Emae Church


Well I was delighted to receive an email in the early hours not long ago, advising I had received a glowing five star book review from the people at Literary Titan, for my debut novel, Earth101 – Time to Run.

This certainly blew my socks out as while I had been nominated for one of their awards, I didn’t know a bonus to this is a review.

So, here it is.

Here’s the corresponding link: https://literarytitan.com/2021/06/18/earth-101-time-to-run/

Little did I realise what was to follow after this…

I have spent the past few days registering with various market places for the forthcoming release of my debut novel, which will be published in paperback, eBook and Audiobook formats. (And hopefully, hardback!)

All of the US-based markets require you to establish your tax status and you do this via form W-8 BEN, details of which can be seen here:

About Form W-8 BEN, Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting (Individuals) | Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov)

This is a strict, legal requirement and there’s no getting around it, or else the respective market host will subtract tax at the local rate.

Thankfully, the registration process takes you through the filling of the form via a digital interview, where you are asked about a dozen (simple) questions, to identify who you are and your tax status in, say, the UK.

BUT – and a very large BUT!!! You need to already have your UTR (Unique Tax Reference) from HMRC. This is a 10-digit, numeric identifier.

This is not your tax code, e.g. 1257L or your National Insurance No. (NI) e.g. LL112233B (Not a real NI No but just an example of what it looks like).

The UTR is obtained via HMRC’s Self Assessment website:

Register for Self Assessment – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Some say you don’t need to do this, but I’d suggest there is no harm in obtaining your UTR as a Sole Proprietor.

Also note: you do no need to register as a Limited Company in the UK to sell books. You also don’t need to register your imprint with HMRC or Companies House. Doing so raises a whole load of pain with regards to filing for corporation tax and quarterly VAT returns, all of which could be zero-amounted or small amounts, and a whole lot of headache for nothing.

I hope this helps someone out there in Self-Publishing land.

I needed a key date to publish my debut novel and NASA has delivered.

20th July 2021 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, which took Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins to the Moon.

Apollo 11 Mission Overview | NASA

Hence, Earth 101 will be launched t0 the public on this day.

As of typing this blog at the start of May 2021, the paperback and eBook variants are uploaded to several market places. The audiobook is still under production but my amazing voice actor has confirmed all will be complete this month, hence that will be good to go with the publication day.

To say I’m scared and nervous and a whole load of concerns is the underestimation of the year, but I must release the debut to the wilds and duck for cover.

The last thing I want to do is tell anybody about it, but I know I must.

Jayne is depending on me to tell her story.

Well, I’ve written it, so it’s times to share.

It’s only taken me five months, but I have finally opened the first draft of Grandpa’s Book, which I concluded during the 2018 NaNoWriMo.

By completed, I exceeded the target 50K wordcount, though I already know this book will easily reach the 60,000 word mark.

This first draft comprises the complete story, but I knew as I ravaged at my keyboard, that I’d want to change a lot of the plot; especially one all-important scene.

So, now that Earth 101 is out looking to find an Agent home, I can finally work with the tale of Xander and Bella.

While NaNoWriMo helped me to deliver a first draft, I found the process quite harsh, to the point I couldn’t bear to even think about the story. But that has finally passed.

Recent events in my life have set the stage for a great future, and this story is a foundation for that.

It will take a good six month of revisions and editing to bring Grandpa’s Book to Query-ready, but that all begins today.

But as a little treat, here’s a snippet from the first draft and early chapter therein…


Catch you soon.


On the weekend of the 24th February 2019, I sat with my family watching with excitement, America’s Got Talent – The Champions. And that night was the final. Who’s favourite amongst us would win? It was such a lovely night of warmth and excitement, and I honestly believe it was the best evening I had spent with my family, after many years of me existing, detached from everything and everyone in this world. That evening, I honestly believe my cloud of depression had finally passed. We were all so close and happy.

Little did I realise that was the last family night I would experience.

Roll on a week or two later, and my partner and I had the talk. The outcome was divorce.

I agree in full we need to separate: way too much toxic water under that bridge. And it’s nice we will part as friends and not enemies. But a month on, since that happy night of the 24th, I’m somewhat sad as I reflect on the smiling faces of anticipation, as Shin Lim was crowned the Champion; and deservedly so.

Move on I must.

I’m in that limbo-land at the moment, living through the last-ness of it all, with my current life; waiting to move into my new apartment and restart the engines of future potential.

I’m querying Earth 101 to a very select group of agents, so maybe one will be interested enough to ask for a further sample? You never know.

As I reflect on the past month, I also finished listening to Mike Chen’s, “Here and Now and Then.” There are so many things I would alter, given a chance to pop back in time, but most of all, I’d change myself.