Author: Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.

Allotment Haul


Well, I say haul, but it’s only a few things. The first lettuce is ready, though we’ve several others that can be dug up soon. The first pattypan squash are ready. We’ve had plenty of courgettes, too, but they’ll be a regular occurrence throughout the summer. And some more carrot thinnings – not the main crop, but they’ll keep us going.


Reading Pile

Reading pile

To follow from yesterday’s post, here’s the current reading pile. Well, this is more the top of the reading pile, and books will most likely fall off this and be replaced by others. Suffice to say, here’s what I intend to read, starting with the Woolf.


Recent Reading


I’ve not posted what I’ve been reading recently, mainly because I’ve been way too busy with deadlines and Life Stuff. But I have been reading. A couple of Soho Crime novels, which always scratch an itch. The Cara Black is particularly good fun. As I’m in the Fitzgerald mood at the moment, I dipped into Tender is the Night. The John Dos Passos was a re-read – purely to enjoy some of the most heady descriptive writing in the English language. And P.G. Wodehouse because it’s summer.


Drakenfeld #2 Finished

So, the second Drakenfeld novel is complete – as much as these things ever are at this stage. The final draft has been sent to my agent to be whizzed through to my editor’s inbox. Only one week past the deadline…

I’ll probably not say anything about the book itself, given the first Drakenfeld novel is still on pre-order. Suffice to say, I think I’m enjoying the main characters, and I’m still having fun within the crime-fantasy hybrid genre. Ideally I want each of the novels to represent a different kind of crime story, so they each feel very different: the first was a locked-room mystery; this one is going to be something else; I like the idea of embracing a classic spy novel for the third, and so on. They’ll each be self-contained stories, too, which is much more preferable to writing a linear series.

Suffice to say, I’m relieved to have handed it in. I’m getting married at the end of the month, so I now have a few weeks to dedicate the mental space to that entirely. Anyway, for now, I’ll leave you with a picture of me at the weekend, picking strawberries in the Cotswolds, which was a rather lovely thing to do. And I only snacked a small few while we were in the field…

Me and Strawbs


Allotment, 7th July


Carrots, Red Cabb

Toms, Peppers etc


Hot. Very hot. And you can see how sandy the soil is. Still, things seem to be growing well, so hopefully August and September we’ll be eating a fair old bit from here.


Allotment Pickings


First pickings – small carrots (which are thinnings rather than the main crop) as well as chard and courgettes. At least all the hard work is starting to pay off.