Richard Freeman’s special guest this week is Mark Illis.
For over a decade Mark was a senior writer on TV soap Emmerdale, scripting over 100 episodes and a spin-off DVD. He has also written the prize-winning screenplay for zombie film ‘Before Dawn’. But his real love has always been writing prose fiction, with three books published by Bloomsbury when he was in his 20s, Mark has now returned to the form in his 40s and 50s, most recently specialising in young adult fiction – or YA, as it is known by those devoted to it.
His award-winning series, The Impossible, is about mutating teenagers coming to terms with relationships and physical transformation. Legendary YA novelist Melvin Burgess describes Mark Illis’ books as amongst the weirdest he has ever read – and this is definitely a complement.
Richard spoke with Mark towards the end of June 2018, exploring the world of young adult fiction and the impact that literature has on formative minds hungry to make sense of an uncertain world. They talk about how – and which – children and young people are reading and accessing new writing in the 21st century with so much competition for their attention – and whether the rise of mental health challenges at a younger and younger age in the UK has any affect on the themes tackled in his books.
Did you know that The Possibility Club is also an online platform for like-minded people and a monthly event to ask the big questions in business. culture and education?
If you want to get help powering your ideas – visit thepossibilityclub.org
Richard Freeman was the host for always possible and this podcast is produced and edited by CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts.