Readers have advised me that there are several errors and typos, for which I’m not apologizing, just explaining!

The publishers advised me to proof read before I sent the copy back to them. Before I received that instruction, I had read a comment from a person who advises newbies on writing. The first thing she said was that a writer should NEVER, EVER allow a book to be read with errors, mis-spellings and bad or no punctuation. Being the person I am, I thought, whatever I produce, is going out after I have written and spellchecked it – period!

So, when the instruction came, I had second thoughts – until the second page, when I said to myself, “I can’t be arsed”. It is as intended, and any reader that doesn’t like the mechanics of it can write and abuse me.

Bottom line: If you love the story, then that’s all I care about. If you hated the story, then you’ve now got two things to complain to me about, so you’re really getting double the value.


I got the basic idea from when I was waiting in the foyer of a charity, when the postie brought in a number of plastic crates full of envelopes. I thought there must be many people wanting to get a handout, and these were the begging letters. NO! 90% of them were filled with cash and cheques. I could not believe how much was being processed – by three women.

My contact came out and showed me around the warehouse where the donated clothes were being processed. Woolen jumpers had to be sliced before they can be sent out of the country. Some clever Dick had supplied a cutting machine with two cutting wheels, so that the cuts were right at the top and right at the bottom. WHY? Because the whole jumper can still be unraveled and re-wound into a ball of wool (with the occasional join), so they were selling wool, not second-hand jumpers.

Next, I observed that literally containers of clothes were being sent overseas, BUT, the good cotton T shirts were being segregated out and sold as good quality rags as industrial wipers.

Hence the genesis of Barry Baines as the entrepreneur who saw an opportunity in The Thrift Shop.

I used my own business experiences as the basis for some of the deals done.

I let my imagination run free the rest of the time.


I used some names (or corruptions of them) of people in my wife’s family, and modified some of their character traits to fit the story line. I took my associations with some great and some shady characters and transmogrified them into useful characters. Others are made up to fit the bill.


After letting things settle down, I re-imagined all the dead ends and how they could be extended into a greater story. One that follows more closely, the lives of the characters.

I’m sure you will agree that there is so much more to tell. So many more adventures to go on. So, the answer is probably yes, but it’s too early to tell yet. Certainly, it was a privilege to bring them to life, and weave a life history around them all. Then to inject them into The Thrift Shop and see how they progress, adapt or settle in was very rewarding. It somehow got me in rather than me telling the story, they made the story come alive, sometimes to the point that I thought The Thrift Shop and the characters actually existed. So yes, there is much more to tell and it would be my pleasure to do so.


I would have preferred to have someone come up to me and say, “that’s a wonderful book you have there, let me take you by the hand and publish it for you, then I’ll transfer a million dollars into your account”, but really, surprisingly, that just didn’t happen – except in my dreams. So, I looked at self-publishing companies, and after some research and a couple of e-mails I settled on Intertype, or more specifically on Ian Bosler, who during one conversation advised me that even J. K. Rowling had hawked her first book around to hundreds of publishers and after so many rejections she self-published, so that made me feel better about doing it.

It seems self-indulgent and narcissistic at first, but if you have to go through the hoops just to get noticed, let alone published, then why not back yourself if you think what you have to say has merit.


As you may know, I attempted to write a screen play first, but it seemed surreal and disjointed, so reluctantly I turned it into a book, hoping that some well-meaning person associated with the TV/Film industry would read it and think. “This would make a great TV series”.

I think it compares with something like The Darling Buds of May, where Pop Larkin played by David Jason, a loveable rogue in the form of wheeler dealer, plays with the heads of the tax collector, and government departments alike, in an effort to thwart their every move to bring him into line. His family back him up. Underlying everything, are the amazing deals Pop Larkin gets involved in. Some work and some fail miserably, but its intriguing watching to find out how they will end up.

In The Thrift Shop, Barry Baines could be played by Martin Clunes or Robson Green. They both have age, experience and wisdom to call on when playing the lead. They would add a charm, wit and character of their own, in order to bring Barry to life.

Scriptwriters could have a ball with the various characters that pop up in the book. Each is readily identified and can be expanded upon in many different ways.

Business ideas are endless and could be woven into many scenarios, as can locations to film in.


In The Thrift Shop there is reference to a song, with a message to us all, called, “IF YOU DON’T CARE, WHO WILL”? I have been asked if it is real and if so, where can it be bought. The good news is that it is being worked on as we speak. I will make an announcement when it is ready to be released.


Like the music question, I have been asked if the T Shirts are available. Same answer! I’m working on a few including: THE THRIFT SHOP (where retro is cool). IF YOU DON’T CARE, WHO WILL?
The ANGEL logo, and if you have any suggestions, please send them in. If it gets selected, I’ll send you back a free shirt in return for the rights to use your design. You get bragging rights only!


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