Author Profile

Kevin Spark

Country: United Kingdom
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I’ve always been driven by telling stories,
even as a kid. I don’t know why or what it is that makes a writer want to write, whether it’s the spirit of self indulgence or a need to be liked or heard? Maybe it’s our way of overcoming some deep routed psychosis? I don’t know, perhaps it’s all of the above. I know I’m certainly not arrogant enough to believe I have a message the world needs to hear. Nope, I just want to tell a good story that hopefully keeps you entertained.

Like most of us, I have a niggly little voice that used to tell me (still does, although these days I mostly ignore it) that I wasn’t good enough or smart enough. That people like me don’t write, that writing is for other people, smart people, people with talent and something to say. So I tried doing other stuff to satisfy this craving.

I’ve spent years working as a graphic designer, a job I still love by the way, working on brands you’ve never heard of and some you have. I’ve worked on campaigns big and small and produced work that I’ve been proud of and some less so, but that’s what happens when you’re a jobbing designer. You work for the money not the love. But, as a mate of mine once said, “it beats digging ditches.” That’s true, it does. There’s some tough jobs out there, that aren’t given the respect they deserve, digging ditches, I think, is one.

But the craving wouldn’t go away. I started to write when I was eighteen, possibly younger. Drafting terrible snippets of stories that remained unfinished, but the damage was done. Without knowing it, I had already become an addict. A recession hit the UK when I first started working, everyone I knew was suddenly unemployed, myself included. It was a terrible time for people, but I loved it! It gave me the time I needed to indulge in my new found craving. But like all addicts, I knew I was in trouble, if I didn’t rejoin the world I’d be in trouble! I decided to go to Israel and spend some time on a Kibbutz. It was an amazing time, three months in a drunken haze with zero responsibility. But all good things have to come to an end eventually, I felt I’d detoxed enough and drank enough vodka to give my brain the enema it needed to hit the reset button. But what now?

I remember this well, I had an epiphany. A real road to Damascus moment. I was twenty six, newly returned to London, sitting on the top of a double decker bus, with no fixed abode on my way to couch surf at a mates place (thanks Darren), thinking, ‘what the hell am I going to do with my life? What do I want to do?’ For some reason the movie, Throw Mamma From The Train, starring Danny DeVito and Billy Christal, popped into my head. I won’t bore you with the story, but there’s a killer line in it. Danny DeVito tells Billy Chrystal or maybe it’s the other way around, “A writer writes.” It’s simple, elegant and right, and I thought, ‘yeah, that’s what I want to do,’ and thanks to Billy and Danny, I was on my way. I wanted to be a writer, so I’ll write, it’s that simple! So I did.
But the voice was still strong. Loud enough to drown out any fledging notions that I could write, even if I wanted to. But I had a cunning plan. I knew people didn’t talk in grammatically correct ways. We don’t watch our tenses or pro nouns when we talk, we just open our mouths and say shit. I’ll write scripts. That was my plan. Thank God for ignorance. Had I know then what I know now, that little vice would have rang louder than the church bells at a royal wedding. Getting a spec script read, let alone produced is like winning the lottery – it does happen, but fuck me, you have to be one lucky son of a gun. But guess what?

Someone wanted to buy one of my stories. Id. Id was first conceived as a script. I still remember the day I came up with the idea, I was euphoric, I really was! I had written a kick ass story that was good. But. There’s always a ‘but’ in these stories. This time the but was me. I was an idiot. I’d been approached by Fox Television to turn Id into a TV movie, but back then I was more of a dick head than I am now, and under some really terrible advice, I turned them down, hoping for a feature deal which never materialized. Fuck!

Fast forward several years later during which time I’d given up, embraced my career as a designer got married, had kids, moved countries and ended up working for myself. But the craving never quite went away. I’d always return to it, like a dirty little secret, a shameful addict caught in the throws of self gratification. I would tinker away at my script, I knew I was making it better, but over time it had become even harder to sell a spec script without proper representation. Eventually, it was my wife’s idea, she suggested I stop, embrace what it was I wanted and write it as a book. So I did. It took a long time, a long long time, and I loved it. The process, the art of it and they way in which you can disappear into a world of your own making. I enjoyed writing Id so much that when I was finally finished (I won’t tell you how many years went by) I was actually gutted I no longer had it with me and felt a genuine sense of loss. But like any parent, you have to let them go. So please, be kind, take a look, have a read, and if it’s not for you, then that’s ok, but let me at least leave you with one last sentiment. “Don’t listen to that little voice telling you, you can’t, it doesn’t have your best intentions at heart, and trust me when I say this. You can.”

Id is my first book and hopefully not my last as I think I have a few good stories to tell, and I’m already busy on my second, which is vastly different to Id–it’s a comedy! Or at least it is at the moment, things may change, so watch this space.

That’s me for now, thanks for reading!


id: A Novel by Kevin Spark – CLC Book Excellence Award Winner


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