I haven’t owned a TV since the internet came along. I grew up in the golden age of 1970s TV. I remember watching The Sweeney as a little kid and thinking it had to be the most exciting thing in the world. Ian Kennedy Martin was a great TV writer.

Mark Wagstaff

Mark Wagstaff

My parents once gatecrashed a wedding reception to get some free food. The door was open, so they walked in. My mother later recalled, “I was at the buffet and looked around and your father was dancing with someone”.

I went to school in the countryside where it was ridiculously easy to slip out and vanish each day. I learnt more in that time than I ever did in class.

When Hurricane Sandy hit, I was in Manhattan. So I went out for a walk, to see what the storm was like. After a while the wind got so strong, I physically couldn’t move forward against it. That’s probably the most British thing I’ve ever done.

For a while I lived in Brooklyn, when I was studying in New York. I loved walking home late at night through wide, empty streets with the traffic lights at intersections stretching out ahead. My apartment was in a backyard, which felt like the quietest place on Earth.

A few years ago, I won the 3-Day Novel Contest with a romcom called Attack of the Lonely Hearts. That contest is an extraordinary, invigorating challenge for a writer. Well worth three days of anyone’s time.

One time in south east London I was nearly knocked down by a hearse that came speeding wildly around a blind corner. I had to jump clear to avoid it. That memory stayed with me, because it’s a purely absurd situation. A total Joe Orton moment.

On The Level by Mark Wagstaff
On The Level by Mark Wagstaff

Mark Wagstaff’s new novel On the Level is available now from Cinnamon Press:

On the Level (cinnamonpress.com)


On The Level eBook : Wagstaff, Mark: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

More about Mark’s work at www.markwagstaff.com

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