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Mark Liam Piggott Interview

Posted on 02 May 2008. © Copyright 2004-2024 WriteWords
A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
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WriteWords talks to debut novelist Mark Liam Piggott

Tell us all about your writing background- what you’ve written, what you’re currently writing

My first novel, “Fire Horses”, is published by Legend Press on 31st May. I’ve had major features in most of the nationals – Guardian, Independent, Telegraph etc. Plus short stories in Aesthetica Magazine, a Pulp anthology, and online at literary sites.

To pay the rent I write websites and brochures for various organisations but god I hate it... Still, at least I don’t have to use up my ideas.

How did you start writing?

As a small child I wrote poems and stories, and aged 11 tried to write a novel about an alcoholic ex-footballer (“Days of Wine and Roses”!) Why? So many reasons: because I’m not a good conversationalist; because I want to change the world; because I need to record the things I feel and see; because I’m a raging egomaniac.

Who are your favourite writers and why?

John Updike, for writing about “ordinary” people in an extraordinary way; Philip Roth, for his vision; Martin Amis, for his style (except Yellow Dog). Plus hundreds more.

How did you get your first agent/ commission?

Had commissions from the nationals at 20, got my first literary agent at 25, then a second at 32, but neither really helped me a great deal. Both wanted me to write thrillers, which I didn’t – I just didn’t know what I DID want to write. In the end I did my MA in novel writing at Manchester and saw the light...

What's the worst thing about writing?


And the best?


Tell us what kind of responses you get from audiences\ readers.

Friends say I write stuff that’s too close to the truth; my family would probably say I rewrite history. Both are right.

What was your breakthrough moment?

Had a few breakthroughs in various ways – first cheque for writing; first article in a paper; first short stories in books and magazines; but none really compared to hearing my first novel had been accepted.

A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
Click here to learn more about becoming a member.

Comments by other Members

pilgrimrose at 15:36 on 01 July 2008  Report this post
I' d back ' driven' over ' inspired' any day, Mark. Inspiration has to be mined and often comes towards the end of a piece. It' s worthwhile timing your screensaver to come on every five minutes so you don' t debate and daydream too long. That way,you get to keep your nerve, too. Once it' s all down there, you can knock it into shape. Slick editorial skills are the writer' s most valuable tools. The best stories are often told between the lines. Anyway, congratulations and good luck! The second novel will probably be harder to write than the first, but I' m sure you'll persevere!

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