Writer, poet and podcaster from London, Derek Owusu won the Desmond Elliott Prize 2020 for his debut book ‘That Reminds Me’. A semi-autobiographical story of a British-Ghanaian boy named K and his difficult childhood in foster homes which leads to a mental breakdown later.
“We had seen an advertisement of her, and we reached her down an enlarged rabbit-hole of a lane. At very first sight the Committee of Ways and Means [Mrs Kipling and himself]said ‘That’s her! The only She! Make an honest woman of her – quick!’. We entered and felt her Spirit – her Feng Shui – to be good. We went through every room and found no shadow of ancient regrets, stifled miseries, nor any menace though the ‘new’ end of her was three hundred years old…”
Rudyard Kipling on discovering Batemans, his future home.
Today I am delighted to introduce a guest post by Nicholas Carter, who is talking to us about the process of writing and also a resume of his debut novel, published today.
I’ll be honest here, I’ve never written a guest blog post before. I’m not really sure what I’m doing. I have blogged before, moderately, and I am a writer. I am author, and I have a book releasing today. This is the reason I’m here, but it feels a bit disingenuous to just write a few paragraphs about promoting a book from an author no one has heard of yet. So, it is for that reason that I’m just going to talk about myself for a moment, my journey, and of course tell you all a little about my book.
My name is Nicholas Lawrence Carter and ever since I can remember I’ve been writing. When I was a kid I loved to make lists. I made them constantly, and about everything. My favorite movies, TV shows, books, video games, places to go, food, all of it. I even made questionnaires for my friends and gave them out. They loved it, except they didn’t. I’m thirty-four years old and am just releasing my first novel. I took a long, and often quite unsafe, route to get to where I am in life. I’ll spare you all the less interesting details and sum it up with this; I made a lot of bad decisions.
A few years ago I finally gave into the prodding that has always been in the back of my mind. I’ve dabbled in many creative avenues, to varying levels of minimal success. I’ve written and directed short films and sketch videos, produced and hosted podcasts, one which was picked up on local TV for about two years, written for a film website, started my own film critique page, been on the creative team for an Independent wrestling company, along with a few other endeavors.
Notice that writing is a key aspect to all of those ventures? Why, then, did it take me so long to realize that writing novels is what I really should be doing? Honestly, fear. I was afraid of failing, afraid of putting all the time and effort into something and it going nowhere. All of those other creative ventures I’ve been on have involved other people. None of them were carried out by just myself. There was always this small voice telling me, “You did everything you could. You can’t help that the others didn’t put in the effort that you did.” And you know what? That’s a cop-out.
The realization that I wasn’t truly committing fully, even though I was trying to do something creative, changed my entire perspective. You get out what you put in. These days my social life has massively reduced, and I’m actually perfectly fine with that. I want to be an author and I enjoy the process, even when I really don’t want to write on a given day, I always enjoy having written something and making progress. I want to support myself with this skill that I believe I have. Am I still afraid? Yes, of course, but I refuse to let that hold me back any longer. I’ll never know what my true ability is if I do not throw everything I have at it and eliminate all possible doubt. So, that is what my life has been these past several years.
I’m just a person who loves stories, loves telling them, and hopes others will find some sort of interest, joy, emotion, and/or comfort in the ones I tell. I’ll wrap this up here and leave you with a little about my book that releases today.
A World Fallen is a thriller set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world. A disease outbreak, that turns those infected into murderous drones, destroys society. The book is a bit of a mash up throwing in elements of suspense, a little dash of horror, a Stand By Me meets The Walking Dead quasi coming-of-age vibe, and it has zombies. Talking zombies. This ain’t your daddy’s George A. Romero flick. I wouldn’t say that I ever intended to write a novel in the zombie/virus sub-genre, but I felt that I had a pretty unique approach to it. To speak on that more would be to spoil aspects of the story, so I’ll leave that hanging there to pique your interest. The book is available on Amazon today in eBook and Paperback, and it’s also available in Kindle Select. It would mean the world to me if you would check it out and leave a review. Good or bad, I read them all, and they’re all helpful to me in further developing my craft.
Thank you for choosing to spend some time with me and read this guest blog post. Check out my author website and catch me on Twitter. I’m always down to converse!
How do you find your voice, when no one seems to be listening? A young girl struggles to make herself heard, believing she is too insignificant and misunderstood to communicate with the people in her life.
We had a great time reading all the books for the East Sussex Children’s Book Award. A librarians dream task. This week we were delighted to announce author David Ouimet a very worthy winner with ‘I go Quiet’.
So this week I have been doing a tour of Italy with T.A. Williams. ‘Dreaming of Italy’ was Chic Lit Escapism and had me downloading two ‘learning Italian apps’ and browsing holidays in Italy for when travel restrictions ease up. I liked it!
Today we made our way along the South Coast from Eastbourne to Dungeness. Dungeness spans Dungeness Nuclear Power Station, the hamlet of Dungeness, and an ecological site at the same location.
The weather was hot, the top was down on the car and we hit the road.
Dungeness has one of the largest areas of vegetated shingle in Europe and is internationally important. It’s landscape is barren and wild with a mishmash of living accommodation made out of old railway carriages, mobile homes, sheds and old mobile homes alongside more traditionally built houses- wood and stone, all with beach sympathetic and inspired gardens . An artist’s paradise.
It’s bleak, unique, fascinating and one of my favourite places on Earth, whatever the weather.
It’s World Music Day today! The event is celebrated in over 120 countries including its country of origin France where it is known as ‘Fête de la Musique’ and is to honour both amateur and professional musicians. In cities worldwide, under normal, pre COVID-19, musicians would perform for free in public places.
Below is a whole gallery of my travelling music highlights.
“If music be the food of love, play on” William Shakespeare. Twelfth Night.
Reading Down to Earth was a journey back to my childhood. A nostalgic trip down memory lane being in the garden with my dad, also a horticultural by trade. Working with the seasons, preparing and working the ground, planting and harvesting. Learning to live with nature, not against it.
‘… all good gardens are as much about the people that make them as the plants growing in them.’