Although the Alphabetacats project was an old one, in 2018 Mark thought it might be possible to get a publisher to consider the possibility of printing it.
He, yet again, found it difficult to break into a market (marketing was always a weakness).
However he had found that short-run digital printing was now a viable option and had printed about 20 copies for family and friends and to send to publishers.
One publisher was prepared to talk further, though on a contributory basis only. It was arranged that this would be published, though at the last minute Mark remembered the book he wrote for Oliver back in 2012/13 -
'Oliver Doliver's Dinosaur'
In 2019 he proceeded to go ahead with the book which was finally published in February of 2020.
Clearly this was to be a long process and Mark had so many ideas now floating around that he needed to begin something new. He wrote the sequel to 'Oliver Doliver'.
He also recalled a diary written by his mother from the 1970s to 1990s which featured their garden in Dorset, the wildlife and flora which were encouraged in the garden. His mother had wished for it to be illustrated in her lifetime and sadly this didn't happen.
However he set his mind to 'righting the wrong'. Several months of illustration work and making up the pages on the computer, he had a book ready for printing. Again publishers were not forthcoming and so he had the book printed in small numbers for family and friends.
Even now, with this book finished, he found himself eager to continue.
Having a large pile of sketchbooks now filled and following his creative journey, Mark wanted to ensure his descendents had something which would endure. He set about producing another volume which took the most important parts of the sketchbook and compiled them into one volume and again for limited printing for his family. The company he used had a limit of 600 pages maximum; the hard part was to select the pages which would best represent progress from the initial sketchbooks up to 2019.
In 2019 the school to which Mark attended from 1958 to 1962, his old Junior School in Lytchett Minster (and now a private kindergarten) had asked for 'old pupils' memories of the school as it was ,many years ago. Mark wrote a short article and it wasn't long before he offered to help collate articles, and finally illustrate and make up the book for printing. Again using the short-run printing process, 50 of the books were produced for distribution.
This brings us nicely to the project which has occupied most of Marks' time during 2019 and 2020 and which is set to occupy him for 2021 too.
He had tried to interest a publisher in 'AlphaBears', similar to Alphabetacats but featuring Teddy-Bears.
Although offered another contributory contract with a publisher, he found more favour in the idea of writing individual stories of the bears. The result has been a series of 26 books for each bear in the alphabet of Bears, which link together. The first is due to publish in the middle of 2020.