Alumnus uses innovative publishing strategy to publish first novel

Posted on 19 October 2012

A University of Wales Alumnus is this month publishing his first novel, with which he hopes is an innovative publication strategy.

Mouseman by Mark Woodward is described as a comic, dark and unsettling novel. It explores the dysfunctional social and romantic relationships of men through the life of MM, its obsessive narrator. The first three chapters of the book were shortlisted for the for the 2012 Yeovil Literary Prize.

Mouseman will be published as an ebook in five weekly episodes via Amazon and as a free PDF. Readers will be invited to post comments, criticisms and questions on a Mouseman Facebook page, where Mark will also post his responses. The first episode was published on the 16th October, and once all five episodes have been released, the book will go on sale as a single volume ebook and as a paperback.

Speaking about his reasons for publishing his novel in this way, Mark explains:

“My aim is to engage with readers and make the process of reading more interactive, and possibly to revise the text in the light of readers' comments and suggestions”.

Mark gained his PGCE from the University of Wales, Newport. In the same year as he started his PGCE, he finished an MA in Creative Writing at Lancaster University, and it was on this course that the first draft of Mouseman was written. 

“The book came about when I realised that several pieces of work in progress actually belonged together, and after ten years of revision, frustration and the occasional laptop-throwing incident, the book has finally been finished. The impulse to write it was not so much inspiration as a compulsive refusal to let it go”.

As well as writing, Mark has taken a keen interest in delivering adult and community learning to local communities, especially in his home county of Herefordshire.

“Achieving my PGCE and professional qualification as an adult literacy teacher was a great benefit to me, enabling me to work for Shropshire County Council, Herefordshire Council and the Herefordshire Literacy Project, and eventually to set up Red Spark Learning - a Community Interest Company delivering adult and community learning in Herefordshire.”

Alongside his partner in Red Spark Learning, Tricia Newby, Mark is currently developing a project called Writing Idol. The aim of the project is to support writers of fiction and non-fiction through every stage of the writing and publishing process, and to promote good work to the reading public.

For more information about Mark and Mouseman, you can visit the Writing Idol website – or view the latest weekly episode on Amazon now.


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