New book of shared humanity written in the Himalayas and edited in England

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A sensational debut book of poetry and prose is published worldwide this week despite its writer and editor living 5,000 miles apart.

Don’t Look Down by first-time author Ritambhara Chowfin was entirely penned in the small hill fort town of Almora, some 5,400ft above sea level in the Himalayan foothills in northern India.

It has been edited and published by award winning editor Nic Outterside in Wolverhampton in the English west Midlands.

This transcendent work forms part of a personal journey out of darkness and into light, where love and theft are in constant conflict.

Within Don’t Look Down readers will find the thoughts and poetic musings of a young Indian woman born and raised in a part of the planet visited by very few others.

The leopards growling in the forest, the black bear snuffling among the lush vegetation, an old witch casting a spell for childbirth and the tall cedars and pines swaying in the lashing rain, may be a world away from the one you inhabit.

But this young woman is exactly like anyone else, whether they live in New York, London, Cairo, Buenos Aires, Lagos or Melbourne.

She has the same fears, the same loves, the same faults, the same frailties, the same hopes, the same passions and the same emotions; and these all come tumbling out in her poetry and prose.

Like everyone else she is human, and is trying to make sense of her life and this world.

Ritambhara is a 25-year-old graduate in English Language and Literature from Amity University in Delhi. She is the eldest of three siblings and returned to her home town for the inspiration to write about the world she knows.

Don’t Look Down is her first published book.

“Although Hindi is my first language, I love English and the UK,” she says.

“I have relations in Warrington and my dream is one day to visit them.

“I reached out to Nic earlier this year as we both had dealings with a story-teller in my town and I knew him to be a brilliant editor. He agreed immediately to edit and publish my first book. And the whole process has been a joy.”

Nic, who owns the publishing house Time is an Ocean says: “Working with Ritambhara has been an utter pleasure. Her writing is so deeply filled with emotion and her use of English is stunning.

“I am very proud of this book, and of her. It is amazing what can be achieved across 5,000 miles by email, WhatsApp and Instagram,” he added.

“The added bonus is I now consider Ritambhara as a very close friend.”

 

Don’t Look Down is available in paperback priced at £4.99 (US $6.15) from most Amazon portals

www.amazon.co.uk/Dont-Look-Down-Ritambhara-Chowfin/dp/1698038674/

www.amazon.com/Dont-Look-Down-Ritambhara-Chowfin/dp/1698038674/

 

A Kindle e-book edition of Don’t Look Down is also available for £1.99 (US$2.45) (174IR) from all Amazon portals

www.amazon.co.uk/Dont-Look-Down-Ritambhara-Chowfin-ebook/dp/B07YVH8WS3/

www.amazon.com/dp/B07YVH8WS3/

www.amazon.in/dp/B07YVH8WS3

 

 

Unique book of international poetry available in paperback and Kindle

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A UNIQUE collection of international poetry, first published as an e-book in 2018 is now available worldwide as a large format paperback.

While global warming, poverty, pollution, homelessness, the refugee crisis and warfare continue to dominate world news, a diverse group of global poets have turned their spotlight on the frailty and hope of humanity.

Their book: LUMINANCE – Words for a World Gone Wrong is now published worldwide by Amazon as a stunning 125 page paperback.

The writers live 11,000 miles apart, across 18 time zones, in Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Palestine, Japan, England, Scotland and six different states of the USA.

They include a mum of four, a 17-year-old student, a haiku writer, a freedom fighter, a grandfather, a modern day minstrel, a novelist and a self-proclaimed ‘mystic’.

Their poetry displays the diversity of their home cities and cultures and form the unique nature of the book.

The writers of LUMINANCE are:

Austie M Baird is a 34-year-old mother raising four young children in rural eastern Oregon, USA.

Sophie Bowns, 27, from Cumbria in England, is a teaching assistant, poet and a fiction author, with seven published books to her name.

Hanalee is a widely travelled 18-year-old gardening enthusiast from Phoenix, Arizona, now at university in Iowa.

Bridgford Hashimoko, 54, is an EFL teacher in Tokyo, Japan, who is fascinated by the many forms and variations of Haiku.

Annabel James, from Oklahoma, USA, writes poetry as a positive outlet to manage a chaos of emotions and thoughts into a form that she can share.

Anjali Love is a mystic, poet, writer, storyteller, artist, and tantric yogini, from Melbourne, Australia and is a lover of life with insatiable wanderlust.

Heather Lynn Matthews is a married 32-year-old mother of two, from Ontario, Canada, who loves to write poetry and short stories.

Joseph Nichols lives in Kentucky, USA. By day, he works for the state transportation cabinet and by the weekend he is a minstrel and DJ.

Nic Outterside, from Wolverhampton, England spent 28 years in journalism. He discovered the therapeutic power of poetry following a nervous breakdown in 2013.

Brotibir Roy is a 18-year-old and a 12th standard student in Dhaka, Bangladesh, who writes to pacify his mind and to play with words.

Megan Taylor, 22, is an English and Film graduate from Aberdeen University in Scotland.

Troy Turner was born and raised in Los Angeles, USA. Nothing has captivated him so much as the written word and the interaction between author and reader.

Zanita is a 38-year-old college lecturer from Gaza in Palestine. When not teaching, she publishes books to support the liberation of her country from the control of Israel.

Nic Outterside is the editor and publisher of LUMINANCE and said: “I have edited many publications over the years, but none has been as challenging and exciting as this.

“I was lucky to have so many amazingly talented and beautiful people contributing to this hugely diverse project.

“I hope you enjoy and share their end result… we all think it is quite amazing.”

LUMINANCE – Words for a World Gone Wrong can be purchased via Amazon at:

WORLDWIDE: www.amazon.com/dp/1796270032/  price $9.71

UK: www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1796270032/   price £7.50

FRANCE: www.amazon.fr/LUMINANCE-Words-World-Gone-Wrong/dp/1796270032/   price: 9.05 euros

SPAIN: www.amazon.es/dp/1796270032 price 8.92 euros

JAPAN: www.amazon.co.jp/dp/1796270032/ price 1,150 Yen

ITALY: www.amazon.co.it/dp/1796270032/ price 8.92 euros

GERMANY: www.amazon.co.it/dp/1796270032/ price 9.18 euros

And on Kindle e-book at ALL 13 Amazon international sites

Award winning writer’s first two poetry books now available at sale prices

A multi-award winning UK writer is celebrating the success of his latest chart-topper by offering his first two poetry books at new discount prices.

Wolverhampton-based Nic Outterside quit his 28 year career in newspaper and magazine journalism following a nervous breakdown in June 2013.

He began the slow road to recovery under the watchful eyes of his doctor and the support of his family. Part of the therapy was for him to begin writing and talking about the life experiences which had led to his breakdown.

His first paperback book The Hill – Songs and Poems of Darkness and Light, published in November 2014. It was met with international acclaim and the first 1,000 print edition sold out.

In May 2018 he published a sequel Another Hill – Songs and Poems of Love and Theft.

Now following the stunning sales of his most recent book Death in Grimsby – 50 Years Following Brighton & Hove Albion, Nic has decided to discount his first two books to open up his other work to new readers.

“When I released The Hill in November 2014, I was struggling to get back to a life of sorts and fighting my way out of a corner,” explains Nic.

“By the time Another Hill – Songs and Poems of Love and Theft was concluded I was so far out of the corner you wouldn’t find me.

“Then when Death in Grimsby stormed up the Amazon sales charts this summer to reach #2 I realised I had exceeded any expectations of life I may have had six years ago, and had at last found my way home.”

 

The Hill – Songs and Poems of Darkness and Light

In paperback is now £1.50 (formerly £4.99)

www.ebay.co.uk/itm/The-Hill-Songs-and-Poems-of-Darkness-and-Light-Nic-Outterside-Paperback/223163293082?hash=item33f5919d9a:g:3O0AAOSwdjha6DvY

The Kindle e-book version is just £1.00

www.amazon.co.uk/Hill-Songs-Poems-Darkness-Light-ebook/dp/B07CNZ75MZ/

 

Another Hill – Songs and Poems of Love and Theft

In paperback is now priced at £5.99 (formerly £7.99)

www.amazon.co.uk/Another-Hill-Songs-Poems-Theft/dp/1796807575/

The Kindle e-book is available at just £2.00

www.amazon.co.uk/Another-Hill-Songs-Poems-Theft-ebook/dp/B07CXYJTV4/

 

Death in Grimsby – 50 Years Following Brighton & Hove Albion is available as a large format paperback priced at £10.49 with FREE UK delivery from Amazon.
www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1095979752/

A Kindle e-book edition is available for £3.00 at: www.amazon.co.uk/Death-Grimsby-Following-Brighton-Albion-ebook/dp/B07T4VMJRQ/

 

All books are also available on other Amazon platforms

Child sex abuse survivor’s long awaited second book now published in paperback

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A CHILD-SEX abuse and cancer survivor’s long awaited second book of poetry is published worldwide in paperback today (Monday, 18 February 2019).

Multi award-winning writer Nic Outterside quit his 28 year career in newspaper and magazine journalism following a nervous breakdown in June 2013.

He began the slow road to recovery under the watchful eyes of his doctor and the support of his family. Part of the suggested therapy was for him to begin writing and talking about the life experiences which had led to his breakdown.

His first paperback book The Hill – Songs and Poems of Darkness and Light, published in November 2014. It was met with international acclaim and the first 1,000 print edition has almost sold out.

From childhood sexual abuse, through cancer, bereavement, bankruptcy, divorce, repossession of my home, the loss of two of my children and an assault which almost took my life, I guess there was a lot to write about,” says Nic.

Last May, after a three year wait, he published its sequel Another Hill – Songs and Poems of Love and Theft as a Kindle e-book.

Such was the positive response that it has been published today as a 134 page large format paperback, complete with illustrations by Moscow artist Helene Vasileva.

“When I released The Hill in November 2014, I was struggling to get back to a life of sorts and fighting my way out of the corner,” explains Nic.

“By the middle of 2016, I was more than halfway through writing a raft of poems for the new book and by this time I was out of the corner, but still fighting.

“But by the time all the work for Another Hill – Songs and Poems of Love and Theft was concluded I was so far out of the corner you wouldn’t find me… I had found my way home.

“I am so grateful to my close family and many friends who have given me support, inspiration and encouragement over the past six years,” he adds.

Another Hill – Songs and Poems of Love and Theft

In paperback is priced at £6.99 and available from:

www.amazon.co.uk/Another-Hill-Songs-Poems-Theft/dp/1796807575/

The Kindle e-book is also available at £2.21 from:

www.amazon.co.uk/Another-Hill-Songs-Poems-Theft-ebook/dp/B07CXYJTV4/

Both versions are also available on other international Amazon platforms.

 

 

Unique book of international poetry published in paperback today

BLOG LUMINANCE FULL COVER

A UNIQUE collection of international poetry, first published as an e-book almost nine months ago, is released worldwide in paperback today (11 February 2019).

While global warming, poverty, pollution, homelessness, the refugee crisis and warfare continue to dominate world news, a diverse group of global poets have turned their spotlight on the frailty and hope of humanity.

Their book: LUMINANCE – Words for a World Gone Wrong is now published worldwide by Amazon as a stunning 125 page paperback.

The writers live and work 11,000 miles apart, across 18 time zones, in Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Palestine, Japan, England, Scotland and six different states of the USA.

They include a mum of four, a 16 year-old school student, a haiku writer, a freedom fighter, a grandfather, a modern day minstrel, a novelist and a self-proclaimed ‘mystic’.

Their poetry displays the diversity of their home cities and cultures and form the unique nature of the book.

The writers of LUMINANCE are:

Austie M Baird is a 33-year-old mother raising four young children in rural eastern Oregon, USA.

Sophie Bowns, 26, from Cumbria in England, is a teaching assistant and a fiction author, with five published books to her name.

Hanalee is a widely travelled 18-year-old American gardening enthusiast from Phoenix, Arizona.

Bridgford Hashimoko, 53, is an EFL teacher in Tokyo, Japan, who is fascinated by the many forms and variations of Haiku.

Annabel James, from Oklahoma, USA, writes poetry as a positive outlet to manage a chaos of emotions and thoughts into a form that she can share.

Anjali Love is a mystic, poet, writer, storyteller, artist, and tantric yogini, from Melbourne, Australia and is a lover of life with insatiable wanderlust.

Heather Lynn Matthews is a married 31-year-old mother of two, from Ontario, Canada, who loves to write poetry and short stories.

Joseph Nichols lives in Kentucky, USA. By day, he works for the state transportation cabinet and by the weekend he is a minstrel and DJ.

Nic Outterside, from Wolverhampton in England spent almost 30 years in journalism. He discovered the therapeutic power of writing poetry following a nervous breakdown in 2013.

Brotibir Roy is a 17-year-old and a 11th standard student in Dhaka, Bangladesh, who writes to pacify his mind and to play with words.

Megan Taylor, 22, is an English and Film graduate from Aberdeen University in Scotland.

Troy Turner was born and raised in Los Angeles, USA. Nothing has captivated him so much as the written word and the interaction between author and reader.

Zanita is a 37-year-old college lecturer from Gaza in Palestine. When not teaching, she publishes books to support the liberation of her country from the control of Israel.

Nic Outterside is the editor and publisher of LUMINANCE.

“I have edited many publications over the years,” says Nic, “But none has been as challenging and exciting as this.

“I was lucky to have so many amazingly talented and beautiful people contributing to this hugely diverse project.

“I hope you enjoy and share their end result… we all think it has all been worthwhile.”

LUMINANCE – Words for a World Gone Wrong can be purchased via Amazon outlets at:

WORLDWIDE: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1796270032/  price $9.71

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1796270032/   price £7.50

JAPAN: https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/1796270032/  price 1,150 Yen

ITALY: https://www.amazon.co.it/dp/1796270032/  price 8.92 euros

GERMANY: https://www.amazon.co.it/dp/1796270032/  price 9.18 euros

And on Kindle e-book at ALL 13 Amazon sites

 

 

 

Poetic homage to the greatest LP of all- time now available in paperback

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A POPULAR poetic homage to Nobel prize-winning songwriter Bob Dylan is now published worldwide in a slim-line paperback.

Blood in the Cracks by award winning writer Nic Outterside was first released as a Kindle e-book last September, to rave reviews.

The book tips its hat both lyrically and stylistically to Dylan’s critically acclaimed album Blood on the Tracks – originally released in 1975.

Nic describes his own work as a “lifetime labour of love”.

“It’s almost a journey’s end,” he says. “The works of Bob Dylan are the soundtrack to my life.

“I was a mere teenager when I first discovered his music, his words of truthful vengeance and his vignettes of love and theft.

“For me Blood on the Tracks, remains a lyrical and poetic touchstone. And my soul is forever wrapped within its entire 51 minutes and 42 seconds.

“Overtly autobiographical, the LP is full of tales of a lover relating a series of unrelated events, set in a mythical America. Like a series of impressionist paintings of life the tales are without geographical or chronological boundaries.

“Over 10 iconic songs, Dylan alludes to heartache, deception, anger, regret and loneliness. It’s a world-weary, nostalgic and ultimately a poetic Bob Dylan; and that is what makes Blood on the Tracks so timeless.

“The poetry is in each and every song,” adds Nic.

“So to create my own poetical homage to that album – in places borrowing the patterns of some of Dylan’s songs – is a true labour of love and a dream come true.”

Blood in the Cracks is now available worldwide in paperback at just £3.99.

United Kingdom: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1794666001/

Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/1794666001/

Germany: https://www.amazon.de/dp/1794666001/

France: https://www.amazon.fr/dp/1794666001/

Italy: https://www.amazon.it/dp/1794666001/

Rest of the world: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1794666001/

It is also still available on Amazon Kindle e-book at just £1.70

www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Cracks-Nic-Outterside-ebook/dp/B07H4S3DSM

Notes:

  1. Nic is an award-winning editor, journalist and writer. Among more than a dozen awards to his name are North of England Daily Journalist of the Year, Scottish Daily Journalist of the Year and Scottish Weekly Journalist of the Year. In 2016 he was awarded an honorary doctorate in written journalism.
  2. You can buy Nic’s first poetry book The Hill – Songs and Poems of Darkness and Light on Amazon Kindle, priced at just £1.43 at: www.amazon.co.uk/Hill-Songs-Poems-Darkness-Light-ebook/dp/B07CNZ75MZ
  3. You can still buy the First Edition paperback The Hill – Songs and Poems of Darkness and Light at £1.99 with £1.80 for UK post and packing via Ebay at: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/The-Hill-Songs-and-Poems-of-Darkness-and-Light-Nic-Outterside-Paperback/223163293082?hash=item33f5919d9a:g:3O0AAOSwdjha6DvY:rk:1:pf:1
  4. Nic’s second book: Another Hill – Songs and Poems of Love and Theft is priced at £2.20 on Amazon Kindle at: www.amazon.co.uk/Another-Hill-Songs-Poems-Theft-ebook/dp/B07CXYJTV4/
  5. The full story behind his first book of poetry can be listened to here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2N2X7t7awo

New book explores love, death, religion and rape in South Asia

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A UNIQUE new book is set to take South Asia by storm as it addresses burning issues such as love, death, rape and religion in the developing sub-continent.

Divided by partition, war and politics, but united by creativity and common humanity, Asian Voices has brought together 20 emerging writers from across the region to shine a light on their diverse societies.

In 37,000 words, across 260 pages, the contributors paint graphic pictures in poetry and prose of issues which divide and unite people in their respective countries of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The book is divided into 10 sections: Darkness, Light, Love, Loss, Heaven, Hell, Life, Death, War and Peace.

And it is within these sections that the diverse Asian Voices can be heard.

With an infant mortality rate of 4.4% in India and 6.1% in Pakistan (the UK rate is 0.28%) and an adult death rate of 31% and 21% respectively (UK rate 10.3%) – an even higher rate in war-torn Afghanistan – it is hardly surprising that the issue of death features strongly.

Mortality is dealt with sensitively by the Asian Voices writers in at least three sections of the book.

This extract on coping with grief by Lahore based writer Shahreen Iftikhar is an example:

“They say, there are five stages of grief;

I got stuck in denial, with no reasons to heal.

Is this what life is; scribbles on an empty sheet?

Making no sense, just filling the voids of our being?

I said to myself: ‘To Hell with all this grieving and the misery.

It’s time for me to let go of all the tragedies.’

All I had to do was believe.

That is all it took for me to heal.”

 

All countries in South Asia live under different degrees of social patriarchy and this is reflected in the treatment of women.

Rape is the third most common crime against women in India.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau 2013 annual report, 24,923 rape cases were reported across India in 2012. Out of these, 24,470 (98%) were committed by someone known to the victim. And many more rapes go unreported.

Similarly, physical abuse, house-arrest imprisonment and even bride-burning (now illegal) also go largely unreported.

One of the Asian Voices writers, Janvi from Jaipur has already made a name for herself in calling out for social reform.

This extract speaks volumes:

And then one day we decide to raise our voice 

But again, this society shut us by claiming it as useless noise.

The politicians and the media cry that they worship women and cow!

Is this a way of worshipping? But How?

As our wails grow louder and louder about the demons residing in our own town 

They paint henna on our hands and send us off to an unknown place, looking like a clown.

Wondering that this was not the life that we were destined to live, we decide to put an end

And here you go, creating loads of new monsters and making it Trend.

We are sacrificing ourselves from centuries just so that you know

And here you go, treating us again like the trash that you throw. 

We’ve had enough, being the sacrificed Goddess 

Next time we’ll turn this country into a bloody mess.

 

Religion also resonates within the pages of the book.

India is home to at least nine recognised religions, and while Islam dominates in Pakistan, there are also significant minorities of Christians, Hindus and Ahmadi, and even more diversity in Afghanistan.

So the sections on Life, Heaven and Hell deal with each writer’s views of spirituality and faith.

This piece by 16-year-old Shaheeba from Sibsagar touches many pulses:

How could she survive further?

When her life resided in this heart rate.

Though not here, but in Heaven

They merged to a single soul

Whenever their love tale was evoked

It started raining

Dripping all with pure love.

This flooded the river of love

Which immersed both the fragments of the hamlet

With the virtue of love.

There was love everywhere

Flowing in the winds of hamlet

Residing in the lifeless soil

Felt in the arms of the mother

And in the oneness with God.

Some souls are united in Heaven.

Some stories are plenary despite being partial.

 

The one thing which binds all the writers together is the eternal subject of Love.

For centuries the Indian sub-continent has given birth to some of the world’s greatest love poets. And they continue to emerge as we enter 2019.

This poem by Agathaa Shelling of Ahmedabad, explores that deepest of all human emotions:

You’re the sanctified sacrament in the shrine of love. I’ll devour you and I’ll become pious forever.

Yes, I’m an atheist and there’s only one religion that I practise. That’s love. And there’s only one deity from whom I receive my hymn… it’s you.

And if this is not love. I don’t know what it is. A little bit of fall in your summer. A little bit of rains in your spring. Sunshine in your winters. And a chilly gust of wind in scorching heat.

“There was once a king of verses. Power were his words. Mightier than any sword. And then there was a queen of metaphors. Deep were her rhymes. Deeper than any ocean.

He weaved a tiara out of his words and she sharpened his sword out of hers.

And that’s how they announced their love, with poetry.”

 

Minnie Rai, a writer and 26-year-old refugee from Kabul, who now lives in London, sums up the ethos of Asian Voices: “We don’t become by knowing… we become by doing.

“It is in the present we live and share diversity from within outwards. Through love and death we learn the language of war within us that separates us from the truth that sits beside our heart. When we share that truth, we become one… Asian Voices,” she adds.

 

  • Asian Voices will be published in both paperback and Kindle e-book in February.