Following Mark’s recent article in ‘The UK Climber’ magazine, I talked to him about the inspiration behind his book, and whether there is more to come…
Sum up your book in a few sentences. What is it about?
The book explores how changing attitudes and approaches to rock climbing through the 80’s and 90’s bring differing values into conflict, and shape its evolution. The climbing scene during this period of turbulent change is illuminated with captivating pen pictures of some of the sports movers and shakers, providing insight into why certain individuals are so passionate about adventure. In the final analysis, the reader is asked to consider how our strategies for dealing with everyday hazards and risks can play an important role in our natural development and perhaps even our long term survival.
Who are the intended audience?
It is first and foremost a climbing book and will mainly appeal to active climbers and those with a more passive interest mountaineering history. It is a very human story however, and I hope it would appeal to those interested in gaining an insight into the motives of real adventurers.
What inspired you to start writing? Who inspired the story for your book?
They would be the great and talented climbers and comrades who I’ve had the privilege of climbing with over the years. Ultimately it is their story as much as it is mine.
What is your preferred style of writing?
I generally just sit down with a stream of thought, or an idea and see where it takes me. I don’t plan things out. Often when I’m out riding my bike a concept will come to me and I’ll develop things from there.
What made you look to 2QT publishing?
I like the way that Catherine and the team work – very personal. I need freedom when I work with people and 2QT provided a ‘loose framework’ for me to work within. I also recognise that they are an up and coming business. If my book is successful it will help 2QT and ultimately I believe the support will be reciprocated. I’m not superstitious, but things have a habit of going full circle if you know what I mean.
Any advice for anyone contemplating writing/publishing a book?
Believe in what you’re doing, get someone with experience to critique your work, and most importantly don’t give up – writing is a learning process.
What are you planning on/hoping to do next?
People who’ve read the book are already saying that I’ve got another one in me which is encouraging. It’s still early days however, and for me the proof of the pudding will be how well and how quickly this one sells, so I’m going to measure my writing performance in these terms. If it does OK, I might consider writing something else but I’ll have to generate material for a good read- after all this last one was based on forty odd years worth of life experience.
To purchase a copy of A Canvas of Rock click here
The Climber Magazine are offering a chance to win a signed copy of Mark’s book with purchase of the magazine. For your chance to win, click here
Interview by Kate Cousins, 2QT Publishing