Elvira Sprogis writes, in the NEWCASTLE HERALD Saturday March 26, 2016:
SMALL things matter to author Mark MacLean [one of our NWF guests]. He gathers observations and bits of information with care until he can build them into a bigger picture.
“I have to notice things, I have to make that effort to see what’s in the world around us,” the Novocastrian says. “What I am seeing are these small things to build the bigger picture. I write about small things then look for the overarching narrative.
“I can’t do that big thing to begin with. I can build from a small thing but can’t build a gigantic narrative arc and work from that. Some things I have seen can help make things clear about other things but I don’t know what the book is about until it is nearly finished.”
His book A Year Down The Drain was one such example. He gathered observations during his walks along a concrete canal in suburban Newcastle about places and people. In the end, MacLean says, the character was the creek itself.