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Mark's first play, Just Another Park Bench, debuted with two performances - one matinee and one evening. It was 30 minutes long and featured a rather cumbersome curtain call between scenes.
Mark was so unhappy with the first performance that he wrote another 20 minutes-worth of material for the evening show and created an entirely new character. His 'actors' weren't happy.
He was nine.
On stage that day, Mark studied what worked and what didn't, then set about adapting things in response. What could be funnier? What could be cut? He stared at the words, trying to work out how he could get more from each one. He was fascinated by each of them; their order, their influence and their importance. It's a fascination that remains to this day. In truth, he can sometimes be clumsy with words, ignorant of their rules and even irresponsible with them, but he never lacks appreciation of their impact.
So... 30-odd years after that play was performed, Mark's debut novel, I'd Sooner Starve! (Wild Wolf Publishing) was published. Following its success, he set about making words entertain once again. His second book, The Beard is the result.