Mark Liam Piggott Interview
Posted on 02 May 2008. © Copyright 2004-2024 WriteWords
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.
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