• www.inkitt.com

Mark Byrne

Location: Co. Carlow


I graduated from UCD in 2016 with a BSc in Computer Science. Now, I’m a Data Analyst. When I’m not writing code, I’m writing fiction.

Long before soccer and football and table tennis and mindless scrolling through social media, writing was my first real hobby.

I was eight years young when I penned my first story which was well-received by critics (i.e. my mother). It was about a haunted mansion and it was called… The Haunted Mansion. Not an overly creative title, I know. By strange coincidence, Disney released a mediocre film with Eddie Murphy the following year. It was about a haunted mansion and it was called… The Haunted Mansion. The neck of them. I’m still waiting for my cheque in the post.

Current project

I’ve recently finished my first novel, Lock-In, and am currently querying agents. It’s a tragicomedy set in a small Irish town where a quiet night out turns into anything but. Watch this space (?)

Continuing to work on short stories and the outline for a 2nd novel.

Writing sample

Here’s a small chapter from Lock-In, which doesn’t give too much away.

That awkward moment when you wave back at someone and realise they’re not waving at you. That awkward moment when you check your bank account after living your best life the night before. That awkward moment when your barber cuts your hair how he wants and completely disregards every aspect of the reference picture you gave him. Mikie wanted to look like James McAvoy in Atonement. He came out looking like James McAvoy in Split. Absolutely butchered.

Like the ocean makes up most of planet Earth, awkward moments make up most of life. This awkward moment is right up there on the Mount Rushmore of awkward moments. The silence seems to lie there like the distinct whiff of a Guinness fart, pressing down from lounge to back part, pressing down on Stephen and the boys. Nobody speaks. There’s a new coldness, a shift in the atmosphere. The pub is an elevator. The pub is a taxi. Stephen Kirwan is the driver. The boys are the passengers, refusing to engage in the normal taxi banter: ‘Busy night?’ or ‘When do you finish?’

You could cut the tension with a knife. Well, any knife bar a plastic knife. Plastic knives are pointless.

Mikie spits a piece of fingernail out and moves on to another.

Lenny sits up in his chair and leans forward. ‘Boys, you think that offer for Dairy Milk still stands?’

  • allianceindependentauthors.org
  • www.designforwriters.com

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