Mark DK Berry is an author, travel writer, songwriter, musician & producer from England, now residing in Australia.
"I love writing. I find it is easier on me than making music. I love music, but I can never finish songs with quite the same satisfaction as writing a book gives me. I have a lot of books that are in the computer, un-edited, but written up and ready to be tidied up and published. It's a long job. Takes 3 or 4 passes just to make them readable and that's going to take a few years to get them all done.
I have been writing since I was a teenager but only started writing prose in my thirties. Before that most of what I wrote I turned into poetry for lyrics. I was pretty prolific for many years so I have tonnes of poetry, it's all hand written into notepads and books that live in a big god damn box that has followed me around the world. I am working on getting them into printed form so I can get rid of that box, but I doubt I will ever finish the task. Maybe I should just burn the thing. Haha. Or maybe a kind minion will show up and write them all up for me."
"I have written many journals during the times in my life when things got a bit mad. Like when I was living in a van on the streets of London, or the entire process of leaving England and coming to Australia and how that all came about. I am in the process of adapting them into books. So most of my writing is memoir at some level including the travel writing, but I recently discovered I enjoy Roman à clef which is a kind of fictional writing based on memoir which gives me a lot more freedom to elaborate and get a bit more fancy. But I don't like to stray too far from the truth as I get bored when I do, and besides which, if I did a thing I want to write about it. I did quite a few things that I think are probably worth writing about. I guess one big issue with that, is that a lot of people probably won't want me to write about it. Haha. Something I have to consider carefully before publishing, I guess."
"It has taken me a while to realise that I am a travel writer. I love adventure and mad trips into wild places. The first trip I took that I wrote about properly was "The Road to El Palmar" written as I bummed down the west coast of Spain in 2004 with just a guitar and a tent. The next was written in the deserts of Morocco while camped out there in a hammock between palm trees when rabid dogs came by in the night and a wild cat sniffed at my butt. Those books should be published fairly soon. I have others. Like my cycle trip across the outback of Australia and the discovery of werewolves up there...yea, I bet you didn't know about them did you? So, I am getting these all finalised and edited and then published as fast as is humanly possible.
The adventuring has not stopped yet either. I am due to spend 40 days and nights in a 4x4 in the wilds of Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe in 2020 and plan to write that one out as I go too. I think travel writing will probably become my mainstay book work for the next few years."
"I spent most of my life in England trying to be a musician. I was in bands in the UK from a young age right up to my late 30's. I still tend to think of it as a young man's game, and there comes a point where you start to doubt yourself. I think it's natural and happens to everyone. The Rolling Stones broke the mould by being 'on-stage Grandads', but I didn't really fancy that myself. So I gave up gigging when I got to Australia in 2007. In fact I also made the decision to give up music then too, and lo and behold within months of that, I got signed up for a record deal with Hospital Records back in UK due to some work I did with Royalston on a drum and bass track! Typical! So I did a few more tracks with him (check some out here) including getting songs released with some other labels who then ripped us off, and that's been about it. Since then I have continued to write songs and produce them and the results I release on my markdkberry.bandcamp.com site. To be honest, I do more writing of books now, but I still dabble in music production, maybe I will figure it out eventually."
"I'll be honest, I am not a big fan of the music industry. I watched it use and abuse artists in the 90's and it has only got worse. We all get ripped off at some point and it's the worst feeling. It's a machine and it cons musicians into thinking that 'making it' is a real possibility when it really isn't something you will likely ever make a living from. Maybe I am jaded, but for me it's more important to do it for the love.
Having said that, I spent years working in the music industry in London and really loved it, first as road crew at The Marquee Club, Town & Country Club, Wembley, and a lot of venues in London, it was a good time and a good scene I landed in there. Eventually I left that world and became the first CAD designer to work for Brilliant Stages and the late, great Mark Fisher making touring shows for the likes of The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, U2, Take That, and hundreds of others. It was a better side of the industry to be in if you wanted to earn money. I liked it, but in the end I was done with that too."