Co-founder and former owner of the Spirit Store and the Beer Keeper in Dundalk, Mark Mulholland’s first novel A Mad and Wonderful Thing is due to be published next month.
The novel, which was writtenthe Dundalk native is set in Dundalk and tells a story about why boys do the things they do, about motivations and conflicts, about choices and costs.
The Dundalk Democrat even has a small cameo role in the novel!
“A Mad and Wonderful Thing was a long time in the making,” said Mark, who now lives in France with his wife and four children.
“It was years of work and quiet living, but first novels take time and much of it was learning and finding my way.
“In the end, all it took to get a publishing deal was hard work, persistence, sacrifice, blood, and exile!”
So far Mark’s work is provoking debate and diverse reactions and has divided opinions and reviews.
“That’s a good thing,” Mark says. “
My greatest fear was that no one would like it.
“Despite any pretension, there would have been a kind of humiliation in that.
“And my next greatest fear, oddly enough, was that everyone would like it, or, as they say in Ireland, call it ‘grand.’ Nothing of merit gets universal approval and well, as it turns out, I had nothing to fear there.”
In the UK, the Observer, Guardian and the Times will feature the novel and in Ireland the Irish Times and the Irish Examiner will carry an articles.
Various radio stations, including the BBC, ABC, and RTE will also broadcast about the book.
“Writing a novel is one thing; but getting an agent, a publisher, and people to read it, is another. And getting the press to take notice is something else again.
The novel has made the influential Hoopla Hottest Books List for 2014 and Faber & Faber, who are managing international sales, like the novel so much they are preparing a European launch in Shakespeare and Company in Paris, a place renowned in Irish literature as the original publisher and promoter of Ulysses by James Joyce.
Mark is also proud of the fact that the work was acquired by such a renowned and respected publisher/editor as Henry Rosenbloom.
“Henry has over forty years’ experience in the business and has an international reputation for publishing literature of quality.
Mark is already working on his next masterpiece and has plenty of ideas for his next novel.
“Two further novels are in my head so that’s another five years of quiet living.”
Mark’s novel goes on sale on March 3 but will only be available in Australia and New Zealand until it is published in Ireland and the UK on May 8.
A Mad and Wonderful Thing will be available to purchase online on Amazon and from all book stores including Easons.