Mark Wilson


About "Alberta":

(The interview format reflects questions I’ve been asked about Alberta)

Q: You were a teacher, the book is about teaching, it’s autobiographical, right?
A: Yes and no.
Q: Can you explain?
A: Well, yes it is autobiographical, but certainly it isn’t factual.
Q: Meaning?
A: Well, I think everything is processed. It’s a bit like a cow. Rumination. They have seven stomachs; and I think we have seven dimensions (maybe they do too) and only three or four of them connect directly to the material world. Beyond that it’s mainly about imagination, spirit, possibilities. So if you process stuff beyond those three or four dimensions everything changes. Then you might start writing books, or music, or making movies. Or get a satisfied mind. Reality does not have to be all that solid, or material.
Even so called non–fiction, a reporter still has to use their senses first,. And process perceptions. So does a science-fiction writer. It's just the form you choose to give it. I think fiction and poetry are the more communicative forms. I used to read John Le Carre to understand the world. But he writes fiction.
Q: How about inspiration. The muses? Shakti?
A: I think creativity is the feminine principle, that connects us to everything. So there is intuition, and that connects to inspiration, and puts a form to what we have inside, and sparks us to get it out. Anything that does that could be called a goddess.
Q: So people shouldn’t think “This is what teaching is like. This is what the world is like. This is what the people you worked with were like.”?
A: No. People are always telling me that the world is precisely not like it is depicted here. And they are correct. This is fiction. And there are characters and situations that you might find in any school. My main characters though are the least factual and the most real and interesting to me. They told me the story, through who they really were. I had something else entirely in mind when first I invited them in.
To answer your other point for a minute: There’s not all that much about teaching in the book. I mean there’s much more about teaching, in another book of mine called “You Are An English Teacher!” However that is also autobiographical. I lived through experiences, and processed them, and then wrote about it in that book, but in the form of suggestions about teaching English.
Q. But that book is considered non-fiction.
A. Probably, but I know it is fiction. But just because something is fiction doesn’t make it not true, or not real. Just like something called non-fiction, the news, documentary, reality TV and so on isn’t necessarily completely true or real. We live in a world where we have to know inside. Maybe we always have. You can’t necessarily rely on what people tell you is true or real. But there is something called poetic truth. It's usually about how people can be in all extremes.
Q. Know inside?
A. Well, do you love anyone?
Q. Yes I do!
A. How do you know you love them?
Q. (Pauses)
A: Did Macbeth exist?
Q: I don't know.
A. I mean several people have read this book [Alberta] ….
Q. Hang on a minute. That means that there isn’t really that much you can really know. Like you can know who you love, or who you don’t. What else can you really know?
A. Maybe it's more about what you do?
Q. We’re getting side-tracked here. You were saying, about this book [Alberta]?
A. Well people would read some and then they’d say something like, "So that’s what teaching is like?” and “I’m, trying to figure out who Alberta really is!”
Q. And they say that because they think it’s autobiographical i.e. factual, because you were a teacher? They think Matt Green is you!?
A. Yes, factual. Real. But, funnily enough, they also think it’s disguised of course. Is that real? Like is Donna Farfrae a real head teacher, who has simply been given another name and beautiful nose?
Q. And bigger breasts?
A. (Laughs) And she had fantasies about her colleagues. I mean how would I know that?
Q: Maybe she told you about her fantasies? She might have put them into that “insanely honest” book she wrote.
A: Maybe, I do love her for that.
Q: If everything is subjective, autobiographical, then there is no real truth, right?
A: I think that there are people, every now and again, whose subjective perception of the world actually corresponds to the way things are. The truth. They can help us see it too. And we tend to love or fear them.
Q: Anyone in mind?
A: No. I think it’s very rare. But – “out of the mouths of babes”.
Q: So, now I realize that “Alberta” is autobiographical, but it isn’t factual.
A: Yes indeed, and what difference does that make? It’s about life that’s been through seven stomachs and then presented to the world. Hopefully there’s a bit of milk along the way somewhere. But it's ultimately entertainment, especially the writing of it.
Q: Will you ever write your autobiography?
A: Maybe. It would be a story, which I might call an autobiography. I do write poetry though, and that is my autobiography, pretty much.
Q: Thank you.
A: Thank you.

Smashwords Interview

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My sister read to me first, and it was about a chair that had wings which would grow out of the legs and take children on adventures. I just liked it a lot and wanted to hear more about it, and imagine it. The first one I read myself was about King Arthur, and I read it round and round and round about five times i.e. if I finished it I would immediately start it again. I think, again, the impact was that it made me imagine things, like the Green Knight, sword fights, ancient times, magic incidents, The Holy Grail, The Sword in the Stone, and maybe behind these was an atmosphere of romance and valour which just felt good and exciting to my young mind. I still like these things now, but differently. Interest in The King Arthur Legends eventually - like fifty years later - led me into books like "The Mists of Avalon" by Marion Zimmer Bradley; and I also read a former pupil's very good dissertation about views of Guinevere through the years. Then last year I suddenly thought about how people are always saying that Arthur is the "once and future king", and I thought "Well what would that mean? He just comes back as he was? I mean, it's not like Arthur was that great about Guinevere, for example. She only had happiness from sneaking around with Lancelot, and it didn't turn out so well in the end. That's the truth of it. There was a lot of misery around. Attitudes to women basically sucked. Camelot suddenly seemed to me, realistically, not quite so idyllic as it has been made out to be. This idea led me to begin a poem called "The Eyes Of The Beholder" and it all unfolded from there, prompted by some reactions as I went along from that same former pupil!
Describe your desk
Well, my desk is basically my (our) bedroom, like an exploded desk, but kept quite tidy. Just my laptop, pen and paper are right with me when i write, but other things I might need, like research materials, notebooks, and a dictionary are close by; sometimes they are on the bed (desktop) for a while, but mainly in bookcases, or temporarily on the floor. It all circulates. Because it's my bedroom, there is also TV, a stereo, and a lot of music, plus candles and incense, and a good window with a view of the sky. This room is mostly where I live, it's like a bed-sit, although there are several more rooms. For some work though, like copying my typed film script (The Covenant Men) onto my laptop, I often sit on the couch in the living room.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Mark Wilson online

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The Eyes Of The Beholder
Price: $7.00 USD. Words: 3,900. Language: English. Published: December 18, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
Through fifteen hundred years, people await the return of King Arthur. What exactly are they hoping for? Camelot? Where Queen Guinevere was a trophy wife for whom he had no time, left to dally with Sir Lancelot? Who would treat a friend like that? King Arthur is back with a whole new plan.There's only one person who's not convinced, Guinevere!
Price: $5.00 USD. Words: 144,130. Language: English. Published: April 22, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Two teachers, working side by side, go through hell, to find each other!
You Are An English Teacher!
Price: Free! Words: 35,190. Language: English. Published: January 28, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Education and Study Guides » Language experience approach
A Guide To The True Basics - for Parents, Pupils, Pedagogues, Politicians...Presidents and probably even Prime Ministers. A trip through the learning of English as a mother tongue from minute one onwards. The resurrection of common sense, intuition, and the syllabus that’s always been here.
True Life Adventure!
Price: $2.50 USD. Words: 9,880. Language: English. Published: December 19, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
Subtitled: Part One: My Gap Year 1966-1978 This is a collection of my early poems. These poems could be characterized by the title of the first poem: "It furthers one to cross the great water..." (taken from the fortune telling book The I Ching, which I was using a lot at the time).
The Present
Price: Free! Words: 60,520. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
The President of the USA goes on a space flight to discover life on other planets. The trip exceeds all expectations, but the president returns a changed man.
The Stoning Of Albert
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 52,860. Language: English. Published: October 31, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Coming of age
Albert, Bev, Ronnie, Mary Lou. Montreal, around 1968. No longer teenagers, becoming adults, how did they embrace life and make the changes? Contains Love, soul-searching, travel, and a strong supporting cast. If you were there, of course you won't remember this. If you weren't, the sixties were nothing like you've heard about! Unavailable 'til now!

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