May 2023

Dundalk novel set for global release with international publishing deal.

[ A+ ] /[ A- ]

a-mad-and-wonderful-thingI am the co-founder and former owner of the Spirit Store and the Beer Keeper in Dundalk, though I have lived in France now for ten years.

My Dundalk novel A Mad and Wonderful Thing is published on 3rd March 2014 by Scribe Publications of Melbourne and London. The novel is getting a worldwide release.

Set amongst the streetscape and hinterland of Dundalk, A Mad and Wonderful Thing is a story about cause, about why boys – and it is mostly boys – do the things they do, about motivations and conflicts, about choices and costs.

The work is provoking debate and diverse reactions: it has divided opinions and reviews, and that’s a good thing. My greatest fear was that no one would like it. Despite any pretension, there would have been a kind of humiliation in that. And my next greatest fear, oddly enough, was that everyone would like it, or, as they say in Ireland, call it ‘grand.’ Nothing of merit gets universal approval. Well, as it turns out, I had nothing to fear there.

Australian book reviewer Elizabeth Harrington says: ‘I loved this book, but I think it will divide opinions. A Mad and Wonderful Thing is an unusual but wonderful read. I enjoyed it very much, and it will stay with me. Some, perhaps, won’t get it. Some will. That’s the beauty of literature.’ Sheila O’Reilly of Dulwich Books, the UK’s leading independent bookseller, says of the novel: ‘Super,’ ‘Wonderful,’ and ‘Love it.’ The novel has made the influential The Hoopla Hottest Books List for 2014. And Faber & Faber, who are managing international sales, like the novel so much they are preparing a European launch in Shakespeare and Company in Paris, a place renowned in Irish literature as the original publisher and promoter of Ulysses by James Joyce. Shakespeare and Company is also associated with the early careers of Samuel Beckett, Ernest Hemingway, and F Scott Fitzgerald. This is an unexpected, and somewhat intimidating, adventure for me.

The Australian Sunday Life magazine, with a readership of over one million, is carrying a major feature on the novel on Sunday 2nd March, the day before publication; and the influential Readings Monthly journal publishes a review and interview in their March issue.

A Mad and Wonderful Thing was a long time in the making, and it needed to be to tell this tale in the round. It was years of work, and quiet living. But first novels, in any case, take time, and much of it was learning and finding my way. And, in the end, all it took to get a publishing deal was hard work, persistence, sacrifice, blood, and exile.

That the work was acquired by such a renowned and respected publisher/editor as Henry Rosenbloom is simply a great thing to have happened. Henry has over forty years experience in the business and has an international reputation for publishing literature of quality and importance. Scribe — a multi-award winning publisher — is very selective about what it publishes and is well known, too, for producing beautiful work. I believe, together, we have produced something special. Time will tell. But from here, all things are possible.

Scribe has won the Australian Small Publisher of the Year in 2011, 2010, 2008, and 2006.

Two further novels are in my head and started, so that’s another five years or so of quiet living. So this is a small hello to Dundalk, and for another while, well, goodbye.

For further information:

See the book here:

See The Hoopla Hottest Books List for 2014 here:

See Scribe here: See my Literary Agent here: See notes on the novel here: Publicist – Melbourne: Bridie Riordan, Scribe Publications. Publicist – London: Rina Gill, Scribe Publications. Literary Agent – London: Laura Susijn, The Susijn Agency, London.

That’s it. Thanks for your time and attention. Keep the flag flying there in Dundalk!!

Kind regards,

Mark Mulholland.