Tall stories and short anecdotes

Writing and editing work

No Jackals here
Mark the Spanner illustration

Mark meets Donna

It was a slow Friday afternoon until the Ferrari drew up on the forecourt...

Ferrari Friday tells the story of how Mark race-tunes Donna's car, and what happens afterwards, when Donna insists he must come to the race with her.

One day you'll be able to read a version of this story somewhere, but for now it is work in progress, so this is just a teaser.

illustration showing Mark meeting Donna

Mark runs away

...I haven't exactly thought all this through. I wanted to get away. I had this idea that if we could just get to the right place, something great would happen. I can see now that really we're in a pickle. A long way from home with no money and nowhere to go. .…

Extract from Mark does Marseilles

Donna's Red Ferrari

Ferrari Spyder

Mark the Spanner is not just about machinery. The Ferrari Spyder is the most glamorous vehicle we come across. Other stories include Mark's motorbikes starting with doing up his first - a BSA Bantam, then a Honda 250, as well as getting his first car, a Vauxhall Viva.

Spanner synopsis

Mark the Spanner is a creative writing project. Inspired by people I've met and loosely based on experiences and real-life anecdotes. The Spanner stories feature pivotal moments from Mark's life. As well as written narrative I'm working on illustration and motion-graphics versions of the material. This project has sharpened up my writing and stimulated my creative skills.

Who is Mark?

As well as being a handy car mechanic, Mark has the ingenuity to turn his hand to solving all sorts of problems. He is open and straightforward and – being a bit soft-hearted – has a habit of getting himself into trouble.

Mark grew up in a terraced house in a small town in the midlands, his adventures include living in London and travelling around the world.

Mark does Marseilles

Mark hitches a lorry ride to Marseilles

...He decided right then that it was time to leave home. Decided that he was going to go all the way to Marseilles. It wasn't a clear plan, just a destination, one that promised a new life away from petty concerns like ripped school uniforms. …

Mark does Marseilles tells the story of Mark as a schoolboy, hitch-hiking across France and back. Download the full story.

Positive Feedback

Charlie (11 years old), said that it was 'brilliant' and he couldn't put it down.

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All Mark the Spanner Stories are Copyright Richard Swingler All rights reserved.

No Mark the Spanner publications may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise without the prior permission of the author.