Win a Signed Copy of More Ketchup than Salsa in The Thursday Throng Author Interview with Joe Cawley

It’s Thursday, it’s nine o’clock and I’d like to welcome Joe Cawley author of More Ketchup than Salsa: Confessions of a Tenerife Barman into the studio today as my guest on the Thursday Throng author interview slot. Joe hails from the UK but now lives in Tenerife and is an award-winning travel writer whose work is published in The Sunday Times, the Times and Conde Nast Travel.

As well as doing this interview, Joe is also giving one lucky commenter a signed, paperback copy of More Ketchup than Salsa, and I know whoever get’s it is going to laugh as much as I did when I read it.

According to the back blurb, ‘More Ketchup than Salsa is a hilarious true account of swapping a career in fish entrails on Bolton market for life as a British bar owner abroad. It lifts the lid on the morning-afters as well as the night-befores of life in a busy holiday resort‘.

I often read these descriptions and wonder if they are true and as you know from yesterday’s post – how to write a travel guide – I also love to read travel guides; this one fits perfectly into one of my favourite categories – the lifestyle travel guide – the one where I often end up thinking, ‘if only’.

I would defy anyone who has ever lived in the UK, or anywhere else that is often cold, wet and rainy, not to say that they have had a secret yearning to change their life by heading for a life abroad. Every years, millions of us make the cattle class journey to European resorts and we watch the Brit’s who have made it, those who live permanently in our holiday destinations, with envy, thinking ‘what if‘. But, is the grass always greener in the sun? Of course not, it’s usually non-existent, the landscape can be barren and you definitely don’t get the manicured countryside that I love about Britain.

In More Ketchup than Salsa, Joe had me laughing so hard that I spilled a cup of tea all over the bed. His tale of travelling from Bolton Fish Market to Tenerife Costa del Bognor opens up the can of worms that most of us never even consider when we are sitting sipping coffee on a terrace and dreaming. His daily battles with cockroaches, the local mafia, animals and the never ending variety of people that stepped through his door, was the wake up call I needed to think again about what it was I might just do if I ever decided to take the plunge and live abroad. This is the perfect book to take on holiday with you especially if you are already planning to make that move.

Hello Joe and welcome the hot seat. As you know, I start every interview off with the same question ‘What is one thing that no-one would usually know about you’

That I was once appeared as an alien in a US TV commercial for Chevrolet. Not the proudest moment of my life, or the most comfortable. I had to stand outside in 100 degree heat painted from head to toe in silver and wearing a silicone head extension. I’ve looked better.

What did the best review you ever had say about you and your work?

That More Ketchup than Salsa was; “Fantastic, hilarious, painful. Completely un-put-downable. Probably the best book I have read this millennium!” And no, it wasn’t written by me. Or my mother. (Linda’s Aside: I have to agree, it was brilliant and I’m looking forward to a sequel)

How did you choose a title for your book?

I was at the Carnival in Tenerife watching lithe Latinos strutting their stuff to the salsa beats. A pocket of Brits were trying to copy, but their movements were all over the place and sloppy. I thought it looked more like ketchup than salsa.

Have you ever wished that you could be or do anything else instead of writing, and if so what?

Absolutely not. I love it… best job in the world. Although if pushed, I’d say drummer in a rock band. I nearly got there with that one but was foiled by a bowl of sugar, a broken tooth and an over-zealous immigration official.

Have you ever written naked?

Hell yeah! I often wake up in the middle of the night with some inspired idea for a chapter. And not being one for pyjamas, I’ll sit butt naked at my desk and write for hours while my dog gives me quizzical looks. I try to finish up before the postman arrives though.

Do you have any hints or tips for aspiring writers?

Write. The difference between ‘aspiring writers’ and ‘writers’ is that the latter have finished something.

What has been the best experience you have ever had in your life?

Apart from having two gorgeous kids, I’d have to say sleeping in an open-sided hut in the Peruvian Amazon while a tropical lightning storm exploded all around me.

Are you jealous of other writers?

Not jealous, but definitely inspired. D. H. Lawrence was my first inspiration. I just love the way he paints with words. Bill Bryson was my second. In fact I’m inspired by any author who has great success. It makes me think there’s no reason why I can’t do it

What was the most important thing you learned at school?

Kissing girls who wear braces can be painful. (Linda’s Aside: oh dear, I was one of those girls!)

What is the book that you wished you had written?

The Bible. Though I’d have included full page photos. It would make it seem all that more believable.

Tea, Coffee, Water, Juice, Wine or Beer … which do you prefer when writing?

Water while writing during the day, wine for creative stints in the evening. And maybe the odd Jack Daniels and Coke or single malt if I’m feeling very pleased with myself.

How to get a SIGNED COPY of More Ketchup than Salsa: Confessions of a Tenerife Barman

If you have a hankering for a life abroad, perhaps owning your own bar and restaurant, then getting hold of a copy of Joe’s book is a must as it will help to remove the fantasy and replace it with the humour you will need. Simply leave a comment below and one lucky person will be drawn at random on and win a signed copy of the paperback.

Where to buy the book and find out more about Joe Cawley

You can meet Joe online on his website at:, you can read his work in The Sunday Times,Telegraph, Independent, Express, New York Post, Taipei Times and you can join him of Twitter @theWorldofJoe

If you would like to get a copy of More Ketchup than Salsa then you can it on Amazon in the UK and on Amazon in the US too, you’ll also find my reviews of Joe’s Book on Amazon in the US, the UK and on Goodreads too.


Why ‘The Thursday Throng’?

These posts are called The Thursday Throng in honour of the throng that waits eagerly outside the book store when a new author is doing a book signing event or appearance. On this website it takes the form of a ‘Meet the Author‘ online event with some information about our author’s latest book and an interview. If you would like to take part in the Thursday Throng then why not email me to find out more.

If you would like to see all the Authors who have been featured on The Thursday Throng you can click here:

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  1. I’m sure Joe is really pleased and sorry you didn’t win, on this occasion the service I use chose someone else 🙁

  2. Sounds Hot … phew! By the way I got another email from another purchaser too – seems like your interview struck a few chords Joe 🙂

  3. Hm, writing naked eh? So long as you don’t take to cooking naked too…
    Although maybe that’d be a major tourist attraction?
    Come see the naked chef! And get your book signed at the same time. With a pen, hopefully…
    I love this book, and am eagerly awaiting the sequel.

  4. Sadly Joe it is too late as he’s gone already. Still, I shall be able to say ‘Joe could have told you that’ when he turhs up back again! (I remember now that it was Cyprus not Greece, but don’t expect it helps much)

  5. Good luck with the competition, Lucinda, and I look forward to hearing how you get on with More Ketchup than Salsa.

  6. Hi
    I would like to be entered for a chance to win a copy of More Ketchup than Salsa I have heard rave reviews of the book

  7. Thank you for a most insightful & facinating interview, on a book that i would love to have the oportunity of reading and reviewing. I would be so greatful if you could put my name forward for this giveaway competition, and i would like to thank Linda from Goodreads for highlighting this unmissable post.
    Thank you x

    Email: lfountain1(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk

  8. One of our couriers who used to pick up our parcels is doing almost exactly that – a Greek chippy I believe. I bet he should have read this book first! :-))

  9. Never say never Anne 🙂 and it is an absolutely brilliant read – it certainly made me laugh when I remembered the many conversations I’ve had over the years about ‘packing up and running a bar on the beach ….’ 🙂

  10. Another super interview, Linda. I so love ‘meeting’ the authors on your blog. I’ve started going back through the interviews looking for reading matter for my lovely new Kindle. Joe’s book sounds like a cracking good read, and one to add to the list (i I’m not lucky enough to win!)