Mark Mills is well known as a leading name in historical thrillers. His previous books have included The Whaleboat House, which won the Crime Writers’ Association Award for best debut novel, and The Savage Garden, which was selected for the Richard & Judy Summer Reads campaign. For his latest release however, he’s done something completely different…
Written under the name Mark B. Mills, Waiting For Doggo is an uplifting, romantic tale that fans of novels like One Day will love. Our hero Dan is dumped by girlfriend Clara in rather harsh circumstances, via a ranting letter pointing out many of his shortcomings (“I’ve just read this through and I realise I haven’t made myself clear. It’s over between us”), and so he’s left to look after Doggo, the pet that he and his now ex-girlfriend recently bought to try and fix their relationship.
Dan might not like Doggo at first, but he can’t bring himself to find a new home for him, as this ugly, bald little creature gradually helps to turn his life back around. If you’re after a cracking, feel-good Christmas read, then Doggo is just what you need.
But what makes an author want to ditch his usual genre, one that he has been very successful in, and write something so radically different? After discussing the idea over lunch with a friend, Waiting for Doggo began as a ten-page draft version of Eleanor H. Porter’s ‘Polyanna with a dog’, Mark says, ‘to see if there was anything in the idea’.
The idea worked and wouldn’t go away. ‘I found myself so hooked by the little chap that I just kept on going, even though that meant putting the other novel I was working on on the back burner’.
Waiting For Doggo reads like a romcom in many ways, which is perhaps unsurprising given that initially Mark worked as a screenwriter before turning to novels. In fact, his first screenplay was the BAFTA-nominated short film One Night Stand back in 1993. Although he’s fully committed to writing books now, he’s still a huge film fan, and names ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ as one of his recent favourites. If you too enjoyed that film, you’re sure to love Waiting For Doggo.
The book has now been set free into the world and is delighting both book lovers and dog lovers alike. Despite ‘huge pressure’ from his daughter, Mark doesn’t actually own a dog at the moment. However, growing up on a farm with several pets helped has him to pin down the unique friendship that exists between a man and his dog, a friendship that jumps off the page in Waiting For Doggo and makes it such a fantastic read.
If Waiting for Doggo by Mark B. Mills appeals to you, why not give it a read and let us know what you think?