Just a quick word to say my new book is out next week.
The chronicles of Mark Johnson tells the story of an ex-glamour photographer, as he goes back to his roots to find the real passions in photography, rather than just shooting pretties.
In doing so, he finds himself solving various mysteries as well as fighting both inner demons of his soul and demonic entities.
Here is a short sample.
The man sitting with his camera on the cliff top, taking photographs of the birds swooping and diving looked so calm and in his element.
Until the phone rang, and then his calm went, the phone call brought back inside the house; which was not a good start to proceedings for Mark Johnson as he begrudged spending time indoors. After many years working in laboratories and studios trying to make a name for himself, he longed for the air.
“Mark, when are you going to do some high profile work again, this damn phone is ringing off the hook for you ?”
Further introduction was not needed, Phil Moore, long time friend was the only person who had Marks’ phone number; since he became a recluse.
“Well you know my philosophy Phil so you can feed them whatever BS you want. I do not do celebrity shoots, models, or work for tabloids. When I take a shot it has to be for real. Not because someone needs to be in the limelight for a while! When I get a real shoot I will come back from obscurity, then and only then Phil !”
“I just don’t get you man! Top of the class in photojournalism, agents calling me for you to shoot their people, you could be out there with the lights on you, making so much more of your talents, than selling the odd article here and there.”
“You hit the nail on the head, when you said photojournalism Phil, I do picture stories, not pretties for the glams and tabloids. That part of my work is what drove me here if you remember, I found it soul destroying and sickeningly shallow.”
“As well maybe Mark, but it is the best paid work, and you are the best, they all want you mate.”
“They can want all they wish my friend, until I get something that can rouse my spirit, I am content as I am. The stories I sell allow me what little pleasures I require, roof over my head, food in the freezer, some music to listen to, and the pleasure of being out here with the elements.”
“That is something else I never got about you, how when you can make such a lot, you are happy with next to nothing Mark?”
“I just never got into the wanting all he trappings of fame, the story is what it is about Phil, I am a photojournalist first and foremost, if the shots don’t tell a part of the story, then I have failed. I know I can make my name, have lots of money and fame, but for me it was never about that, for me it has always been about the shots.”
“I can’t tempt you, not even with a trip to Italy for 3 weeks in the sun, with masses of pretty girls to shoot then.”
“No. You can treble any offer made, I am not interested. Never was, never will be, those that chase that style can keep it. II am doing what I like now. I stuck with that false crowd for four or five years when I had to get started, every night I ached for real pictures and stories to do my art justice.”
“All the years I have known you Mark and you have never changed, through colleges; courses and after, money was never your driving force was it.”
“No, you have that Phil. I would rather struggle along, selling a few stories and being true to who I am, than clicking for magazines just to show how pretty a lady is. IF she is that pretty then let it shine through, so many of them just love themselves and I cannot abide their shallow lives. Out here with the wind and rain watching the birds and animals this is what I am about Phil. If you get an interesting story for me, you can let me know please, as for any offers for celebrity shoots as I say feed them the BS you feel is right Phil.”
“OK Mark got the message my friend.”
As Mark put the phone down, he turned and walked across his ram-shackled old kitchen, to his stove and lit the gas for a pot of his favourite coffee. The wind was picking up and the choppy seas were making the bell in the river clang loudly.
“Be good shooting today,“ Mark thought to himself as he looked out across the bay.
That was always something that mystified his friends. When the sun was out Mark would rarely take a shot. Give him winds, rain and high seas, and he would be out there for hours.
One friend did ask him why once, and Mark replied:
‘If you want the great shots, you have to go chase the weather; can’t get them sat in on windy days !’
The clouds rolling over the hills were low and threatening as the thunder roared and lightning flashed.
Up on the hills Mark thought he saw a face at the old house but he was certain nobody was there. It had lain derelict the last 20 years and nobody had been near it since the mysterious disappearance of the young girl.
Some stories tell of a stranger in the area, the days before she vanished. Others tell of a light in the old house and weird noises like howling.
Here on the coast, tales of strange happenings abound but this was recent times with modern equipment, not olden days with archaic instruments that could not be trusted.
He felt here was a breaking story worthy of his talents; an unsolved mystery for over 20 years, all but forgotten in the area. Ask anybody in the town, you get the same answer a wall of silence.
Alan Ghostman Place