chavs to Timmies’. Enjoy!

Posted in News

Ikigai – a reason for being


Ikigai – where are you right now?

Ikigai – your ‘reason for being.’ Of course the Japanese have a word, and an infographic to explain this concept! I would argue that getting yourself into the central segment on here is almost impossible most of the time. Why do the fun things in life never pay the bills? And if they did, would they still be fun? Nevertheless, the Ikigai balance looks like something to aspire to.
It occurs to me that a central theme in my ‘It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time’ book is trying to find the sweet spot balancing working at something I enjoy and following my passions, and actually having to earn a living. That theme is pretty universal for creative types, I feel. Over the years I have swung from the ’empty feeling’ working for other people, to the ‘sense of uncertainty’ (for which I read “crippling self-doubt”) with my own businesses, and now as an aspiring writer, I am definitely in the No Wealth camp. But aren’t we all?! To my mind, ‘happy but broke’ is always a better option than ‘rich but bored.’
What is your Ikigai spot?