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Saturday, 23 August 2014

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Carlisle thriller writer David Mark sells book rights to TV company

An author who began his writing career in Carlisle could soon see his crime series on the small screen.

David Mark photo
David Mark

Former Cumbrian Newspapers journalist David Mark, whose second book Original Skin was published last year, has been contacted by a “major TV company” which has optioned his series.

Carlisle-born David is pragmatic about whether the series will see the light of day but is already thinking about who might play his Scottish detective, DS Aector McAvoy, featured in Original Skin and predecessor Dark Winter, which has now topped 150,000 sales.

"You've got to maintain a degree of pessimism and reserve," said David, who worked as a journalist before winning a book deal.

“The fact they've optioned it doesn't mean it will see the light of day but the conversations we've had suggest they'd very much like it to.”

David, who now lives in north Lincolnshire, said the company was looking for a scriptwriter. He hopes things might start moving when they have something to show directors.

“The people behind it have got real pedigree – they've made some of the most award-winning things on television in recent years – so it would be nice to be in that company,” he added.

Vincent Regan, who starred in Troy and Clash of the Titans, is among the names that have been floated for the lead role.

“My chosen McAvoy is Rory McCann from Game Of Thrones,“" said David.

“There are many other people who have been suggested to me that I've thought would be interesting.

“I think Vincent Regan could do McAvoy's sad eyes well.”

David wrote his first, unpublished, novel at 18 and continued writing while working as a journalist.

He says the books were written with the thought of transferring to the screen.

“How it was pitched to the publishers was that it had been written in an easily adaptable style for TV,” he said.

“I have always thought of TV rather than film – murder mystery doesn't tend to work too well on film.”

If all goes to plan, filming could begin next year.

He admits he nearly gave up after having an agent for three or four years, but no book deal.

He said sales of Dark Winter boomed after an appearance on the Richard and Judy Book Club.

“That was where it all kicked off,” he said. “That took me from obscurity to some degree of exposure.”

A total of 10 books are planned, with one set to be released each year. David has already completed the fourth and is about to start work on book five.

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