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The Knot

Tonight I have been working on my new novel, The Knot, which is painfully close to being completed, but unfortunately painfully far from being completed. I began it in January last year – before Kit was born, even before this blog existed. That’s how long it takes to write a novel. And indeed, plenty of them take longer. The Lord Of The Rings took Tolkien something crazy like 14 years (I’ve made that up, but I know he was writing it for a bloody long time). Catch-22 took seven years. Compared with these, my book has been almost like a hobby.

The net result is a book which I’m fairly sure is better than Eleven, but is reasonably likely to be less well received. It’s a lot less commercial, with a less neat plot, and it’s quite dark. Eleven itself hinged on a plot twist which was not a barrel of laughs, but here the entire story is not a barrel or even a small keg of laughs. The central idea, luckily enough, sounds quite appealing – it’s the story of a wedding photographer and the way he spends every weekend of his life capturing other people’s big days, without ever quite being involved himself. I think wedding photographers are an interesting breed: I’m always intrigued by people who spend their jobs as the minor players in some major scene, caught up in the action, yet slightly removed from it. Film extras, the people who draw suspects in court, ballboys at Wimbledon, the BBC’s sound operator in a warzone, the person turning the pages for the famous pianist. And so on. So this is about one of those guys.

But he has a dark secret (like Xavier, in Eleven) which threatens to destroy his life until he decides to take the biggest risk ever and deal with it. Hmm. Actually it sounds quite exciting, now I’ve described it like that. Maybe it’s all in the marketing, eh?

Anyway – I’m proud of it, even though it might not be to everyone’s tastes. It will come out in August next year but before then I’ll undoubtedly give away some copies on this site, like I did with Eleven. (By the way, one lucky reader of this blog has her name in The Knot as a minor character, after buying it at auction when my brother and I did that fundraiser.)

So there you are; a few details about the next novel. I’m thinking of reading a bit of it, for the first ever time, at my event in Cheltenham on Thursday, but we shall see. When the time comes it will, of course, be launched in the usual manner, with some sort of truly silly event in Edinburgh/London/Bristol/the moon. Then there will just be time to draw breath before the graphic novel, which I’m also busy beavering away at, comes out.

Oh, yeah. Plenty of books, me. Not just a man from the television.

21 Responses

  1. Misha says:

    Ooo, that sounds really rather super; but then as its well down i’ve got a horrific taste in my literature. That is to say, I like darker things, not that the things I like are shite.

  2. alot of rachels says:

    really enjoyed reading about The Knot, love all your books so look forward to owning this one.

    please do a book reading which was like Eleven at Latitude, still one of my highlights. I’ll supply the wine (not sure if that sounds creepy, it’s not meant to!)

  3. Zoe Fell says:

    Yay to all of this.
    It’s been so long since I read a fairly dark book – it looks like The Knot is going to be my kind of thing.

  4. Britt says:

    Ooh, this is exciting. Whenever I read one of your novels, I find myself feeling all inspired to write again.

  5. Wow Mark this is so exciting, I love a dark novel, by dark I hope you mean the text is white printed on black paper. Seriously, sounds like I will be hooked from the start and can’t wait to read it. You are a clever lad and no mistake, don’t let that nice head of yours swell now.

    I am pretty upset that I can’t make it to the Cheltenham Festival on the day you are there, ’tis only a short walk (I can say that now) away from me in Oxford, but I am in Dublin on Thursday seeing that Minchin person … speaking of heads swelling … he’s far to big for his boots … when he’s not barefoot that is … which reminds me, what’s the shoe situation with you at the moment?

    I’ll go now …. x

  6. oh … and being in the wedding game myself, I have quite a few wedding photographer friends, that’s all their birthday presents sorted from August of next year! :oP

  7. Madeleine says:

    Book sounds excellent Mark! I loved Eleven but I’m excited for something with a bit of a different feel. It’s always boring when people write the same book over and over again.

  8. Phill says:

    This sounds good, Mark. Looking forward to reading it :)

  9. Lydia says:

    The Knot sounds really interesting, I’m looking forward to it.

  10. Tibbs says:

    This all sounds very excellent.

  11. Corey says:

    I finally got round to reading Bullet Points and A Light Hearted Look at Murder last week and enkoyed both experiences. I did not see the end of BP coming, but I’ve got to say how much I enjoyed the latter, I started it in the morning before work and took the afternoon off so I could finish it as I couldn’t comtemplate having to wait till evening….really enjoyed it, more so than Eleven I think!? So the next installment is eagerly awaited here also.

  12. Tim Buckle says:

    The new book sounds good. Looking forward to reading it. I’m also looking forward to seeing your show at Durham this week.

  13. Sounds interesting. I haven’t actually read Eleven yet *looks sheepish*, mainly because I don’t have much time to read, and I have several other books I need to read first. That said, if I can borrow it from the library I’ll actually read it because there’s a deadline (i.e. the final return date), so I shall have to investigate that.

    Totally off-topic, are we still finding lookalikes of you? If so, I have a candidate [found when Gareth Malone retweeted him]:!/BlancVerse /

  14. Lizzy says:

    Wahoo! Very excited for your new book. I love your writing. Your books will end up filling a whole shelf at this rate! :]
    (I love dark plots too, so, perfecto.)

  15. Knox says:

    i totally missed this blog – i am missing days… like in some film, where the protagonist…misses days – i swear the last time i checked this blog was yesterday, but it was after the blog about bordon… i did spend most of monday evening thinking it was wednesday, so maybe that’s why…
    really need to sleep (that aspect of my tysic not going well…)

  16. Knox says:

    as for about the actual blog – the advent of a new book is sort of a tie with edinburgh fringe for ‘things that are reasons for time passing’. i am so excited and impatient for the book to come out, it’s absurd. do let me know if you need a proof-reader or pre-reader or anything like that – i am pretty sure you’d get a fair few volunteers.
    did i mention i’m excited about the book??? the kind of excitement where i have no words, so have to resort to making sort of “nnnnngghhh” sounds because they come closest to expressing that feeling.
    right – bed. work starts in 5 hours… foolish (*shaking my head*)

  17. Rachael says:

    It does sound exciting, I’m very much looking forward to reading it. Until then I will start imagining what his dark secret might be…

  18. Ingrid says:

    Ooh that does sound exciting (: Really looking forward to reading it. And a graphic novel too. Very interesting! (Edinburgh for the book tour please!)

  19. alicely says:

    Yay for the new book!!! I cannot wait to read it – bought Eleven after your Birmingham show earlier this year, and I loved it. In fact, I’d say it’s one of the best books I’ve read so far this year, and I read a lot! Am very excited!

  20. Charles says:

    New book? Yey!

  21. Cat says:

    I’m always proud of your books they’re amazing. :) I’m looking forward to the next one. Needs some signage of course.

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