Thursday, July 24, 2014

Strip tease - published in the Summer 2014 edition of London-based Travel Africa magazine

Although I traveled as a guest of the Gondwana Collection to the Caprivi in September last year (an 8000km road trip in a 4x2) some of those stories are only seeing the light of day now.

One of them was pitched and accepted almost immediately, by Drive Out magazine. During November 2013 I did a number of rewrites for them. The editor then changed his mind (this was in December) and yes, it's taken 7 months to place the story elsewhere since then.  That's the life of the freelancer.  Fun, perilous, awesome.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars "Excellent research, and so much thought" July 17, 2014

"A must-read. Excellent research, and so much thought. After that trial, here in Van der Leek's books there is finally some sense. Very, very thought-provoking, often chillingly so." - Julia Lloyd, on Resurrection, currently ranked #34 Amazon Bestseller For a free preview go here and click on "Look Inside".


Saturday, July 5, 2014

"So what is this third eBook of yours - Resurrection - all about exactly?"

Is Oscar's narrative, as a man, a valid one? Is his narrative of uniqueness, being exceptional, beating the odds, and enjoying no special advantages, authentic?  Is it fair for a disabled man to compete with artificial limbs across both Olympic Games (able-bodied and disabled)?

 By examining his intentionality, and responses to reasoned criticism (especially by the IAAF, writers such as Sokolove and McEvoy, and scientists such as Dr Ross Tucker) Book #3 in the Oscar Pistorius Murder Trial series seeks to shed light more specifically on Another Oscar.

Why would a disabled man seek to portray himself so aggressively as able-bodied?  Not only on the athletics track, but off it. Are there consequences to the - sometimes constructive, sometimes painstaking, often exhausting - process of constantly manufacturing oneself (and one's narrative) for public consumption?

Is there a cost to permanently projecting a persona of masculinity and invulnerability?  Yes, if the rewards are great, the costs to the individual are proportionately great, because the compulsion to protect and conceal only increases. There are financial incentives involved in maintaining this fake diplomacy.  But what sort of personal toll are we talking about? And who else is affected? And in the final analysis, how do we tell the real Oscar from the gleaming fake?

Ray Wicksell, Oscar's former agent and manager, and a man who broke the 4 minute mile 24 times, shares his firsthand experiences with Oscar.  Oscar and Wicksell's two daughters trained together, and attended the same meets with Oscar.  Oscar was a close friend of the Wicksell family, which is why Ray Wicksell's account is both groundbreaking and moving.  He shares the very real sentiments that "the world loved Oscar because he was lovable."

Legal experts (including Ulrich Roux and David Dadic) discuss the possibilities of an appeal, which is Oscar's best hope at this point, of finding his way towards Resurrection.

The media also provides a mountain of clues, most just sound and fury, but some messages stand out as significant.
The failure of the media to participate in the specific narrative that Resurrection attempts to uncover shows the media - even this late in the game - don't want to burn their bridges with one of the greatest media stories in modern history. In case he comes back.  In case he's acquitted.  In case, yes, Oscar undergoes Resurrection.
But by first participating and perpetuating Oscar's story to an unsuspecting public, and then failing to reframe this narrative when its validity is clearly called into question, the media mechanism also reveals itself as a fundamentally flawed, financially incentivised mechanism, and thus prone to bias.  Discernment, it turns out, is a precious faculty, and common sense in the world of sport, celebrity, and even the law, is fairly uncommon.

By piecing together mountains of testimony, social media, and various disclosures by all the major players in Oscar's melodrama - not least of which are Oscar's and Reeva's own words - Nick van der Leek does what thus far has not been revealed.  Not by the media.  Not by the social media rumour mill. Not even by the state prosecutor. Van Der Leek manages to put it all together to reveal Another Narrative. And with it, a compelling case for MOTIVE is put forward for the first time.

Note: Resurrection is the third in the series of 5 Oscar Pistorius Murder Trial eBooks. Resurrection specifically interrogates the validity of the various Oscar Trial narratives. Digital Rights Management applies to this manuscript.  It may not be quoted from other than with the express permission of its author.

Price R35
Pages: 207
Required: Digital device, internet connection, free kindle app.
To view or buy RESURRECTION go here.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Early Reviews of RESURRECTION, Book #3 in freelance photojournalist Nick van der Leek's series on the Oscar Pistorius Trial

"By the way, I bought your Oscar Pistorius books – am very interested in that trial. Well …at last some sense to it all. You are on to something. Excellent reads with so much research and so so much thought. I was most impressed. Hope they do well." - JL, Sub-editor
The above comment made by Jani Allan is posted in the comment forum below her 'Letter to Oscar'. It can be verified at this link. 

"The public deserve to read [the Oscar Pistorius Trial eBook series]. Nobody could have done it the way you did.  They're genius. - Maggie Taylor, via Whatsapp

"Holy crap it is awesome!!! You have captured so much of what so many believe and hypothesize about on Twitter. Btw did you know there were a pair of jeans lying outside on the pathway outside the bathroom window (he said he heard what sounded like the window opening?) Your theory of her going to the bathroom to use the phone would fit in with the jeans being thrown out for her escape-. She could pretend she was going downstairs to get something to eat and then make a run for it. 
Your theory is great and makes perfect sense.
The bursary idea is great and there are many people out there who would love to see that happen and help it come to reality. I will certainly want to be involved in some way. Well done Nick - I don't think it's megalomaniac at all! - Terry Wittwen, via email