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.

 

 

Proof of life after newspapers – former editor publishes 5 books in just one year

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A FORMER weekly newspaper editor has just edited and published his FIFTH paperback book in the past year.

Multi award-winning editor and 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. Part of the suggested therapy was for him to begin writing about the life experiences which had led to his breakdown. He did a lot of this through poetry.

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

Nic spent the next three years writing for himself and doing PR and subbing work for online clients.

Then a chance meeting with a young Indian author from the Himalayas set in train an express of book publishing.

“In November 2017 I was approached by a 25-year-old writer from Almora in Northern India, who asked if I could edit her first novel,” he explains.

“I agreed, but the problem was she wanted it ready to publish in just five weeks… and she hadn’t even written the first word!

“It was at times hectic – communicating endlessly through emails and Skype calls – but we managed to publish Gauri – A Sin Between My Legs on time, on 9 January last year.”

The publication set in motion a chain of more contacts and other book projects from Nic’s small office in Wolverhampton.

Over the next 12 months Nic edited and published in paperback and Kindle e-book: Luminance – Words for a World Gone Wrong – an anthology of international poetry by 14 writers from as far afield as Australia, Japan, Palestine and the USA, and Asian Voices – an anthology of essays, letters and poetry by 20 writers from India, Pakistan and Afghanistan – both books have been met with widespread critical acclaim.
Nic also found time to write, edit and publish his second book of songs and poems called Another Hill, plus a homage to his musical hero Bob Dylan entitled Blood in the Cracks.
He is currently working on a seventh book, with a working title of Death in Grimsby – a collection of short stories about following his home town football club Brighton and Hove Albion over 50 years. It is set for publication in May this year.

Further titles are scheduled for later in 2019 and 2020.

“I enjoyed a fabulous career in newspaper and magazine journalism,” says Nic.

And along the way also edited all kinds of publications, including leaflets, brochures and football programmes.

“But, book publishing was a whole other world and I had to teach myself as I went along; especially with things like pagination and measuring the correct size margins and gutters for large format paperbacks. I am also lucky that my partner is a superb proof reader

“Now I am getting as much fun out of books as I did with newspapers or magazines.”

The books are available from:

Gauri – a Sin Between My Legs

Kindle e-book – £2.21

www.amazon.co.uk/GAURI-SIN-BETWEEN-MY-LEGS-ebook/dp/B078XMK42N/

Blood in the Cracks

43 page slim-line paperback – £3.99

www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Cracks-Nic-Outterside/dp/1794666001/

Luminance – words for a world gone wrong

123 page large format paperback – £7.50

www.amazon.co.uk/LUMINANCE-Words-World-Gone-Wrong/dp/1796270032/

Asian Voices

240 page large format paperback – £6.99

www.amazon.co.uk/Asian-Voices-anthology-Pakistan-Afghanistan/dp/1795571217/

The Hill – Songs and Poems of Darkness and Light

100 page paperback – £1.99

www.ebay.co.uk/itm/The-Hill-Songs-and-Poems-of-Darkness-and-Light-Nic-Outterside-Paperback/223163293082

Another Hill – Songs and Poems of Love and Theft

134 page large format paperback – £6.99

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

Unique book unites 20 writers from Pakistan India and Afghanistan

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DIVIDED by partition, war and politics, but united by creativity, brilliance and common humanity, a unique new book has brought together 20 emerging writers from across South Asia to shine a light on their diverse societies.

In 37,000 words, across 260 pages and two dozen images, these contributors paint graphic pictures of love, beauty, loss, poverty, patriarchy, disease and murder in their respective countries of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

From Kabul in the north, through Lahore and Delhi, to Hyderabad in the south, their tales in poetry and prose are compelling.

The writers include an artistic director from Lahore, an electronic engineer from Mumbai, a psychologist from Delhi, a social reformer from Jaipur, two 12th grade school students, plus many more.

The project has been pulled together by a retired British newspaper editor.

Most of the writers have, until now, only seen their work published on social media or in short order paperbacks.

Now, ASIAN VOICES is providing a professionally produced anthology of their work, for worldwide publication in February 2019.

This “family” of contributors live and work up to 5,000 miles apart, across six time zones, and their writings display the diversity of their home cities and cultures to form the unique nature of the book.

The works include letters of longing, narrative poems about grief, essays on abuse, patriarchy, rape and murder, a story about cancer and bereavement as well as countless poems of love, loss, discovery, anger, lust, peace and war.

“We don’t become by knowing… we become by doing,” says Minnie Rai, a writer and 26-year-old refugee from Kabul, who now lives in London.

“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.

Mum, wife and teacher Sobia Shakir from Karachi in Pakistan, poignantly adds: “In art lies, the soul of an artist.”

Fellow writer and interior designer Pratibha Aasat from Hyderabad in southern India says: “All our words are powerful emotions expressing varied feelings, the silent whispers of hearts, connecting every soul and thoughts, so vivid that they represent a complete lived life… to last in the memoirs forever.”

Retired newspaper and magazine editor Nic Outterside from Wolverhampton, England is the editor and publisher of ASIAN VOICES.

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

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

“Their writing alone is breath-taking, but it doesn’t stop there… they are all brimming with ideas about the book. Their excitement is palpable and their talent immense.”

Stay tuned for more news about ASIAN VOICES in the run-up to publication in both paperback and on Kindle in the week ending 17 February 2019.

I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now

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MY social and literary hero Patti Smith once said (three years ago to be precise): “I’m 67 years old; you’re not going to tell me what to do. The only person who can boss me around now is my daughter.”

And just a few short years behind Patti, I know that feeling well… although in my case, substitute son for daughter.

I started writing for myself when I was about 17, and almost five decades later, I am still writing.

As an angst ridden teenager I would while away my evenings writing poetry… you know the stuff, reams of stream of consciousness prose and rhyme littered with passions and desires, knitted together with unrequited love.

So, it was perhaps not much of a surprise that at the age of 22, I pursued a postgraduate teaching course in creative English and drama at Bretton Hall College in West Yorkshire.

I reckoned I had experienced deep love and rejection and that subsequently my own poetry had become profound and real.

Yes, I was a cocky, self-assured young man.

But that cockiness was soon dealt its first blow.

The university’s dean of faculty, a larger than life woman called Caroline St Leger, heard about my poetry and invited me to her room for “a small sherry and a reading”.

I was at first elated… I had an educated audience for my work.

I was a poet!

So armed with an A4 folder containing five years of my finest writing, I soon found myself sitting across a large oak table from the esteemed Ms St Leger, reading aloud a selected few poems.

Red-lipped with Bette Davis eyes and sipping cream sherry, she sat and listened intently.

I delivered my best poems, but she showed no emotion and carefully lit an untipped cigarette.

As the table turned I sat more awkwardly.

The ageing dean took her turn to read more of my writing quietly to herself.

She halted, sipped more sherry and took one long drag of her cigarette.

Then her critique began.

Her disassembling of my poetic structure and rhyming schemes was polite and scholarly.

Even her observation that she enjoyed my ‘lyric simplicity’ seemed like a compliment rather than a damnation.

But her final words dug deep and stayed with me: “It is clear that you don’t yet know love, Nic. When you have discovered love, you should try writing poetry again, until then write about what you know.”

I swallowed hard.

Crestfallen, I thanked her and walked back to my rooms.

“Don’t yet know love,” echoed in my brain.

Over the ensuing years I was married and divorced twice, helped create five wonderful children and kidded myself that along the way I had found love… and a few times too!

But it took 28 years in newspaper and magazine journalism and a nervous breakdown in 2013 for the poetic spark to eventually be re-ignited.

Now five years since the day of the breakdown, I have lost count of the number of poems – and attempted poems – I have written. But the truth is, I simply cannot stop writing.

During that time I have published two well-received books of my own poetry, and edited an amazing anthology of poems from a group of international writers.

Now I am two-thirds the way through writing my autobiography: Survive the Roller Coaster and Assume the Position.

Poetry is my art… and I have little care whether others read my words or not, because for me it is my calling… I write for myself, because it is all I know.

So now in the autumn of my life, dare I pass on any advice to younger writers?

I am unsure I am qualified to do that.

But, I will share Patti Smith’s advice, taken from her discussion with Christian Lund at the Louisiana Literature Festival on 24 August, 2012.

She spoke to an audience captivated by her charismatic charm and frank openness about the life challenges and dilemmas involved in pursuing a creative life.

These are her words, and for me they resonate so loudly. They are a profound lesson for any person diving into the ever-flowing human interaction with writing… or just plain living:

“A writer or any artist can’t expect to be embraced by the people.

You know I’ve done records where it seemed like no one listened to them. You write poetry books that maybe you know 50 people read and you just keep doing your work because you have to because it’s your calling.

But it’s beautiful to be embraced by the people.

Some people have said to me well you know, “Don’t you think that kind of success spoils one as an artist or you know if you’re a punk rocker you don’t want to have a hit record?” and I say “Well I say well fuck you!”

It’s just like one just does their work for the people and the more people you can touch the more wonderful it is. You don’t do your work and then say well I only want the cool people to read it. You know you want everyone to be transported or hopefully inspired by it.

When I was really young, William Burroughs told me – I was really struggling we never had any money – and the advice that William gave me was build a good name and keep your name clean.

Don’t make compromises. Don’t worry about making a bunch of money or being successful. Be concerned with doing good work and make the right choices and protect your work.

And if you build a good name eventually you know that name will be its own currency. And I remember when he told me that and I said, “Yeah, but William, my name’s Smith you know (just joking!).”

To be an artist, actually to be a human being in these times it’s all difficult. You have to go through life hopefully you know trying to stay healthy being as happy as you can pursuing and doing what you want.

If what you want is to have children, if what you want is to be a baker. If want you want is to live out in the woods or try to save the environment, or maybe what you want is to write scripts for detective shows. It doesn’t really matter you know.

What matters is to know what you want and pursue it and understand that it’s going to be hard. Because life is really difficult. You’re going to lose people you love. You’re going suffer heartbreak. Sometimes you’ll be sick. Sometimes you’ll have a really bad toothache. Sometimes you’ll be hungry.

But on the other end, you’ll have the most beautiful experiences. Sometimes just the sky. Sometimes you know a piece of work that you do that feels so wonderful. Or you find somebody to love. Or your children. There’s beautiful things in life so when you are suffering it’s part of the package.

You look at it: we’re born and we also have to die. We know that. So it makes sense that we’re going to be really happy and things are going to be really fucked up too. Just ride with it. It’s like a roller coaster ride. It’s never going to be perfect. It’s going to have perfect moments and then rough spots but it’s all worth it. Believe me, I think it is.

You know I’m sure that each generation can say that their time was the best and the worst of times.

But I think the right now we are at something different that I’ve never seen. It’s a pioneering time because there is no other their time in history like right now.

And that’s what makes it unique. It’s not unique because we have renaissance style artists – it’s unique because it’s a time of the people because technology has really democratized self-expression.

Instead of a handful of people making their own records or writing their own songs everybody can write them.

Everyone can post a poem on the Internet and have people read it. Everyone has access and access that they’ve never had before.

There is possibilities for global striking. There’s possibilities for bringing down these corporations and governments who think they rule the world because we can unite as one people through technology.

We’re all still figuring it out and what power that we actually have. But the people still do have the power more than ever.

And I think right now we’re going through this painful sort of like adolescence. Again, what do we do with this technology? What do we do with our world? Who are we?

But it also makes it exciting. You know all the young people right now, the new generations they’re pioneers in a new time.

So, I say stay strong. Try to have fun, but stay clean, stay healthy because you know you have a lot of challenges ahead.

And be happy.”

A video of Patti Smith’s Advice to the Young can be found on Vimeo at: http://vimeo.com/57857893

 

When writers collide

Your words flow like rain on bright summer flowers

Scent permeates sense under stooping orange bowers

My reply echoes pain while twin souls corrode

Stumbling upwards slowly on a bleak stony road

 

Pan flits like a paper shadow

And the girl looks up to the sparkling stars

Run, Skip, Dance, Hide

This is what happens when writers collide

 

Your sky shimmers grey over Hanover Street

Thursday traffic calms slowly amid busying feet

My coffee blackens taste buds in a time out of mind

Remembering what is precious from a world left behind

 

Pan flits like a paper shadow

And the girl looks up to the sparkling stars

Run, Skip, Dance, Hide

This is what happens when writers collide

 

Your eyes shine brightly above a smoking smile

Honesty tempts readers to bathe in your words for a while

My study is a sanctuary as the heat pipes just cough

Writing resurrects hope when the soul’s had enough

 

Pan flits like a paper shadow

And the girl looks up to the sparkling stars

Run, Skip, Dance, Hide

This is what happens when writers collide

 

The Moving Finger Writes

On the windswept dales of limestone Karst

See Emily play

A romantic farce

Heathcliff searches

For a Wuthering lust

The window glass shatters

Life returns to dust

But true love never dies

As the darkness fades to light

My soul is yours to keep

Bill Burroughs is writing tonight

 

My love she sleeps in Cham

In a bed of Norwegian wood

My heart is buried somewhere

Under Dylan’s old Milkwood

 

On the melting tarmac of Kerouac’s road

The sun now rises

On Sal’s paradise load

Dean Moriarty sleeps

His heart trips a beat

Life it still creeps

But true love never dies

As the darkness fades to light

My soul is yours to keep

Bill Burroughs is writing tonight

 

My love she sleeps in Cham

In a bed of Norwegian wood

My heart is buried somewhere

Under Dylan’s old Milkwood

 

On the frozen streets of forgotten Oslo

Knut Hamsun he tries to write

But words are just a show

As the hunger eats within

From Kafka, Joyce and Camus

His life is full of sin

But true love never dies

As the darkness fades to light

My soul is yours to keep

Bill Burroughs is writing tonight

 

My love she sleeps in Cham

In a bed of Norwegian wood

My heart is buried somewhere

Under Dylan’s old Milkwood

 

On Woody’s slow railroad train

The hobos beg for dimes

His broken voice remains

In another singer’s song

His tune plays ever onward

Bound for glory all along

But true love never dies

As the darkness fades to light

My soul is yours to keep

Bill Burroughs is writing tonight