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Local authors discuss their struggles in new books


Monitor staff
Wednesday, December 21, 2016

New Hampshire authors have a lot to share about their lives. These recently published titles take a non-fiction look at the events and places that have shaped them. From an artist’s conversation with strangers to a teenager’s struggle with life after rape, local authors let you into their personal hardships and triumphs.

‘Pep talks’

A little more than a year ago, Sue Anne Bottomley of New London illustrated and published Colorful Journey: An Artist’s Adventure Drawing Every Town in New Hampshire.

This fall, she released her second book, Pep Talks For The Would-Be Should-Be Artist.

The book contains 105 pages, 30 tips and 80 illustrations.

On her blog, sueannebottomley.blogspot.com, she writes that the new book was inspired by conversations she had with people who spotted her while she was working on her first book. People told her they used to draw, but fell out of it and couldn’t get back in.

The book is not a how-to-draw guide of things, but more an explanation of the drawing process.

Like her first book, her daughter Karin, a graphic designer, did the layout of the sections; husband Bruce scanned artwork and proofed the text and the book was published by Piscataqua Press in Portsmouth.

The book is available at Gibson’s Bookstore and online at Amazon and Barnes & Nobles.

‘The Last Laugh’

Newly-published author Jane Driskell Fairchild was raped on her prom night when she was 17 years old, became pregnant and was forced to marry her rapist.

She published a memoir on her difficult life this fall called The Last Laugh: Making Sense of it All.

In the book, Fairchild tells how after years of abuse, her marriage failed, and she became a single mother of two children. Because of her teen pregnancy, she’d been forced to drop out of her Illinois high school and never graduated. She had no education or job skills.

Fairchild fought to complete her education in the 1960s while working low-paying jobs, joining the anti-war movement and living on a commune. She went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing and a law degree. She now lives in Contoocook.

Shame surrounding the rape prevented her from telling her secret.

“No matter what the era, sexual assault scars a victim and disrupts her life journey in unknown ways,” Fairchild said in a statement. “Fear and silence about the incident and a life of instability and turmoil are common themes for sexual assault victims.”

That was the case until she attended her 50th class reunion. She realized, despite challenges, she’d lived a rewarding life.

The book is available from iUniverse, Amazon and Barnes & Nobles.

‘Black, White, or Other’

Zoie V. Little of Concord grew up feeling like she didn’t fit in.

Her skin color is different than that of the people around her. She’s adopted, and her siblings are not.

In her new book, Black, White, or Other, she hopes people who feel the same way will know they aren’t alone.

She knows how to overcome and rise above the negative opinions of those who are less accepting of her ethnicity. The world is a melting pot with many different races, and it’s okay to be different. It took Little many years to understand and be at peace with who she is when she looks in the mirror.

Even as an adult in today’s world, she still runs into people that do not accept her skin color. When this occurs, she smiles, says a small prayer for them, and always focuses on who she is today and where she is going tomorrow.

Little has an associate’s degree in business management, a bachelor’s degree in psychology and is an account manager for a financial company.

The book is available from the RoseDog Books in paperback and on Amazon for Kindle.

Little will discuss her book at Gibson’s Bookstore on Jan. 15 at 2 p.m.

‘New England College’

New England College now has a historical guide of itself by business professor Cynthia Burns Martin.

Founded in 1946, the Henniker college prides itself on innovative academic programs and efforts to teach veterans returning to the workforce.

In 1971, the college bought a British campus and was able to offer students to study outside the United States for four years.

The history provided in the book is supplemented by photos archived at the college’s Danforth Library.

Alumnus and board of trustee member Alexander Scourby wrote the forward.

The book is published by Arcadia Publishing, known for producing local history books.

‘Other Voices, Other Lives’

Barbara Bald of Alton is no stranger to the publishing world. The former New Hampshire poet laureate has had work printed in dozens of anthologies, and she released her own full-length book Drive-Through Window.

She’s joined by poet Beth Fox on a new collection, Other Voices, Other, Lives about their time volunteering in an assisted living facility.

The duo read poetry to the residents of Sugar Hill Retirement Community in Wolfeboro. They found the residents not only enjoyed hearing poems, but that the poems stirred old memories.

The women began helping record the residents’ memories with their poems and the book contains individual and group poems.

The book is available at Gibson’s Bookstore and the Country Bookseller in Wolfeboro.