David spent more than fifteen years as a journalist, including seven years as a crime reporter with the Yorkshire Post - walking the Hull streets that would later become the setting for the Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy novels.

His writing is heavily influenced by the court cases he covered: the defeatist and jaded police officers; the competent and incompetent investigators; the inertia of the justice system and the sheer raw grief of those touched by savagery and tragedy.

He has written six novels in the McAvoy series: Dark Winter, Original Skin, Sorrow Bound, Taking Pity, Dead Pretty and Cruel Mercy, as well as two McAvoy novellas, A Bad Death and Fire of Lies, which are available as ebooks. His first historical thriller, The Zealot’s Bones, is out now.

Dark Winter was selected for the Harrogate New Blood panel (where he was Reader in Residence) and was a Richard & Judy pick and a Sunday Times bestseller. Dead Pretty was longlisted for the Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger in 2016.

David’s Radio 4 drama, A Marriage of Inconvenience, aired last year. His first novel is currently being adapted for the stage. He has also written for the stage and has contributed articles and reviews to several national and international publications. He is a regular performer at literary festivals and is a sought-after public speaker. He also teaches creative writing.

David also starts to get all squirmy and self-conscious when he looks at stuff like this, so we’ll leave it there.

David Mark is represented by Oli Munson  at A.M. Heath Literary Agents.

David Mark portrait
David Mark author of DS McAvoy Series set in Hull

Questions and Answers

What is essential to writing good crime fiction? Do you stick to some sort of formula or do you break all the rules? Do you read a lot of crime fiction or thrillers as well?

I read everything I can get my hands on. I love thrillers and psychological fiction but it is rather difficult to read them for pleasure now that it’s my day job. It’s hard not to read with an air of comparing the market. I don’t really take any notice of rules, either in the writing process or in life. Actually, I do have one – if the novelist has mentioned the make and model of a car by the end of the first paragraph, the book isn’t for me. And for God’s sake, don’t start off with a dream. For me, it’s just a case of meeting interesting people and twisting preconceptions on their head. Listen to the radio a lot. People who phone DJs are particularly inspiring – they always seem like the sort of person who could be a killer or the killed. Listen to your inner voice. When some dullard is telling you about their tedious problems, think of ways to kill them, and why. It’s less risky than actually doing it. And you think I’m joking.

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