The subject matter in this book tends to raise an almost visceral hatred in people. The level of contempt and condemnation that I heard from people that knew I was writing the book was astounding. At one point I thought about not publishing it, and it was almost with a feeling of dread I eventually hit the publish button.
So why did I go ahead an publish? The primary purpose of a non-fiction writer is to educate, to inform, to advise. I've read tons of non-fiction books in my life, some better than others, but I always approach them with the same basic hope - that hope being that I will I learn something. To this point I haven't been let down yet. Every non-fiction book I've read has taught me at least one thing, enough to justify the cover price.
So what to do in my case? should I bow down to the inevitable online bullying or go ahead and publish? I decided to publish - and here's the reason why - far too many good, and sometimes vulnerable, people are being burned in Thailand.
They're being burned because they are being blinded by the illusion. Professional extortionists and con-artists set out to relieve them of as much money as possible. Every professional con-artist in the world knows the power of emotion when pulling off a scam. To that end, the combination of sun, sea, sex and sand lends a perfect backdrop to the job in hand. That job is to clean you out of as much as possible, and if that means playing with your emotions, that's fine.
So talking about sand - there is a line in the sand between those who know how the sex trade in Thailand works. There are people like me that hope to help, hope to advise, and hope to prevent you from being abused - and on the other side of the line - there are people who take delight in seeing people being cleaned out.
I don't understand that thinking - who in their right mind would take joy in a good, decent person being ripped off? Have they never known hardship? Never known divorce or loneliness? Never known bereavement? Never known what it's to face a life-threatening illness and to recover and get a second-chance at life?
When I write each category faces flash before me, of the people I know that fit them. Good people that brought an undue amount of goodwill into the lion's den. They're all now wiser, and poorer after the event.
So what's the point of this book? It's not a commentary on Thai people, it's a commentary on Thai sex-workers. The book doesn't warn you off interacting with them, you are an adult, make your own decision. The point of the book is to warn you of the dangers of falling for the illusion, the danger of leaving yourself open to possibly criminal and fraudulent behaviour.
So on behalf of people on my side of the line - I hope that the people new to Thailand learn something. I hope that someone, somewhere, stands back from a situation and says to themselves - "I can see where this is going," and can step aside from the situation before its too late.
It's at this point where authors normally say, "but I may never know," - in my case the good news is that I do know. I've already received emails and met readers who have told me that the book confirmed to them what they suspected.
In every single case they walked away - they extricated themselves before it was too late. That's my reward, knowing that I helped people walk away.
So now it doesn't matter what the online bullies and trolls say - I'm glad that I received emails from readers telling me how helpful they found the book, I'm glad that I have met readers that shared the same view, I'm glad |I hit the publish button.
So on behalf of myself and my Thai researchers, Jear and Ae, I want to thank all of you that have taken the time to read the book.....and may I finish with a brief extract from the book by the ex-mamasam, Fah.
"I worked in Phuket and ran a bar with twenty-two girls. I worked in the sex-trade for sixteen years and it never ceased to amaze me how many foreign men thought they were smarter than me."
There's millions of men that have found out to their cost how smart these women really are.