Thursday, June 19, 2014

Brief Confessions of a Photojournalist #1

Word counts! For magazines! How do you do a great narrative justice in ONLY 1200 words? I remember having this problem at school. I once wrote a seven page high school essay and my long-suffering English teacher (the incomparable Mrs Cranke) complained, saying it needed to be two pages. So I took the book back, grabbed a pen and a ruler, and drew a line through the middle five pages. Then I gave it back to her and said, "There, two pages." And she said, "Don't ever do that again."

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Recidivist Acts, Oscar Pistorius and the crime that shocked the world - feedback from Readers

"Hi Nick
I have just finished reading your latest work - Recidivist Acts - I was totally hooked!
I was absolutely useless at work today, as a result of reading in to the wee hours of the morning!
I enjoyed the references to Tolkien, Churchill, etc and the questioning of who exactly Oscar Pistorius is.
I have recently relocated to Sydney with a pharmaceutical company specialising in psychiatry - so all the Freudisms, etc referred to appeal to me just as much!
I'm on the other side of the world but will be following the trial in 'stalker' fashion!
Hope you bring a book out based on the outcome...I look forward to it
All the best,

Liezl Kitchin" - via email 

"As a reporter covering the Oscar Pistorius trial I found this eBook to be a very interesting read. It's clear that the author spent a lot of time researching and subsequently compiling it. I found that Van der Leek's analysis of Pistorius hit home and I especially enjoyed the part about the study relating to 911 callers and how you can differentiate between a guilty and innocent person by the words they use. But the book is also well written and I sincerely hope that it receives the necessary notice from publishers." - Jacques Steenkamp, investigative reporter and author of the bestselling Griekwastad Murders

"Great research into Oscar Pistorius's athletics record. South African Photojournalist Nick van der Leek digs deep to assess whether Oscar Pistorius is indeed mentally disabled or something rather different. It puts a great deal of what we saw in court into perspective. And is a wake-up call for the Sultans of Spin and their collaborators, those compliant journalists who never had the guts to expose what they should have." – Alec Hogg, Editor, writer and broadcaster 

"Recidivist Acts: Oscar Pistorius Nick van der Leek nails it. Asks the right questions. A must read." - Jani Allan, via Twitter

For more information, go here.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Reeva in her own Words - Feedback from Readers

"Bought it. Read it. Good stuff!" -  John Carlin, author of Playing the Enemy [INVICTUS], Rafa and White Angels [Via Twitter]

This was a very informative peek into Reeva's everyday life and also her philosophy of life and its true meaning. - Pam Bonfiglio,Verified Purchase

"Nick - you're a brilliant writer with a brilliant mind. I'm lost for words. Phew! Very very explicit, and so in depth. Thank you, you're a voice for Reeva, the silenced lamb." - Maggie Taylor

"Jou boek oor Reeva is wonderlik geskryf en die trane loop tydens die lees daarvan. Ek het die reeks van haar op TV gekyk en sy was so 'n ongelooflike jong vrou." - Joan Barlow Riekert.

By analysing and exploring more than six years of Reeva's Facebook activity, Nick van der Leek has managed to bring this astounding and sensitive woman to life - by allowing her to speak in her own words. One last time. - Rimstim/Amazon Kindle Customer Review

'Reeva in her own Words' currently ranked # 31 on Amazon's Bestseller list. Take a look here.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Reeva in her own Words - by Nick van der Leek [AVAILABLE ON AMAZON KINDLE]

In the early hours of Valentine's Day, 2013, Oscar Pistorius, a world famous sporting icon, fired four bullets through the bathroom door in his home, mortally wounding his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. 

Up until now, the narrative has been all about Oscar Pistorius. But so far Reeva's voice has not been heard. Reeva Steenkamp's story is equally if not more compelling than Oscar's. In this incredible compilation of comments, snippets and updates, we see someone struggling to loose weight, court the tricky world of fashion modelling and celebrity, whilst battling to stay afloat, and healthy, and in one place. 

Reeva reveals her unhappiness in Johannesburg, a cancer scare, and many travails with family and friends. That she succeeded in an Olympic like regimen of training to sculpt herself into a goddess, against a backdrop of disappointment and struggle and - to some extent - unrequited love, is a testament to her extraordinary determination and ambition. 

She dreamt a dream and then she went out and lived it. 

The tragedy is that just as her courage was finally bearing fruit, her life was cruelly stolen from her. Because just as Oscar's journey to overcome massive obstacles was heroic, so was hers. 

Reeva's own story is one of rags to riches, of fighting hard for her place in the sun. Despite what many people think, Reeva Steenkamp's brand was on the upswing long before she met Oscar, and ironically, Oscar's brand was beginning to slip. Also, Reeva's Management Company - Capacity Relations - did not feel Oscar's brand was good for hers. This is likely to have incensed Oscar. 

But who was Reeva? And how had she conducted herself in her relationships prior to Oscar? For the first time Reeva is revealed, not merely as Oscar's model girlfriend, or as a reality star, but as Reeva in her own words.

Order your copy on Kindle here.