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Inside the CrocodileWinner of the GOLD award for non-fiction in

the Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2015

 

Inside the Crocodile: The Papua New Guinea Journals

A rare insider view of the most culturally diverse nation on earth.

While the author copes with crocodiles under the blackboard and sorcery in the office, survives near-fatal malaria, mollifies irascible politicians and an ever-changing roster of bosses, humour and human truths emerge like passing flights of birds of paradise.

Five years on a development project in the rugged West Sepik province of Papua New Guinea more than fulfils Trish Nicholson’s desire for a challenge.

aerial isolated airstrip by the SepikRemote valleys are reached by tiny planes landing on airstrips cut with grass-knives and squeezed between mountains. Students build their own schools, babies’ weights are recorded in rice bags and women walk for days carrying produce to market.

Trish tells their stories and shares her life in this ‘land of surprises’ – including the hair-raising Oksapmin to Kopiago trail, and Frisbee, the dog she inherits.

 

Vine bridge over the Strickland River
Vine bridge over the Strickland River

REVIEWS:

Extract from The Australian (also posted by its authors, Keith Jackson and Phil Fitzpatrick, on their website PNG Attitude)

‘Nicholson kept a daily journal during her five years in PNG and this along with an ­unusually perceptive eye guide a lucid, candid and entertaining narrative through a series of adventures, challenges, barriers and hurdles that would represent a lifetime’s ulcer-inducing travail for your typical public servant.

Fortunately Nicholson was resilient and possessed a well-developed sense of humour, useful traits for anyone working in PNG then and now.

Inside the Crocodile is a captivating travel memoir. It’s also a well-crafted insight into the official mechanisms and cultural characteristics that drive and sometimes blight a remarkable country.

The book is a good read with a serious edge that will be of special interest to people with experience of PNG … Above all, it is an alluring and accurate account of a country important …’ Read the whole review here:

From review by Anne Stormont on her blog Put It In Writing and on Goodreads:

‘There are accounts of many dangerous moments – in tiny aeroplanes flying low over high peaks, of jungle hikes involving rickety bridges over deep ravines, and of her own brush with death due to malaria.

There’s a real TV documentary feel to this book – so clear and vivid is the writing. You feel as you read that you’re experiencing life in this jungle landscape, including the appearance of the eponymous crocodile.

This is a superb account of a brave and resourceful woman’s time in one of the world’s most remote and challenging locations.’ Read the whole review here:

Where to buy the paperback edition of Inside the Crocodile:

Or buy the digital edition from your favourite online supplier wherever you are.

 

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Journey in Bhutan: Himalayan Trek in the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon

 bhutan-coverExplore deep in the Himalayas, in the tiny Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan. Walk beside the author along a 100 mile trek through surreal landscapes and knee-wrenching passes at 5000 metres. Meet herders in high summer pastures making cheese from yak’s milk, and hear tinkling prayer wheels spun by waterfalls in remote gorges.

We climb to Taktsang, the spectacular Tiger’s Nest of temples atop a 1000 metre cliff, and visit ancient Kyichu Lhakhang to absorb the sanctity of centuries in the haze of incense, glowing butter-lamps and chanting monks.

ShrineThen hold tight along precipitous hairpin bends to Thimphu and Punakha to witness monastery rituals, and meander through shops offering the world’s most exquisite weaving and carving.

This vivid and lyrical travelogue leads you into Bhutanese culture and history, and with infectious humour, draws the characters of her American and Australian travelling companions. For discerning readers, appendices include a glossary of Dzongka words, a historical timeline and a Survival Guide to Bhutanese Buddhism.

What reviewers say about Journey in Bhutan:

Journey in Bhutan brought me to a world I’d never imagined … astounding description, a detailed and lush understanding of language helped place me there looking over the author’s shoulder.’ Justin Bogdanovitch, In Classic Style magazine

‘An exceptional example of travel memoir … an intelligent, thoughtful and entertaining book that I highly recommend.’ Dionne Lister

‘I connected with the people she met and learnt the power of their spiritual confidence. Wonderful, exhilarating and beautiful. I now long to follow in her footsteps.’ Valerie Poore

‘Trish Nicholson is the perfect travelling companion: non-judgemental, fundamentally observant and warmly fascinated by everything she experiences. She writes beautifully too! For anyone who loves to discover other places and other peoples, you could not do better than this.’ Gabrielle Kimm

Where to buy the ebook Journey in Bhutan:

USA   http://tiny.cc/7ag01x
 UK     http://tiny.cc/ugg01x

Or from your favourite online store worldwide

Bharal, native blue sheep of the Himalaya
Bharal, native blue sheep of the Himalaya

 

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Writing Your Nonfiction Book: the complete guide to becoming an author

nonfic-coverEver wanted to share your passion, tell your story or pass on a skill? Here is your chance. Memoir, travelogue, history, biography, how-to, self-help or textbook, Writing Your Nonfiction Book guides you through the whole process from idea to published book and how to market it.

The advice is relevant to both print and digital publishing whether by traditional routes or self-publishing, and includes tips on each specific sub-genre.

Though suitable for first-time authors, there is much in this book for experienced writers of non-fiction, and even fiction.

Written in a friendly, accessible style, the book has a global scope and lists resources and useful websites for various countries. Writing Your Nonfiction Book has been adopted as a standard text by international writing courses.

What reviewers say about Writing Your Nonfiction Book:

‘Essential how-to manual for writers of every sort.’ Words with JAM ezine

‘Don’t write before you read this.’ Writer’s Block website

‘A superb collection of everything one needs to know about writing – from defining your subject through to marketing the finished product.’ Self Publishing Magazine

Read the complete review from Self Publishing Magazine:

‘Having reviewed many books on how to write/edit/market your book they all have some good tips, but this one has the lot! In fact one could say it’s the ‘real deal.’ Not having read author Trish Nicholson’s other published work, I can’t speak for her prowess as an author, but I can say that Writing Your Nonfiction Book is a superb collection of everything one needs to know about writing – from defining your subject through to marketing the finished product.

Aimed at nonfiction writers, the content applies equally to fiction (for example writing style, narrators and points of view, plotting the action, writing people as characters). 

The contents pages are impressive – catchy and informative chapter titles and key points that outline exactly what one can expect to find. As with any good nonfiction book, each chapter ends with ‘What to do now.’ Each chapter has plenty of examples (many from famous authors) to illustrate key points and the book is also extremely well edited. I was able to pick up really useful points – plus I actually learnt something.

I was particularly impressed with the sections on grammar such as sentence construction, use of tense and so on. I actually thought Nicholson had missed a point that had always perplexed me – the use of a dash (–) in a sentence, but no, there it was a few pages later.

I think ‘must read’ is too hackneyed a phrase to describe this book, but if you’re an author, I strongly recommend you go out and buy it.’

Where to buy Writing Your Nonfiction Book:

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Book Depository (print only/free freight) 

In the UK  Buy direct from the publisher using the discount code (print only).

or download the ebook from your favourite online bookstore worldwide.

And you can order the paperback from your favourite local bookshop. Trade orders can be made through the following distributors: Orca Book Services, Gardners, Bertrams, or via Nielsen’s teleordering.

And here are 10 Good Reasons to Write Your Non-fiction Book.

1. Share with others your passion for a particular subject: look at the rack upon rack of special interest and hobby magazines in newsagents – people who buy them are your potential readers. Pets, sport, craft, food, fitness, gardening – the field is wide open.

2. Compile a personal account for family, friends and posterity: memories and the wisdom of our elders are precious, and too easily lost, leaving young people feeling rootless. Don’t wait until, sadly, it’s ‘too late’ to ask Grandpa.

3. Correct the record of events or issues with new facts or insights: misinformation, bias, or simply lack of knowledge is everywhere; if you can access new evidence, or offer fresh perspectives, you could set the picture straight.

4. Enable others to benefit from your special experience: emigrating, gardening, travelling, applying specific skills, coping with personal crises – whatever your adventures or personal challenges, sharing the know-how may help and encourage readers.

5. Disseminate a message you feel is of wide public interest: topics like health, the environment, and social/economic policies, are of concern to large numbers of people. You could provide fresh insights.

6. Increase your professional credibility in a subject to further your career: as an author, you become an authority, whether on cooking, history, art, retailing, photography or any other branch of learning.

7. Apply the book as a promotional and marketing tool to boost your business: there are many ways of increasing the credibility and visibility of your company through authoring a book relevant to your sector, product, or skill set.

8. Support and publicise a charitable cause: a memoir, documentary or set of case studies are all possible ways of sharpening the profile, raising funds, or increasing volunteer participation, e.g. for disability groups, or the environment.

9. Generate income: the competition is tough, but it is easier to get published in nonfiction than fiction, or you can publish your book yourself.

10. Enjoy the challenge and satisfaction of doing so: to write a well-crafted book is enormously rewarding; it leaves a heritage for others, and it will keep you out of mischief for a considerable time.

Happy and successful writing!

 

 

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Work in Progress

‘Go, and catch a falling star.’ John Donne

The star I caught – affectionately nick-named ‘magnum opus’ – is an adult, narrative non-fiction celebration of Story. Even after editing, this is a long manuscript because it needs to be: it’s an extensive journey through time and place in the company of storytellers.

 

The dining-room extension - my two-metre desk is already overflowing.
The dining-room extension – my two-metre desk is already overflowing.

Researching, sifting, selecting, and kneading the results into an entertaining and informative true tale, presents a huge task though a labour of love. With only a couple more chapters to completion, I’m discussing illustrations with a well-published artist and expect to begin submissions before Easter.

Early expressions of interest would be inspiring.

‘The universe is made of stories, not atoms.’ Muriel Rukeyser

 

Latest News

 

 

 

Inside the Crocodile has won the GOLD award

for non-fiction at the Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2015!

 

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