Author: Mark Newton

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


What would I do differently in my first novel, Nights of Villjamur, if I had the chance to do it again?

One of the issues I had with the original was the use of occasional esoteric language in order to reflect a disconnect with a culture of the far future. That, I suspect, failed – and instead created a disconnect with a few readers instead. So in the edition that comes out in a couple of months, I’ve managed to iron out well over a hundred of these instances, as well as making some other minor alterations – for example, I’ve toned down the swearing, and taken out the c-word. Loads of swearing isn’t big and isn’t clever. There.

Read the rest over at Pornokitsch.


Joys of Private Writing

I’ve written another post for the Tor UK, this time on the joys of private writing:

The important thing about those old pieces of writing was that they were not for publication. They were never intended to be seen by anyone other than me. And unlike a blog or Twitter, they’re not out there in the hope someone stumbles across them and ends up liking/following or whatever. There was something wonderful about reflecting, about investigating your own mind and basking in the self-indulgence of the creative muse.

Read the rest.


Mysteries of Vernacular: Clue

“In its final form, Mysteries of Vernacular will contain 26 etymological installments, one for each letter of the alphabet. Each episode takes more than 120 hours to create between the research, construction of the book, and animation.”



It was perhaps inevitable, but I’ve finally switched on a new whisky review site called Malt.

While I think initially people on the blog were reasonably charmed by me talking about whisky, I’m pretty sure I’ve bored people to death about it by now. That also meant that I could really talk about whisky in quite the way I want to – in full geek mode. Hence the new site.

I wanted it to be pretty stylish, something different. Something I would want to read. This will be in partnership with others, too, so hopefully we can cover the vast world of whisky – not just tastings, but recipes, design notes, cocktails, news, that kind of thing.

I’ve imported all the old whisky reviews from here, with a few tweaks, just to get things going. And I’ve added a few more reviews and features. I’d like to grow it into a pretty busy website one day.

Anyway. Take a look. Please do spread the word – if you have any friends or family who are into whisky, then send them that way.


Paper Passion Fragrance (Or, Book Smell Perfume)

Just when you thought you’d seen it all, along comes a perfume that smells of freshly printed paper:

This is an opportunity to celebrate all the gloriosensuality of books, at a time when many in the industry are turning against them. The idea is that is should relax you, like when you read a book, to a level of meditation and concentration. Paper Passion has evolved into something quite beautiful and unique. To wear the smell of a book is something very chic. Books are players in the intellectual world, but also in the world of luxury.

I also quite like this line:

“You have a book, you open it, there’s a bottle inside and it smells of a book. It might be quirky, but the idea has a simplicity, a linearity.”

Perhaps not as simple as, “You have a book, you open it – AND IT SMELLS OF A BOOK ALREADY.”