New Fiction - Winner 2007
Mark had written four short stories before he discovered a technique he calls ‘spew and slash’ that developed his writing beyond anything before. He felt like he was disgorging from his unconscious and afterwards cutting into the content with his consciousness thus forming something coherent, yet fantastic. He admires the surrealist writings of Angela Carter, preferring a fantasy that is based in a reality he recognises. In terms of fiction he describes himself happiest when ‘secure in the arms of a strong plot, cocooned against his daily chores’.
In his first novel Fresh to be published by Canongate in April 2007, Mark sets the characters of his novel in a Scottish chicken processing factory, providing an expertly realistic backdrop to the ensuing story. Mark works also with schizophrenics as a housing and resettlement worker in Norwich.