December 11 2013 Latest news:
By Kathryn Bradley
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
It was not the obvious first step to a career as a best-selling author
But for newly-published writer Mark King, selling the day’s catch as an apprentice auctioneer at Lowestoft fish market was his introduction to the world of work – and it is a job he remembers fondly.
Mr King’s debut novel, Frenzy: A Daniel Jones Story, was published this year and is now on sale across the globe.
Its success has led to him receiving fan mail from as far away as Ecuador and California, USA, and the book has proved such a hit that publisher Book Guild Ltd is now negotiating a Turkish translation of the story.
But things could have been so different...
Born in Kirkley, Mr King attended Fen Park Primary, Pakefield Middle and Denes High schools and began his working life as an apprentice for Colne Shipping on the fish market off Battery Green Road.
He spent seven years auctioning off the catches of the town’s North Sea fishermen before being forced to find an alternative occupation when the industry went in to decline during the 1990s.
After being made redundant, Mr King moved to Norwich in a bid to find employment. He worked as a court bailiff – which resulted in three attempts on his life – and was later an area manager for Euro Car Parks.
In his spare time, he wrote stories for online blogs and magazines.
Just over two years ago, the dad-of-two took the brave decision to leave his job to work on a story he had been thinking about for some time.
He said: “I’ve always liked to write. I wouldn’t say English was my best language when I was younger. We lived in Spain for a few years when I was a child so when we came back to Lowestoft my first language was Spanish, which meant I was behind other children.
“I used to write short stories as a child and found some of them in boxes when I moved house three years ago.
“This is why, when I had the plot of a story in my head, I decided to write a book. I didn’t want to find it in a box in 70 years time and think ‘I should have got that published’.”
Frenzy is aimed at young adults and follows the exploits of Daniel Jones and his friends Gwendolyn and Mary as they battle to survive in a post-apocalyptic future. Pursued by the Over-seers, the Triclops and barbaric hunters, they search for the golden shield, which is the only thing that can save them.
Mr King, 44, now lives in Thorpe St Andrew with his wife and children but regularly returns to Lowestoft to see friends and visit his mother Margot Cassidy and her husband William in Carlton Colville.
He said he had many happy memories of the fish market and was sad to see it had been scaled down.
“It was excellent,” he said. “I loved it. At the time I was working for the biggest and most powerful company in Lowestoft. They had thousands of people on their books. They had the Lowestoft Ice Company, a big fleet of steam ships for North Sea gas and oil and a big fleet of deep sea fishing boats.”
Mr King has started work on his second novel – currently called Doom: A Daniel Jones Story – and hinted that one of the main characters could be killed off. He plans to write a series based on the central character Daniel Jones.
Mr King, who also works as a volunteer greeter at Norwich Cathedral, added: “Being a writer you don’t get that interaction. A lot of the time you are stuck in a room staring at four walls.
“The thing I miss most about the market is the comradeship. Everybody knew everybody and there were a lot of characters.”