You Didn’t Build That, Nick: Dark Slivers and Friends

This should be known as the “somebody helped” speech – I agree with it entirely though its phrasing is weak at times. Tomorrow I’ll get on with the set-list analysis (boy, it is time-consuming stuff!) but its a Friday and I wanted to pause…Especially as I gave permission yesterday for the second edition of Dark Slivers to go to print and the application to sell the paperback via Amazon and Waterstones went in.

Ordered 2nd Edition_7 Feb 2013

Yep, I’m very proud of Dark Slivers – if you’re asking, I, Nick Soulsby, genuinely believe that I have created a book that doesn’t duplicate or simply repeat the same old stories about Nirvana; I think I’ve come to some unique and never considered conclusions and have reinforced and argued them with a strength not seen before…Yes, I’m proud of Dark Slivers: Seeing Nirvana in the Shards of Incesticide.

But does that mean I see myself as a genius? Heck no! I’m in contact now with people I think of as ‘uber-fans’ – guys who have dedicated their time and energies to Nirvana and who intimidate and impressive me constantly with their knowledge and command of detail. The fact they’ve enjoyed the book means a lot to me and they’ve contributed thoughts that I’ve built on and learnt from since.

Meanwhile, to get the book done in the first place – wow, the amount of work involved… My designer Maureen Johnson worked like a demon under tight pressures to make it look right, that’s around a demanding day job, she and I sharing screens between U.S. and U.K. at horrendous times of night to check changes. She had to do it all over again recently for the next version of the book. And of course it was Maureen who came up with the style for the front cover – she made that image. I couldn’t have done this without her. My publisher Ben Sumner runs Running Water Press, again, I needed someone who could advise on the process, who could buy ISBN numbers, understood how to register the book as my property, has the know-how to have the conversations with the big retailers – I can’t do this without him. Many’s the day I’ve called him out for coffee just so I could rant in frustration, even that gave the energy to continue. A friend called Keith Wotherspoon appeared fortuitously, the man is an expert Intellectual Property lawyer and I was understandably terrified that if I quoted lyrics could I be sued? He checked the law for me, gave me the information – again, that’s not something I could have done alone.

Similarly, in the background, various friends contributed thoughts, reviews, opinions, simple encouragement every step of the way – I list about a dozen people in the acknowledgements at the back of the book and each one did me the honour of taking time to read for me at a time when I could barely see the pages anymore I’d lived with the words for so long. I needed them utterly. My dear colleague Shrikant working on the data material – that’s phenomenal, someone taking the time to do that for me – he’s created a spreadsheet showing every single month in which Nirvana performed, what songs they performed and how many times that month…Incredible.

And now, today, what’s made the difference is having people who have read the book take the time to drop me a line and say what was good, what I should think about, what they think about it overall. I’m fascinated hearing about their lives, their achievements (so many talented people! Artists, mothers, musicians, writers…) and it makes this SO enjoyable for me. I truly love hearing from everyone – it makes this a pleasure and encourages me to keep going. I work maybe 20-30 hours a week on top of my full time day job to do the blog and to keep trying to encourage others to try the book…Without this encouragement I’d have given up back in January. Each person who has written to me, thank you, you have made a difference and no, I didn’t build Dark Slivers, or alone. Thanks to you.

I’m proud of me…But I needed several dozen people to make it come true. I didn’t build that.


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