My writing life.
I started writing when I was working in an ash-felt factory at 16.
The boredom and the influence of punk at that time lead me to write lyrics about the crap situation the working classes found themselves in; either, a boring job, mortgage, shit marriage, or unemployment. Not much of a choice!
I wrote lyrics and political essays about the state of life under Thatcher’s Britain.
Most of what I wrote was political, even such classics as 'I'm no lover I'm a lecherous man' were political. Life was pretty crap and thank god punk gave us an outlet for our distaste for the times.
No one ever offered me a place at University!
I then started to get invited to write, music gig reviews, political pieces, point of view articles as the social situation became more and more political.
From the gigs we organised which was all about doing it yourself, the gigs and reasons became more and more political.
From doing fund raisers for Oxfam, the gig being littered with my sheets of handouts about why Aid was crap, to turning the gigs into fund-raisers for The unemployment centre and then the miners benefits; my writing became less personal and more and more political.
I then went travelling and wrote bits about travelling and politics in different countries.
I didn't really have any direction, or training or any idea of where to go or take my writing. I just wrote what was needed for the times.
After more and more travelling I continued to write lyrics and political pieces. I then decided to do a self study course on creative writing.
I then started to write more stuff; stories and poetry to be published.
I did a WEA course for 10 weeks and working with a writer helped me a lot. And I started to write for guide books, 'what's on guides' and tried to get stories and poems published.
This was a successful period with articles on Politics, food, travel, music and so on published.
In 2012 I put together a collection of stories and articles in the form of a 'kind of travel book' travelling for the hell of it'
Since the publication of this book I started to submit poems and stories and essays to magazines.
My stuff has now been published in a variety of magazines and web sites.
I had to change my name for three reasons;
There's a really horrible hairdresser with the name 'Nick Clarke.'
there's a well known Journalist called Nick Clarke
I have used the name over the years and is in fact my Granddad’s family name, who brought me up when I was a little kid.
It's not about getting a trendy name.
My real life.
I have always loved travelling and have lived in six countries, and counting.
I love food, the cooking of it, buying and reading and writing about it.
I have a son, and my life is centred around him, more and more, and I love this. And have plans to sell our Eco-tourist lodge and go travelling for some years, just for the whole adventure of it!
I enjoy reading a lot. Watching football and ice-hockey with Joe and just walking and fishing In the mountains by our place.
The Clash and other punk bands influenced me more than any writer.
Writers; Zola, Bukowski, Paul Theroux, Annie Proux, George Pellicanos, Steinbeck and Orwell, just about cover all my tastes. Apart from Joanne Harris and Egon Ronay's books on food.
Films; All De-Niro's work and the films of Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, and the drama of Stephan Polliakoff.
I have passed on the heartache of being a West Brom fan, and for Joe I feel very sorry about this, but that's the way it goes!