Guest Author Interview Courtesy of “The Book Trail” ~ Talking Books in China with Author, Andy Smart…


I always enjoy sharing other Book Bloggers when they have fantastic author spotlights of my books I have read and about “Author Friends” of mine. My buddy Author, Andy Smart lives in China and has a fabulous book out about his moving there and much of his travels through the country that I think readers will find a great read and fascinating! He shared a new interview he had done, so I wanted to share with my readers and visitors to learn more about my friend and his wonderful book!  🙂

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

When Andy’s redundancy money clears in the bank, and with middle age fast approaching, the only realistic course of action is to wave goodbye to the UK and start again. A one-way ticket to China, please! This is one man’s light-hearted three-year account of his numerous attempts and failures of settling down and creating a new life in a different culture.

Wanted: A traditional house with sliding screens and curved roofing in quiet Eastern suburbia. Single guy avoiding mid-life crisis seeks gorgeous thirty-something Chinese girl to live with forever in perfect bliss and harmony. Instead, with the influence of tourism and modernization, any romantic preconceptions of how things should be like in the East quickly go out of the window.

With zero Chinese speaking ability and minimal planning, Andy’s story starts with a disastrous online romance played out in South China and his great escape. From the first Chinese haircut to encountering the most fearsome waitress in China, to Chengdu and its Famous Napalm-like hot pot, the journey winds its way from Tibet into Yunnan via one of the most dangerous bus journeys in the world. Across borders, he foolishly goes ghost hunting in Cambodia and to the DMZ’s ‘no man’s land’ in South Korea. We also take a visit to the eagle hunters of Western Mongolia and the Russian border where Andy manages a Mongolian holiday camp.

These are just some of the many dynamite stories, anecdotes, and descriptions written in Andy’s streetwise style that will make you choke on your breakfast.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Andy Smart lives in Beijing writing about his travels across East Asia in his own laugh out loud streetwise style. He has also been a teacher since 1991 developing his own successful TEFL package for spoken English in China.

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“THE BOOK TRAIL INTERVIEW

 

Talking books with Andy Smart…

Andy Smart is the author of Just Turn Left At The Mountain – a very personal, poignant and very witty tour of China and Asia. Andy lives and works as a teacher in China and on Chinese New Year plans to be giving some books to his friends.

 

I’ve just returned from a 10,000-mile solo drive across China, east to west. It took me months so despite downloading some new reads onto my Kindle, have been really out of touch with reading.

Right now I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things.

Before my trip, I read an amazing book called Midnight in Peking by Paul French. I normally support indie authors but as it was recommended to me by a Chinese colleague I thought I’d give it a go. This is the true story of a teenage girl called Pamela Werner in Beijing just before the takeover by the Japanese in WW2 and his attempt at finding the real truth of her unsolved murder.

It’s easy to see why it’s a best-seller as Paul French writes on many levels pulling the reader’s attention right into the center of the story. Indeed it was one of those books I got through in a few days. I think what’s most impressive is the writer’s ability to paint such a vivid picture of what it was like in Beijing back then. Being that I live and work here, I often go past the places referred to in the book. There’s actually a tour you can take which visits some of the areas relevant to the story. I loved Paul French’s attention to detail. The book is the result of years of tireless work in coming to his conclusions about the murder and just shows us what research you really need to do to write convincingly.

Sharing books with Chinese colleagues

I actually just gave a Chinese colleague A Short History of Just About Everything by Bill Bryson as it shows the crazy side of Western history. Like Midnight in Peking, you can tell that it’s another labor of love with years of research before the book was written.

I am particularly interested in real-life tales of overcoming hardship. Recently I discovered Addicted to Dimes, (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat) by Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon. This is the true story of someone’s gambling addiction and recovery. Actually, I fancy reading it now, Ha Ha. Just a fascinating read really.

A novel which has made an impression

Definitely, “Vote for Murder” by Jaqueline Beard. Based on a true story, this is the tale of one of the author’s relatives and how they became involved in a tale of a woman who was wrongly executed for a murder they didn’t commit. I met Jaqueline online as she lives in the same area that I grew up in and got chatting. Once again, I especially enjoyed her professional attention to detail and well thought out and research.

My Favorite story as a child?

Actually not the typical story as you would expect. My father could remember London in the Second World War and my grandparents were ground keepers to a Canadian airfield around that time. On my Mum’s side, her dad survived the Somme by a whisker having being rescued by his friends from no man’s land during the cover of darkness. During this time, the soldiers from France, the UK and Germany met in the middle for an unofficial cease-fire and spent Christmas together exchanging gifts and some even playing football together. I often wonder what it must have been like for the soldiers and what my Granddad was doing at that moment in 1914. To me, this is one of the ultimate stories.

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Yes, my friend Andy lives a very interesting life!. You may see his awesome videos as well when you go visit his website here:  Just Turn Left At The Mountain  Please go connect with Andy over on his Social Media places and keep up with all his Travels!

He Is An GoodReads Author
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Andy Smart -Chinese New Year

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*Presented By “Cat Lyon’s Reading Den” ~ Author, Catherine Lyon* 

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