A coffee-guzzling journalist turned novelist, Mark Cantrell has long-since taken a fancy to the literary life – but he was gobsmacked to discover it actually demands hard work.
Nevertheless, he’s stuck it out. The result is a respectable body of work. Mark is the author of CITIZEN ZERO (2017) and SILAS MORLOCK (2013), both published by Inspired Quill. He’s also written numerous short stories, reams of articles, and even dabbled in poetry.
One might say the staple diet of Mark’s writing life is the journalism; well it’s how he earns his keep, after all. As a workaday hack, he’s largely written for B2B trade journals, but in an ‘extra curricular’ capacity he writes about matters a little closer to his heart, whether that’s the worlds of literature, culture, politics and current affairs, or just little things that catch his eye.
The journalism has taken him into some odd situations: he’s found himself taking part in grass-roots campaigning; he’s smelled the vinegar in the midst of a major anti-capitalist protest; he found himself in the thick of it when a riot kicked off; and in the wake of an international terror scare, an article he wrote for an obscure local history magazine once got him interviewed on BBC radio as an ‘expert’ on anthrax. Yes, it can be a funny old game can journalism.
On more mundane matters, Mark is a ‘Tyke in exile’ or an ‘ex-pat’ Yorkshireman if you prefer. He was born and bred in Bradford, West Yorkshire, where he got his first journalism job, writing about the global textile industry. He took a degree in political theory and institutions at the University of Liverpool, before heading off to the capital to train as a journalist at The City University, London. These days he lives in Stoke-on-Trent and commutes to the day job in Manchester.
As writing careers go, Mark has probably had something of an oddball progression – but is there ever such a thing as a ‘standard’ writing career? This probably reflects the origins of his writing life. Way back when, he took his first curious steps into creative writing by crafting text adventures for the ZX Spectrum home computer. One of these early ‘indie published’ efforts even won an award, which can’t be bad. From such humble beginnings, a writer was born.
He also tweets as @Man0Words.