WLM Spotlight Sunday – Frank Kusy



Victoria Twead:

Please welcome Frank Kusy, author of Rupee Millionaires, to today’s hotseat. Frank may be somewhat late as his wife likes a Sunday lie-in, and he gets to cook her breakfast… This is GOOD news because Cherry Gregory has devised a fiendish multi-choice quiz based on the sample of Rupee Millionaires on Amazon, with prizes, so you have time to do some homework! I declare this Spotlight Sunday OPEN!

Woofie Wotsit Howdy Frank Kusy 🙂 Umm.. while you are cooking breakfast fer yer missus, I don’t spose you could chuck in a few more eggs and thingies for the rest of us? Huh? 🙂

Alison Morning Frank! Unusual surname? Real or pen?

Anne Good morning Frank – mines a bacon butty please – no sauce lol. My question is do you really have that doormat? – I love it but would not dare use it myself or if I did I would hide it when the grandkids come.

Frankie From your book title can I assume you live in India?

Micki Morning Frank! Enjoy your breakfast – think you’ll need it! 😉

Lisa Morning

Alan Parks Coowee Frank Kusy, where are you? 😉

Cherry I think he’s still cooking breakfast!

Charmaine Hi Frank, my mum was born in Darjeeling (father in the British army) I have worked in India and my opinion is somewhere on a bridge between an emerald maharajahs pin given to me and a dust cart at 2am picking up the bodies of dead beggars. Describe your India in a sentence.

Victoria Twead Excellent questions already! Frank said he’d be here at midday GMT so I guess it’s a pretty awesome breakfast he’s cooking for his wife. 🙂

Susan Joyce Good morning from Uruguay Frank and all!

Alison Morning Susan!

Monique He was waiting for me to arrive. Ok Frank Kusy… this may be a boring question but I’m hungry and this would be helpful….what is your favourite/easiest/dummy proof Indian recipe to whip up for dinner? I may just be able to get my act together and make it tonight in Charlotte, NC.

Susan Joyce My questions for Frank when he finally arrives… Which is your best book and why? Which is your least favorite and why? I’ve also been to India twice and find Charmaine’s question fascinating.

Cherry Have a go at the quiz on his book while you’re waiting!

Susan Joyce Any sign of Frank?

Louise He is waiting for a really juicy question! Not that I can think of one right this second. Or alternatively, he is on his second plate of full English!

Briannjulie he could be washing up! 😉

Cherry Meanwhile the entries for the quiz are coming in. Thanks everybody. No one’s got them all right yet, so there’s still chance to grab that prize (and win the glory, of course!)

Frank Kusy Here I am! Thanks Victoria, for organising this, and thanks everybody for all the fun questions, I’ll answer in a bit when I’ve finished scraping eggy bits off my PJs 🙂

Susan Joyce Drum roll!!!!!!!

Frank Kusy Kusy is my real name, Alison, shortest Polish name on the planet (I think), it goes back to Baron von Kusy Mukudel, 17th century 🙂

Catherine Do you still go on autho? I don’t get the time so much nowadays..

Frank Kusy The doormat’s not mine, Anne, but sometimes wish it was! 😀

Frank Kusy No, I don’t live in India, Frankie. I’m not like Victoria, I love the place but couldn’t live there 5 months, let alone 5 years – it’s a total overload of all the senses!

Susan Joyce My feelings exactly.

Frank Kusy Hiya Alan, I’ll be dipping into your book next week, Cherry said it made her cry (in a good way)

Anne It was funny you mentioning the Krays in your book – my hubby worked in a coffee bar when he was 16 – he was at college – the Krays were regular customers of his. Your tale sounds much more exciting though.

Susan Joyce Nice comment Cherry!

Frank Kusy Hi Charmaine, I LOVE Darjeeling, couldn’t find any decent tea (I think they export the best bits) but still very “Raj colonial”. And yes, a land of contrasts is India. My general opinion is between playing golf with a Maharaja in the desert (using a square piece of grass turf from his filing cabinet to tee off from) and watching massive pigs being lifted by their ears into a truck at 4 in the morning. India in one sentence? Love it or hate it, you’ll never forget it!”

Becky How many books have you written, Frank? What inspired you to start writing?

Anne How long have you and Cherry been married?

Frank Kusy Indian recipes, Monique? Well, I don’t cook (except Sunday fry-ups for the wife), but my fave Indian dish is tarka dhal, mmmm, accompanied by chicken tikka masala. I generally buy the latter in Sainsbury’s 🙂

Frank Kusy My ‘best’ book, Susan? You mean my favourite book? Well, check out The Siege of Krishnapur by J.G.Farrell, that’s the one I would take to a desert island, a real hoot! Lots of stuck-up Raj types losing their dignity (and their cutlery) to a horde of disgruntled 1857 Indian mutineers 🙂

Frank Kusy p.s. my least favourite country is Hungary. All my surviving relatives live there and I can’t speak the language 🙂

Susan Joyce I visited Hungary and thought the people were very nice.

Susan Joyce Frank, do you live in Spain?

Susan Joyce The Siege of Krishnapur sounds like a great book.

Frank Kusy I’ve written about a dozen books, Becky, most of them travel guides to india and the Far East. I was inspired to start writing by next door neighbour’s cat when I was eight. My first book was called “Jessie the Cat” and even my mum liked it 🙂

Frank Kusy No, Catherine, no more time for Authonomy, too busy here!

Frank Kusy The Krays had a major impact on many London boys in the 60s, Anne, I only met Ronnie and he scared the shit out of me.

Susan Joyce My question was about books you’ve written. Which is your favorite and why? Which one, if any, were you disappointed in the final result. They all sound like fun.

Frank Kusy Cherry and me married? Hahaha, my wife just saw that and clipped me round the ear!

Frank Kusy Hungary IS very nice, Susan, but you don’t want to go there if you got 100s of relatives who talk to you non-stop. I last went there in ’68 and didn’t get a wink’s sleep 🙂 p.s. I live in Surrey, England, but Spain is on my agenda…

Susan Joyce Lots of conversation to write about… if you only understood the lingo.

Frank Kusy Oh, you mean my books? Well, the first one really – Kevin and I in India. Kevin was totally allergic to India, everything attacked him: dogs, pigs, mosquitoes, beggars, holy men, even omelettes! I had gt fun with Ginger the Gangster Cat on Authonomy, but Rupee Millionaires is the book of my heart, dedicated to my dear departed mother, whose story runs right through it 🙂

Cherry Frank, how much do you think your school days are responsible for you becoming a Buddhist?

Frank Kusy I meant to say, thanks to Cherry for devising her “fiendish” quiz. Cherry is a top quiz master – have a go, people, you’ve got until midnight! 🙂 (Victoria will be handing out prizes)

Frank Kusy Good question, Cherry. I was brought up strict Catholic, even wanted to become a priest, but then got whipped so much by actual priests (at school) that I kinda went off the idea. I went into astrology, toured the country with Russell Grant, then got into Buddhism because there were no priests…and no rules but one – to respect Life.

Becky I would love to read your cat book. I am guessing it is like the cat book I wrote when I was six, on notebook paper. A couple of months ago, I actually finished and published my cat book that I started writing as a child. 🙂

Cherry Good answer, Frank.

Frank Kusy The most disappointing of my books, Susan, was Bangkok to Bali, I was really proud of that one but the publisher went bust just as it went to press. Major bummer.

Cherry Becky, Frank’s Ginger the Gangster Cat is great fun. Really worth a read.

Frank Kusy That’s great, Becky. What’s it called?

Susan Joyce Thanks Frank! I was wondering about that. My husband read Rupee and really enjoyed it. Lots of laughing out loud. I’ll make him give you a good review. I look forward to reading it.

Frank Kusy You should know, Cherry, you helped me write it. Prrrrrps!

Susan Joyce Bangkok to Bal, what a bummer that the publisher went under.

Frank Kusy Ginger and me are “just like that” (paws crossed)

Susan Joyce Love this one. Alter ego.

Cherry I think that your memoirs follow the theme of you trying to find yourself…is that right?

Frank Kusy Absolutely right, Cherry, I’ve been keeping diaries (and turning them into books) since the age of seven. My motto is ‘Life is short. Be curious.’ Especially about oneself!

Susan Joyce Interesting question Cherry. I’d say that all of my books were about me learning and growing, and finding myself.

Frank Kusy I loved your ‘Lullaby’ book, Susan. You did an awful lot of learning and growing in twelve years!

Cherry And what about the two Ginger Cat books. I love them, but did they help you in any way?

Susan Joyce Thanks Frank!

Alan Parks Frank, if you won the lottery, what would you buy?

Frank Kusy The Ginger books helped me big-time, Cherry. They released the grumpy, bad-tempered, bolshy part of me which I didn’t dare show anyone before 😀 They were also my first stab at fiction since I wrote “Toad’s Dilemma” (a sequel to The Wind in the Willows) when I was twelve 🙂

Frank Kusy Good question, Alan. I kinda won the lottery with the millions I made in my business, but anyone reading ‘Rupees’ will know what a cock up I made out of that. Right now, I’d probably just pay off the mortgage and give the rest to the Philippines.

Alan Parks Good call!

Susan Joyce Nice!

Cherry Good for you!

Cherry If one of your books was to become a best seller, which one would you prefer it to be?

Frank Kusy I’m just off out for a bit (to the gym), but do keep posting questions, I’m an open book, ha ha

Linda Hello Frank. Lots of interesting questions and answers so far. Here’s one for you. What are your favorite pastimes when you’re not writing? And did you ever tell us what country you live in? Perhaps I missed that.

Anne Hi again Frank sorry for my senior moment earlier – how long have you and your ‘wife’ been married 🙂

Micki What is the most exotic animal you’ve ever kept as a pet?

Linda Frank, I was wondering how many books you’ve written, so I hopped over to your author page at Amazon (and “Liked” it). Looks like six all together. Is that correct?

Becky Frank, since you asked, my cat book that I started when I was six is “Tabby Cat Tales”.

Becky Frank, your cat books look interesting. My good friend (also an author of cat books) has a FB group you should join. Tell her Becky sent you. It is a good place to publicize your cat books. https://www.facebook.com/groups/catbooks/

Frank Kusy I’m back! And what a lot of interesting questions, thank you! 🙂

Alan Parks Are you pumped, Frank?

Frank Kusy First off, Cherry, if one of my books were to become a bestseller, I would obviously choose ‘Rupees’. Twenty years of my life – and a whole load of Buddhist human revolution – went into it, I would like lots of people to share my joy of India and to avoid my biggest mistake: thinking millions of quids would make me happy. It didn’t.

Cherry Thanks for that, Frank.

Frank Kusy I certainly am, Alan, the adrenaline is surging!

Frank Kusy You asked about my favourite pastime when not writing, Linda, and I’m ashamed to say it is watching an idiotic TV game show called ‘Deal or no Deal’ every day whilst pedalling the treadmill down my local gym. I also enjoy tickling my cat Sparky’s tum…he loves that!

Frank Kusy Here’s Sparky 🙂


Frank Kusy I just bought ‘Tabby Cat Tales’, Becky, looks purrfect! 🙂 And thanks for the cat thread tip, Prrrrrps!

Linda Oh Frank, I love “Deal or No Deal”! And who doesn’t like to pet a cat’s tummy! Sparky looks like he has a bit of mischief in him.

Frank Kusy Ha, ha, Linda, and no worries, I’m a Zen master of senior moments! My wife and I have been married 18 years, the story of our tempestuous and very rocky relationship is the subject of my next book: “A Marriage made in Chemical Heaven” 🙂

Janet Hi Frank. I’ve been lost in the netherworld of Google and YouTube getting my wednesday blog out. But now I’m here. I hope you’re still awake. And, I’ve read the first few chapters of your Rupees book and am entranced. SO, my question to you is about rewriting, editing. How many times did you rework your beginning few chapters, compared to the rest of the book? And, did you rewrite the opening AFTER you finished the first draft?

Becky Thanks so much, Frank. I hope you enjoy the book. Some day I am going to own another cat. After you read my book, you will see why we only have dogs now.

Frank Kusy The most exotic animal I’ve kept as a pet, Micki? Well, I had a pet rat called Billy once but that was wayyyy back in my student days. And since I was living in a house-ful of pot-smoking dropouts, poor Billy was constantly stoned. He would stagger to his feet weakly for a bit then fall over again. It took him a month to cross the carpet.

Alison Marzipan Frank. Shop bought or home made? Lol

FrankKusy Phew, I’m not alone, thanks Linda! Love him or hate him, you got to hand it to that Noel Edmunds – how can anyone keep a game of opening random boxes interesting for eight years?? Oh, and Sparky is full of mischief, he just bit the hand that feeds him (but in a playful way, he’s just bored!)

Frank Kusy Excellent question, Janet. ‘Rupees’ started life as a simple travel diary with lots of anecdotes and no plot. But then my mother died, my business partner Spud turned to drugs and came gunning for me, and my wife ended up manacled to a chair at Heathrow Airport for smuggling. The book then went numerous revisions (3 times on Authonomy.com) and was sat upon by Harper Collins and Summersdale publishers for a year apiece, and the final verdict from both was ‘Love to publish this, but the events in it happened so long ago’. Sooo…I wrote in a prologue and an epilogue, to fix the book firmly in the present, with the ‘meat’ of it presented as an extended flashback. I wish I had done this earlier!

Frank Kusy Marzipan, Alison? Well, my mum LOVED home-made, it was her favourite thing on the planet. I can’t eat any of it, I’m afraid, I’m allergic to almonds!

Alan Parks Do you have anything you wish you had done in your life? Regrets?

Alison I just thought I’d throw in a curve ball Frank as I haven’t been around all day:-) darn it, allergic to almonds 🙁

 Frank Kusy Hmm, that’s a good one, Alan. I always had a hankering to go sky-diving, but never had the guts. Regrets? Well, I’ve had a few, but then again (despite a horribly misspent youth) too few to mention. I guess my main regret is that I wasn’t at my mum’s side when she died…all alone in her bed, with nobody to hold her hand and wish her Godspeed.

Frank Kusy I’m also allergic to wine, Alison, which is going to make me a bit of a party pooper at Henry’s Butterfield Ball tomorrow 🙂

Janet Frank and Alan. Your question reminds me of what I’ve long said< “I’d love to HAVE sky dived. I just don’t want to do it.”

 Alison Sure Henry may have something hidden that would suit: maybe a good drop of whiskey?

Alan Parks Ive Bungee jumped and done one of those slingshot thingys, but not sure I would do them now.

Cherry Frank, what’s your next book going to be about?

Frank Kusy Brave man! And crazy things we do when young, huh? I once dived 20 feet into a pool of water only three foot deep. Miracle I never broke my back.

 Frank Kusy I’m partial to a bit of Bourbon, Alison, how deep does Henry’s cellar GO?

Frank Kusy My next book? Well, it’s the one that just got reviewed on Authonomy – “A Marriage made in Chemical Heaven”. Not sure if I dare publish it though, well you know why!

Cherry And what about after “A Marriage Made in Chemical Heaven”? Any plans for another book?

Frank Kusy Blimey, missus, give me a chance! Scott Pack (Authonomy boss) just told me off for writing 4 books in two years – “Why don’t you stop long enough to get one of them right?” – but yes, a new one could be in the pipeline. It’s based on my time as the manager of an old people’s home in Clapham (I LOVE old people! 🙂

Cherry I can see that would have a lot of potential, with lots of your usual zany humour!

Victoria Twead Speaking as an Old Fool, I’m very pleased to hear that. 🙂

Anne Tsk tsk – fancy being alergic to wine – never mind you have found me I will drink your share sweetie. Another interesting anecdote, I have always regretted not being at my dad’s bedside when he died – alone in Mombassa. There was a passport strike or work to rule or something in 1981 – cant remember the details but I could not get a passport to be at his bedside. It still haunts me now 🙁

Micki I watch Deal or no Deal too & love the photo of Sparky. Tickling my cats’ tummies would earn me 4pawed scratches! You posted photos of you holding monkeys – where did you live as a child?

Frank Kusy Thanks, Cherry/Victoria. This is my current project, Edna, who will feature strongly in my next book. Edna was born the same month as my dear departed mum and has kinda adopted me. She calls me her “toy boy”! 🙂


Cherry Love the photo! Like it that Edna has a pink hat and you have a blue!

Janet Is that better than a “boy toy?”

Alan Parks Frank, if you could pick one book in history that you could have written, what would it be?

Frank Kusy Terrible, isn’t it, Anne, not having closure on a close relative like that. I just stopped sleeping, still have trouble with it now. p.s. will be chanting for your dad tonight, take care sweetie x

Anne Very hard to live with Frank – I made sure I was with my mum and also my mother in law right to the end though. x

Frank Kusy Sparky also likes foot massages, he can’t get enough of them! Oh, and I lived in North London as a child, Micki, born in Balham, school in Haringey 🙂

Frank Kusy “Boy toy”, Janet? I don’t know, I’ll ask her! But mebbe not, she’s naughty enough as it is, keeps telling people “If I were 20 years younger, I’d have his trousers off!”

Frank Kusy That was last Christmas, Cherry, doesn’t Edna look pretty in pink? 🙂

Cherry Yes, she does!

Frank Kusy “The one book in history that I could have written”, Alan? Well, the one book in history that I WISH I could have written would have to be ‘Siddhartha’ by Hermann Hesse. This is a beautiful book, one that is destined to change the lives of anyone who r…See More

Frank Kusy Aw, that’s great, Anne 🙂 x

Susan Joyce Hola Frank, back again. Just enjoyed reading all the questions and great answers. Glad I was able to catch more of your interview. Good stuff! ‘Siddhartha’ by Hermann Hesse is definitely a MUST READ. Very inspirational. I’m signing off now. Time to make dinner. Thanks so much for sharing so much of yourself. I look forward to reading Rupee.

Frank Kusy How’s the quiz coming, Cherry? Anyone got all the answers yet?

Frank Kusy Thanks, Susan, and I need to take a break too, Sparky keeps biting my kneecap, think he’s hungry!

Janet I never had any lunch! No wonder I’ve been feeling hungry. thanks for the reminder.

Cherry Yes, quiz is going well. I’ve extended the deadline until noon tomorrow, so that those members on the other side of the world can have a go!

Frank Kusy Nice one, Cherry! I’m a bit of a night owl, so will be around if anyone has any last questions…

Rowena Hope last night went well. We were out celebrating my brother’s birthday, so guessing it might have been a little rude to hop onto facebook.

Frank Kusy Yes, it went excellently well, lots of fun. Thanks for popping in, Rowena 🙂

Victoria Twead Thank you so much for answering all those great questions, Frank Kusy. I think we all know you a lot better now than we did before. 🙂

Anne I second that – was a very interesting day. 🙂

Fran Sorry I missed the fun, Frank. Is there anything you would like me to ask you? ;-))

Micki Thank you – enjoyed the fun!

Frank Kusy Thank you, Victoria, it was a lot of fun 🙂 Just worried now that you all know TOO much about me, lol!

Frank Kusy No worries, Frannie, I think I got asked everything apart from the colour of my bootlaces! 🙂


Two free ebooks go to Anne Wine O’Clock Durrant and Becky Corwin Adams (the first with all 7 main questions correct) WELL DONE, both of you! 😀

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