Ever wanted to know a bit more about our authors? Now you can!
Without further ado, here’s Mark Edwards, author of Life After Care, to tell us more.
Where were you born?
Tidsworth Military Hospital in Hampshire. My parents were from Boston in Lincolnshire, but my father (who was in the army) was stationed there.
Are you a full-time author? If not, what do you do?
I am not a full-time author. My day job is that of a Parish Priest within the Diocese of Newcastle, where I have been now for 10 years. I am also a volunteer medic with the North East Ambulance Service, and have been since 2010.
Why did you decide to write a book?
My book arose out of a collection of diary entries that I kept while sectioned in a Victorian-style mental asylum as a teenager. After I left care, I struggled with mental ill-health and self-harm, and attempted suicide. It was as mental health started to be more talked about (particularly amongst celebrities and royalty) that I decided I would like to get my diary entries published as a book in order to give hope to other sufferers.
Who’s your inspiration?
To be honest, it’s my wife! She is the most loving, caring, selfless person I know. She sees the best in everyone, never gossips, never complains, and in 35 years of marriage has shown me unconditional love that has brought healing and wholeness to my life.
Yes, my faith and my belief system shapes and inspires my life, but in the flesh it’s my wife who Inspires me e very day to be the best that I can be. She has always believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself.
She can be summed up in the words of the Elvis Presley song, The Wonder of You; she is everything and more that this songs conveys.
What’s your favourite book?
Well, I have to be honest – it’s the Bible, a collection of 66 books on every conceivable subject. It was written so long ago, but it’s still relevant to the 21st century.
Who would be your first choice to play you in a hypothetical film/TV adaptation?
I really don’t know! Matthew Broderick would have been a good choice, but he is too old now. I would have to give that one a bit more thought, and think of who the up-and-coming young actors are now.
Choose three songs for the soundtrack:
It is my long-term ambition and dream to have my story turned into a film/TV adaptation using ABBA as the soundtrack. The three songs that I would definitely want in there are ‘Chiquitita’, ‘I Have a Dream’, and ‘Take a Chance on Me’.
Describe your perfect day. Where would you be? What would you do?
I love Whitby! We’ve had many family holidays there, and I always feel sad when we leave. My perfect day would be spent there with my wife, having fish and chips and walking along the sea front and visiting Goathland (where they filmed Heartbeat). I love the atmosphere at Whitby!
Imagine that Trigger is holding a talent show. What’s your act?
The Three Little Pigs as told in the style of Tommy Cooper, using animal masks as props. It’s an act I have done in Church as a baptism and children’s talk to Illustrate the importance of a strong foundation, and one in which I get so mixed up that I can’t remember if I am the pig or the wolf! It’s always very well received – I’m told it’s Tommy Cooper at his best!
What’s your favourite quote?
“Never, never, never give up” by Winston Churchill.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
To be yourself – don’t try and be something you’re not.
And finally, the Twitter pitch: Why should people read your book? Tell us in 280 characters or less!
My book is an honest account of an abused, damaged child struggling with mental health issues, and written off as someone who would not amount to much in life. It shows how I fought back against the odds to move from being a victim to victor, and from lost cause to MBE.
Want to see more from Mark? Read Life After Care! Here’s a sneak preview …
We follow Mark’s journey with anxiety, panic attacks and depression, and we learn about the enduring impact his childhood in care had on his mental health.
On the verge of breakdown, Mark tried to take his own life and he was sectioned under the mental health act. We follow his journey from local authority care to the wards of a crumbling Victorian psychiatric asylum, and beyond into life on the streets …
This is a heartfelt, true story, of how a troubled young man managed to turn his life around. From being imprisoned in the care system and mislabelled as a violent boy with no hope, we hear how Mark became a successful, happily married family man, and a prominent figure in his local community.
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