Behind The Smile Series
The Lek Series began as a thought thirty years before I moved to Thailand, when I was living in a bedsit in Portsmouth as a student. It was said of Portsmouth in those days that there were 120,000 locals, 20,000 sailors and 20,000 students, although it is a garrison city. It also had the highest rates of prostitutes and suicides per head of population in the country.
I was twenty years of age in that bedsit and there were two other students, the gay son of a local ice cream manufacturer and an Irish prostitute named Bridgitte, who took me under her wing.
Five years later, I was living in Den Bosch in The Netherlands and got to know many more like Brigitte. Thirty years later, I was in Pattaya and met my wife whose cousin owned a bar.
That will already say something to people who know Pattaya. Anyway, my advantage was that the thirty-odd girls who worked there trusted me as a friend of the family and sought my help and advice every evening – mostly in the form of the translation of love letters from Europeans.
In return, but with no strings attached, they told me the sometimes hilarious, but often profoundly sad things that happened to them.
It was that knowledge that I used to write Daddy’s Hobby, the name of a fictitious bar in Pattaya, although the name was quite real of a bar in Den Bosch, the owner of which was a friend of mine. He was shot one night and his bar set on fire, so I used the name as a tribute to him and those days.
It took me five years to write Daddy’s Hobby, but after encouragement from my brother Rhys and a girl I never met, Vanna, I wrote the second one, An Exciting Life.
The third followed later that year, and the next two the year after, Lek 5 being written as my entry into NaNoWriMo 2014.
As a bit of trivia, many people refer to the books by the original name of the first book, Behind The Smile, before I realized that it would become a series, so BTS1 etc, while I prefer to think of Lek because she has spoken to me, so I refer to the books as Lek1 etc..
The series spans a life of almost thirty years. Much of it is true, but the characters are not. Lek is not my wife and I am not Craig, although there are certain events that happened to both of us.
I will leave it to you to decide which.
The last thing I want to say is to European readers. Our books are smaller in size than American books (wouldn’t they just have to be?!), so do not let the number of pages fool you. Each of these novels if more than 112,000 words in length.
I hope you enjoy them, but please let me know either way and leave feedback wherever you can, including where you bought the book and here.