Gratifying words from a neighbour

A fellow-resident of my native village, Old Glossop, put an envelope through my door a week or so ago. Inside it was a little card from “Paul, Diane and Ellie the Dog” containing a handwritten verse about my book Cruel and Unusual Punnishments. I copy it here, with Paul’s permission:

There was a nice chap from Old Glossop

About whom some people would gossip

His stories are gruesome and might make you wince

I read one last week and haven’t slept since

Some are of animals with cruelty and blood

But they had to admit they were rather good.

Don not be put off if this collection looks flimsy

It’s crammed with wry laughs and intellectual whimsy

He’s a very kind chap and might show you his book

If you like facts wrapped in chuckles it’s well worth a look.

After the last line it was signed “Thank you again Mark – enjoyed immensely, Paul”.

Personal responses of that kind elevate an author’s spirits more than any number of positive reviews on Amazon or similar! I hope the pieces in Cruel and Unusual Punnishments don’t make readers wince too much, except in response to the twisted word-play, and I wouldn’t wish my publications to keep people awake at night… but that little card gave me a disproportionate amount of pleasure, even more than the laughter elicited from audiences at gigs when I perform one of the pieces in the book.

How likely is it that my other efforts will be greeted with similar responses? Not very, I fear, but I’ll live in hope.



  • Hear hear!

    A personal thanks like this is worth a hundred reviews (though both would be ideal).

    Bravo to you Mark for creating such amazing work and bravo to Paul, Diane (and Ellie) for thanking the author in such a kind and personal fashion.

    If all readers were to show their appreciation like this, mine would be a much easier industry to survive in.

    Keep up the great work!

    Warm wishes,

    Dan Grubb
    (Mark’s publisher)

    • Mark Henderson

      Many thanks, Dan. Of course, readers’ tastes differ – one only has to look at the variety of reviews of novels by top authors such as Ishiguro, Mantel, Tremaine to see the mixture of five-star and one-star opinions!

  • I think it very likely you will always have such responses! Love your lovely neighbors – I wish more people took time to comment – Have a wonderful week!

  • I see you are getting well deserved kudos. Good for you! You are always an inspiration.

  • Awesome! Congrats!!

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