Bobby’s Boy by Mark Wilson

 The ManVsBooksClub proudly welcomes:

Mark Wilson, writer, Author, reader, friend

…. as our guest to the writers’ studio!

That Difficult First Novel…

Thank you everyone for the warm welcome! I am very happy to be writing on behalf of this Club which bases its’ notion of helping men getting back into reading books.

My name is Mark Wilson and Bobby’s Boy is my debut novel.
It’s been an interesting process, writing my first book, but a fantastic one as well. I began writing as a way of emptying my cluttered brain. Bobby’s Boy began life as a short story titled The Rusted Key in October 2011. The story was based around a simple concept, inspired by a graphic novel called Stray Bullets by David Lapham (I won’t divulge the concept here as it would act as a spoiler for anyone who hasn’t read the book).

The short story grew so I started calling it a Novella and kept writing. The Novella began to gain momentum and slowly became my first novel. I made little progress over the next few months, finding myself short of time, and even shorter of discipline. Then January came.
January 2012 was a turnaround month for the novel. I decided at the start of the month, under the advice of my best friend and Jack White (via an interview he did on keeping creativity flowing), to dedicate at least an hour every day to writing the novel. At the end of January I renamed the book Bobby’s Boy as the previous name just didn’t work anymore.

A thousand words a day was my target. According to Mr. White., you’ve got to work your creative muscles like any other and use them every day. To an ex-gym addict it struck the right note. Some days it’ll be shite that you write (like that wee bit of poetry I slipped in there), others you’ll produce work that’ll make you wonder where the hell it came from when you re-read. I take the rough with the smooth. The important thing is to keep the story moving continuously and to not “wait for the rays of the sun to shine on your keyboard, ‘cos you’ll rust your ideas”.

Some-days I managed more words than I’d  targeted, a lot more, but I never fell below at least 1000 words a day. My new “working ethos” helped me jump from 22.500 words on January 7th, to 75000 words in the completed novel on February 14th.  I’m not saying that these words were all brilliant, some most definitely were not, but they did moving the story on, and were re-written on another day. Not bad for having a full-time job teaching high school kids and my three-year old son (my top priority) to keep me busy also.

For me, books, movies and music have always been connected. The themes, emotions and character development that make or break a good story hold true for all three media. I’ve been a bit exasperated recently at the endless flow of vampires/detectives/spies/franchises, written to formula music, film and books. I miss good stories that develop characters over the course of one novel, making you care for, hate or love them in the process.

There a saying in the music industry that should relate to the literary world…work hard enough and become your own favourite band. I’m a distance behind my favourite authors, but theirs is the standard I’m reaching for.

I’ve re-visited some really dark experiences during the writing of this novel and in the construction of my characters and story. Some of these I’d forgotten about for decades. Other memories have resurfaced that I’ve enjoyed remembering for the first time in many years.  I had fantastic fun writing my first novel, and resent deeply the gap I have to enforce to market and Promo the book. I just want to start my next project, but books don’t get themselves noticed.

I’ve very much enjoyed putting Tom (my main character) out into the world to be interacted with or ignored, what-ever the fates may bring. I’ll be sad to leave him and will miss writing about this cool, lucky, happy, tragic and a little damaged wee guy every day. Still, onto the next one, with gusto.

My next book, titled Nae’body’s Hero, is a tale of heroism from three unlikely characters. A Scottish laddie with a gift, an American agent tasked with hunting terrorists, and a British-born Pakistani lad who joins Al-Queda. Nae’body’s Hero will be released in December 2012.


Bobby’s Boy is available on amazon kindle and as a paperback.

Contact Mark via:

Twitter: @markwilsonbooks