Mark Illis was born in London, but when a job took him to Yorkshire he settled there. He’s written extensively for TV – including episodes of EastEnders, The Bill, Peak Practice and Emmerdale – and has also written for stage and radio. He wrote the screenplay for Before Dawn, which won the Best Screenplay award at the Bram Stoker International Film Festival. Along the way he’s been among other things a Literature Development Worker (‘raising the profile of literature in Berkshire’), and a Centre Director for the Arvon Foundation, and has taught writing from King’s Lynn to Hong Kong.
Mark started writing novels and short stories in his teens, and has never stopped. His stories have been published in many magazines and anthologies, and shortlisted for prizes. He’s written seven novels. The first three were published by Bloomsbury when he was in his twenties, his next two – published by Salt – were concerned with the mysteries of family, and The Last Word was shortlisted for the Portico Prize. Inspired by reading to and with his children, he’s recently written two novels for teenagers, The Impossible and The Impossible: On The Run, published by Quercus. They’re about the ordinary humour and horror of teenage life, but with an extraordinary fantasy element stirred in. He’s now writing TV for children and novels for adults, but that could swap back again any time.