Author Owen Jones, from Barry, South Wales, came to writing novels relatively recently, although he has been writing all his adult life. He has lived and worked in several countries and travelled in many, many more.
He speaks, or has spoken, seven languages fluently and is currently learning Thai, since he lives in Thailand with his Thai wife of ten years.
"It has never taken me long to learn a language," he says, "but Thai bears no relationship to any other language I have ever studied before."
When asked about his style of writing, he said, "I'm a Celt, and we are Romantic. I believe in reincarnation and lots more besides in that vein. Those beliefs, like 'Do unto another...', and 'What goes round comes around', Fate and Karma are central to my life, so they are reflected in my work'.
His first novel, 'Daddy's Hobby' from the series 'Behind The Smile: The Story of Lek, a Bar Girl in Pattaya' has been followed by four sequels, but his largest collection is 'The Megan Series', eighteen novellas on the psychic development of a young teenage girl, the subtitle of which, 'A Spirit Guide, A Ghost Tiger and One Scary Mother!' sums them up nicely.
Behind The Smile ~ The Story of Lek, a Bar Girl in Pattaya
Behind The Smile is the story of Lek, a Thai bargirl in Pattaya.
Lek was born the eldest child of four in a typical rice farming family. She did not expect to do anything any different from the other girls in her class in the northern rice belt of Thailand.
Typically that would be: work in the fields for a few years; have a few babies; give them to mum to take care of and back to work until her kids had their own children and she could stop working to take care of them.
One day a catastrophe occurred out of the blue – her father died young and with huge debts that the family knew nothing about. Lek was twenty and she was the only one who could prevent foreclosure. However, the only way she knew was to go to work in her cousin’s bar in Pattaya.
She went as a waitress-cum-cashier, but when she realised that she was pregnant by her worthless, estranged husband, things had to change. She had the baby, gave it to her mother to look after and went back to work. However, now she needed real money to provide a better life for her child and to make up for spending its whole youth 500 miles away. She drifted into the tourist sex industry.
The book relates some of her ‘adventures’, her dreams and nightmares and her ‘modus operandi’. It tries to show, from Lek’s point of view, what it really is like to be a Thai bar girl – the hopes and frustrations, the hopes and the let-downs, the hopes and the lies and deceit that are part of her every day life.
One day she meets a man she likes and he likes her too. Nothing new there, it had happened hundreds of times, but she feels that it is different. They have a wonderful four weeks together and then he goes home – as they all had, leaving more promises and more hopes.
This one returns, but real life with a real boyfriend is not as easy as she had dreamed it would be. They go through good and bad times, but will they stay together and for how long?
After all she has been through, will she be able to be a regular girlfriend or even a wife again? Will she ever really be able to trust a man enough again either? Or would she be better off giving up her dreams and carrying on working in the bar?
Lek begins to find out that getting what you wish for is not always as good as you thought it would be.
'Behind The Smile' refers to the fact that Thailand is known the world over as 'The Land of Smiles'.
Megan is a 12-year-old girl with Supernatural powers. Some of them are still only partially developed and others are working, but she doesn't know how to use them yet.
Her biggest problems for the moment is finding a Teacher who can show her how to use them properly. Another is that she doesn't know anyone who knows anything about Supernatural powers.
In fact, her mother is violently against the Supernatural, as was her mother before her.
The only people who seem willing to help her are dead, not that that makes any difference to Megan.
She embraces their help with open arms
Tiger Lily of Bangkok
Lily was raised in her parents' store in a village in north-eastern Thailand near the border with Laos. Her early childhood was happy although her parents didn't show their emotions as befitted their age and culture. Still Lily was happy.
Happy that is until a man, a friend of the family who helped out in the shop, started abusing her at just eleven years of age.
She did not feel that she could tell her family and it took two years before a chance happening in the school playground gave her an idea how to put an end to her torment.
The solution was radical, but effective. The man never bothered her again, but it also made all the other villagers wary of her. Lily grew ever more lonely until at eighteen, she was ready to move the nearly 1,000 km to Bangkok.
Life in Bangkok was not all roses either as she was short of money. It wasn't long before the strain became too much, with disastrous consequences, but would any of it happened if she had not been abused as a child?
Tiger Lily of Bangkok is the thrilling story of a young woman's quest for revenge.
Heng Lee is a goatherd in the remote mountains north-east of Chiang Rai in northern Thailand, very close to the border with Laos. It is a tight-knit community where everyone knows one another.
Heng gets sick all of a sudden, but not too sick to take the goats out, until one day he has to go to see the local shaman, because he has started fainting.
There are no medical doctors in the vicinity and the Shaman has been good enough for most people for centuries.
The Shaman takes some specimens and comes to the conclusion that Heng’s kidneys have stopped functioning and so has little time left to live.
The battle is on to save Heng’s life, but there are other forces at work too.
What will become of Heng, his family and the rest of the community, if he takes the Shaman’s advice?
When a bomb goes off in Scheherazade's, a posh department store in Baghdad, leaving nearly 200 people dead or wounded, the authorities and the police think that it is just another routine case of its type and appoint Captain Ali Allawi of the National Police to head the investigation.
He has no clues to go on and no organisation claims responsibility, but one sharp-eyed member of his team notices something on the CCTV surveillance footage that is unusual - baffling even.
Then they notice other discrepancies that lead Captain Allawi to suspect that they are facing a new, unimaginable type of threat.
However, none of these clues make sense.
He seeks help from Interpol, but they do not seem to have any other cases with data matching his, so he puts up a flag on the Interpol computer that he wants to be informed of any bombings with criteria matching those of his.
Soon, five more cases are reported around the world and six police forces join to hunt for those responsible for the atrocities.
The story takes place in Baghdad, Iraq; Marseille, France; Essen, Germany; Belfast, Ireland; New York, USA; London, England; Los Boliches, Spain; St. David's, Barry and Cardiff, Wales and and many other towns and cities around the world, including South Africa and Thailand.
Dead Centre Sample Chapter
A Night in Annwn
William Jones, a sheep farmer from the Brecon Beacons, had led a happy life, until his wife, Sarah, died young. It left him devastated and seemingly bent on self-destruction. His daughter, Becky tried to help, but even she was losing patience with her father.
One evening, he is certain that he has died and been put out of his misery, but it was not to be. He recovered. However his life was never to be the same again.
He had discovered Annwn where his wife lived, and his newly found vitality changed his life and that of all those with whom he came into contact.
A Night in Annwn is a love story that spans the greatest divide - that between life and death; a look at a near-death experience and a new take on the mythological Welsh Heaven, which is Annwn.
Be prepared to see another side of Welsh Celtic mythology, but you will never think of death in the same way again.
That is guaranteed!
A dying man recounts the story of the most amazing person he has ever met, a brilliant, Soviet linguist whom he calls Youriko. It is a tale of love, daring-do, spies and danger set in Japan, Germany, Turkey, the USA, Canada and the UK, but mostly in the Soviet Union of the Seventies.
Two girls, born thousands of miles apart in Kazakhstan and Japan just after World War II, meet and are like peas in a pod. They also get on like sisters and keep n touch for the rest of their lives.
However, one wants to help her battle-scarred country and the other wants to leave hers for the West. They dream up a daring, dangerous plan to achieve both goals, which Andropov, the chief of the Soviet KGB, is told about. He dubs it Operation Youriko and it is set in motion, but does it have even the remotest chance of success?
Andropov’s Cuckoo is based on a ‘true story’ related to the author by one of the protagonists.