Mark Watson Talks A Bit About LifeFlaws Mark Watson Tour 2014Hotel Alpha - the new novel by Mark Watson

Give me a bloody book competition BREAKING NEWS

Hello everyone.

A week ago I asked you to make a pitch for one of the first five copies of my new novel, Eleven. You had to draw things, tell a story, make a list, or beg. To help me pick the winners I recruited the editor of the novel, from Simon and Schuster, the lovely Francesca Main. (That was ‘the lovely’ as in ‘actually lovely’, rather than ‘patronising way that women are often introduced, e.g. ‘and now over to the lovely Deborah for the travel news’. Anyway, Francesca said – and I quote, by cut and pasting: 

‘Holy crap.  You have the most brilliant, imaginative, hilarious and just darn lovely band of blog-followers ever!’

….and suggested that we up the number of prizes to – wait for it -ELEVEN. Eleven book-winners. This is almost entirely because of the high standard of entries, and only slightly because we clearly should have had eleven books in the first place, what with the book being heavily based on that number.

So, we’re now choosing eleven from what is still an intimidating field of well over 100 entries. Even with these enhanced odds, most people will be unlucky. But some will be victorious. Tune in on Monday to find out who’s who. And well done everyone, again. It’s not every day your Blog Comment wins praise from a editor at a major publishing house.

As for me, well, I was on TV last night, I’ve just been on TV again, and now I’m going to eat my lunch, hopefully without any cameras there. Once again yesterday, some people remarked that they couldn’t find the blog, but others seemed to manage it all right. I can’t account for this except to say that I definitely am still doing one a day, and haven’t (quite) failed yet. So I hope you can see this. If not – well, it wasn’t a classic, in all honesty. But next week will, I think, be quite a week.

Small bit of admin: if you are new to this blog, my tour dates are elsewhere on the website. Please come and see me. On the tour, that is. I mean, you could drop round, but you’d need to phone ahead because I really am all over the place these days.

Right. What are you doing staring at the computer? Get out there and have a picnic or something! It’s beautiful outside! (Except in Scotland, as they say.)

26 Responses

  1. Robert says:

    If anyone is using livejournal, this blog is being syndicated there as feedmarkwatson:

    I’m sitting at my computer as I’m working today. I’ve just had a bit of a picnic in Alexandra Park and while there was on the phone to my friend in Edinburgh who was complaining of being unable to wear her converse today as they’re still soggy from last night’s rain.

  2. It’s beautiful in Scotland too. Well, the bit I’m in at least.

  3. Kate W says:

    *kicks self for not getting it together to enter*

  4. yes, i am all of those things that the nice lady said.

  5. Mel says:

    Or here in Melbourne where it is not only past midnight but rather cold and wet too.

  6. Misha says:

    I’ve just got back in from doing exercisey does that count?
    Eleven seems like a very good number of books to be sending about. Very exciting indeed.

  7. Rosanna says:

    Pretty new to he blog as I’ve been Reading bits n pieces since I saw you at a now show recording a couple of weeks ago. Just taken your advice and been to the beach :)
    Also, I thought I may have to miss this tour because of exams and money and the large number of shows I’m already going to but I’ve just found out you’re in Ashford where nothing ever happens, ever, so I might just have to go :D

  8. Ben says:

    ELEVEN!!! My chances just inproved by a factor too large to even contemplate (ie., a bit.)

    It’s a beautiful day and I have been stuck working in a shop. Such is life. It’s my day off tomorrow, so it will be raining. Sorry everybody, the rain tomorrow is my fault.

  9. Kathryn says:

    I went outside. It was cold. I came back in again.

    Lucky English people get all the nice weather. It’s baltic in Ireland.

  10. Emmy says:

    Aw, how nice of her. :)

  11. Charlotte says:

    Took your advice and went for a picnic but forgot the suncream. Am now quite badly sunburned… still worth it. Also, very excited that you’re coming to Hampton hill playhouse in July. Perfect way to celebrate the end of the exam season!

  12. Anji says:

    It has been an ok day in Exeter, and a little bit better in Bristol. Although the sun never quite burnt through fully.
    But an afternoon drinking sand tea, in the play house and playing hide and seek with my neice has made it a wonderful day!

    11 books! And compliments to boot. Making us wait tho, that’s a big mean! But at least it’s not 11 days or weeks, not to give any ideas…

  13. Matt says:

    Saw you on Soccer AM Mark. You were goo as always. Nice to see you plugging your Pohnpei.

    Good answer to the bizzare questioning of Tubes and dealing with the Dube. Interested in taking it up at all?

  14. Laurs says:

    Your publisher is lovely, literally. How nice to offer compliments. Says a lot about you too.

    And as for taking advantage of the sun, unfortunately, I’ve been ill with flu for the past couple of days, but still managed to, just about, visit one of best friends today. It was her daughter’s first birthday after all. Nice day, and sitting in the shade with a constant cool breeze has bought my temp right down. Win all round!!

  15. lisa brunders says:

    Seems obvious now, eleven books, but it never occured to me before!
    The standard was extremely high. Excellent.
    (I still can’t see the 22nd April blog, weird).

  16. Terry says:

    I read this earlier but somehow missed the last line, I went and had a barbecue round a friends and it was lovely!

    Also I’ve nearly breached the 50 views in a day mark on my blog which will be a record for mine since I began so just to shamelessly plug and get more views

  17. DeborahF says:

    Took advantage of the good weather and went to see a mate singing at a 1940s weekend (she’s ace and bookable for events Met Winston Churchill, Neville Chamberlain, Capt Mainwaring and the rest of the Dad’s Army lot – including Pike. Also saw lots of American GIs, British troops and even a few Germans. It’s bizarre what the British get up to on a weekend.

    Also praying for good weather in Derbyshire tomorrow (so anyone that vaguely believes in a God of some kind please put in a good word for me). I’m doing a 9 mile sponsored walk for Parkinsons UK and would like more sunny weather for the duration. If anyone is feeling generous or finds a spare quid down the sofa whilst cleaning up tomorrow I would be mighty grateful if you would sponsor me at

    Right off to bed as it’s an early start tomorrow.

  18. Rachel Winter says:


    And I may well get her words copied, enlarged and made into wallpaper!

  19. amycool says:

    I went to the park for a picnic without any prompting at all! Stood next to lots of red deer, which I found slightly scary.

    Even with eleven winners, I’m very confident I didn’t win, but it’ll be lovely for the eleven who do. And still it’s nice to know that an editor has seen something I have written and not been disgusted. :-)

  20. Maddie says:

    Hooray for the eleven-ness of it all!

    I had to work today, even though I was assured the day off. I did, however, find time to buy possibly one of the most tacky and cheesy 90’s album ever, which made me smile.

  21. perian says:

    Like attracts like, right? So we’re “brilliant, imaginative, hilarious and just darn lovely” because you are.

    And it’s blizzarding in Calgary (and the middle of the night), so I’ll pass on the picnic.

  22. ShineUrShoesGuv says:

    You are all bloody lovely though!

  23. Rachael says:

    It’s raining here now so I think I’ll stay in bed, sorry to disobey. :)

  24. Ben says:

    PS just saw you on the back page of the Sunday Times Culture, BIG tour advert.You are a scholar and a gentleman, it said. Good work.

  25. Knox says:

    *sigh* at missing chance of entering – another reason to keep up with the blog on a daily (rather than, say, annual) basis :0)

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