This isn’t the first time we have interviewed someone that has been involved in an armed robbery situation, and I don’t mean them being the robber either. Isn’t it amazing to see someone’s powerful story push them in the direction of something great. We have interviewed so many great people that have been in really bad situations but used that bad situation to better them and not just to better them but to help others that are in that situation now or their story inspires others that are feeling alone and in need of a help in hand.
MARKS OWN WORDS
I was born in Wales (Cardiff) and when I was 28 years old I moved to Coventry to be with my girlfriend Laura We got married in April 2009, bought a house and currently have 2 beautiful black cats named Peppa and Neo. For most of my working life I have worked within the warehouse industry but I did do a couple of years with a firm of chartered accountants and was also a civil servant for about a year.
When I moved up to Coventry back in the year 2000 I worked for a food distribution centre and gained my fork-truck licence so i could run my own aisle. 2014 was a turning point in my life and this is why I now write. Hold tight, it gets a little bumpy.
A work college of mine always used to drop me home after work and sometimes I’d pop into the local supermarket. One occasion whilst inside the supermarket, things went badly wrong.
Not long after entering the shop, 2 armed, masked, and dressed in black robbers burst into the store. They took the security woman who was changing the ATM machine hostage. One of the robbers fired his gun, part of the ceiling came down and people scattered to the back door which led to safety of the small warehouse out the back.
I had to lift an old lady off the floor and carry her to the safety of the CCTV room. Whilst in there, the staff didn’t have a clue what was going on and I was the one who ended up calling the police to the store. As we hurdled in this room together people were crying, panicking, some were in a state of shock but I kept thinking that the gunmen were going to burst through the door and basically kill us. It was scary but after, nothing happened, no men in masks came but neither did any police.
It was me who made a move out of the room first to which I had to calm a few people down who were still hiding in the main part of the warehouse and even had to help a woman dial for her husband because she was shaking so much. After that was done, I ventured out into the supermarket and it was swarming with armed police. I went back to tell the others that everything was ok and they followed me out back into the store where most of us were asked to give any details we could to help the police with their enquiries.
I then started to suffer with night terrors in which I would hallucinate by seeing these armed robbers standing in the bedroom and thought they were coming to get me. This went on for about a year. My sleeping suffered badly and I was late to work a lot of the time. Eventually my supervisor pulled me up and asked what was wrong, I told him what had happened and he was extremely understanding. But one morning when I was walking to work I remember everything seemed so bright and the colours of things seemed so vivid (I cannot describe it any better than this) and it was at this moment in time when I decided to fight back – it was like a sign of sorts. Since that day, everything went back to normal and that’s when I decided to turn my negative into a positive and write about fear. I bought books on how to write, how to structure chapter, how to create suspense etc.
I also bought books which were similar to the genre I now write in. I then posted up some of my first drafts on the website writerscafe.org. I was nervous as hell but people really liked my work and were soon asking me for advice on their own pieces. I helped quite a number of people ans still am in touch with them today. An editor picked up on the site and we have been working together for the last 4 years. Back in 2016, the place which I was working for offered us voluntary redundancy which at the time I decided to take because I wanted to write. I took a year out and used it to write my book. I went back to work in 2017 but I still continue with my writing at night.
Throughout all of this, my wife has been a great support to me. You can find Mark only on Instagram at the moment as @darkmark1971. Oh, now for the other part of the good news. We are now on iheart Radio, We can’t say to much but we will be blogging it after the weekend. You can listen over on our website