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The Book of Seconds

Mark Mason
Authors:
Mark Mason

DID YOU KNOW that the second man to swim the Channel drank 20 drops of champagne every hour? Or that the second crew to land on the Moon danced to a pop song in zero gravity? Or that the second man to run a sub-4-minute mile once stopped to check on a fallen rival - but still managed to win the race?You probably didn't - because seconds never get the attention they deserve. This book reveals the people and things who until now have been kept in the shadow of the firsts. We'll glory in the achievements of the nearly-men and nearly-women, not to mention nearly-skyscrapers, nearly-skyscrapers, nearly-LPs and nearly-deserts.Above all we'll see how so-called 'runners-up' can be exciting, intriguing and heroic. Step forward, seconds - your time in the spotlight has come at last.

W&N

Mail Obsession

Mark Mason
Authors:
Mark Mason

Benjamin Webster

Benjamin Webster received the Northern Writers' Award for fiction in 2016. Born in Lancashire and now living in Yorkshire, JUDAS! is his first published work.

Brian Phillips

Brian Phillips is a former staff writer for Grantland and former senior writer for MTV News. He has written for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker and Slate, among other publications, and his work has appeared in Best American Sports Writing and Best American Magazine Writing. He lives in central Pennsylvania. Impossible Owls is his first book.

Caroline Hulse

Caroline spends most of her days writing, having fulfilled her dream of having a job she could do in pyjamas. She also works in Human Resources sometimes. She is openly competitive and loves playing board and card games. She can often be found in casino poker rooms, and wishes other people would want to play Cluedo for money. She lives with her husband in Manchester where the two are captive to the whims of a small, controlling dog.

Carolyn Sanderson

Carolyn Sanderson has worked in a number of fields, including teaching, training, counselling, academia and the Church of England. She has written articles, reviews and a number of hymns, and lives in Milton Keynes.

Cathy Rentzenbrink

Cathy Rentzenbrink was born in Cornwall and grew up in Yorkshire. She works as a writer and journalist and is the author of A MANUALL FOR HEARTACHE and the SUNDAY TIMES bestselling memoir THE LAST ACT OF LOVE, which was shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize.

Colin MacIntyre

Colin MacIntyre is an award-winning songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer who has released seven albums to date, most notably under the name Mull Historical Society, so far achieving two Top 20 albums and four Top 40 singles. He has been voted Scotland's Top Creative Talent and has toured worldwide, including with The Strokes, Elbow and REM, and has played all the major festivals. He has performed live on BBC Radio 1, Radio 2, 6 Music, Radio 4, LATER WITH JOOLS HOLLAND and THE JONATHAN ROSS SHOW, among many others. He is the co-author of a Radio 4 Afternoon Play, and has collaborated with Tony Benn and Irvine Welsh. His other musical project is Field Stars, an electro art-pop collaboration. Born into a family of writers and storytellers, Colin grew up on the isle of Mull in the Hebrides but now lives in London. His debut novel, THE LETTERS OF IVOR PUNCH, was awarded the Edinburgh International Book Festival's 2015 First Book Award.

Dean Williamson

Dean Williamson is a professional actor with a great deal of experience in Film, TV and Theatre.Voice work includes film and TV dubbing, corporate and commercial work, as well as audio guides and audio books. Previous audio books include Hell's Fire, The Edge and Cut Adrift by Chris Simms, Even The Dogs by Jon McGregor and The Water Theatre by Lindsay Clarke.

Ellen MacAskill

Ellen MacAskill is an emerging writer of fiction, poetry and essays. In 2017, she co-founded Writers 4 Utopia, a queer sci-fi zine collective in Vancouver. You can subscribe to her newsletter at tinyletter.com/otherlife. She is working on her first full-length novel while living as a settler in Montreal.

Gemma Cairney

Gemma Cairney is a BBC broadcaster, magpie, and life enthusiast who has won awards for her documentaries. Gemma has presented shows across the breadth of the BBC. She is also founder of production company Boom Shakalaka Productions. Her first book, OPEN: A TOOLKIT FOR HOW MAGIC AND MESSED UP LIFE CAN BE came out in Spring 2017 (Macmillan). Gemma was recently a judge for the Wellcome Prize. She hosts a regular club night in her home town of Margate.

Hugh Thomson

Hugh Thomson's previous books include The White Rock: An Exploration of the Inca Heartland and Nanda Devi, a journey to a usually inaccessible part of the Himalayas. He has led many research expeditions to Peru. He is also a film-maker and has won many awards for his documentaries, which include Indian Journeys with William Dalrymple, and Dancing in the Street: A Rock and Roll History. He lives in Oxfordshire.

Jenn Ashworth

Jenn Ashworth was born in 1982 in Preston. She studied English at Cambridge and since then has gained an MA from Manchester University, trained as a librarian and run a prison library in Lancashire. She now lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Lancaster. Her first novel, A KIND OF INTIMACY, was published in 2009 and won a Betty Trask Award. Her second, COLD LIGHT, was published by Sceptre in 2011 and she was chosen by BBC's The Culture Show as one of the twelve Best New British Novelists. Her most recent novels are THE FRIDAY GOSPELS and FELL. She lives in Lancaster.

Jo Berry

Author and critic Jo Berry has written about TV and film for numerous publications including The Guardian, Radio Times, Empire Magazine, Eve Magazine and Maxim. A contributor to the books 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and The Rough Guide To Cult TV, among others, she is also the author of The Ultimate DVD Easter Egg Guide, Chick Flicks (with Angie Errigo) and The Parents' Guide To Kids' Movies.

John Higgs

John Higgs is the author I HAVE AMERICA SURROUNDED: THE LIFE OF TIMOTHY LEARY, THE KLF: CHAOS, MAGIC AND THE BAND WHO BURNED A MILLION POUNDS and the novel THE BRANDY OF THE DAMNED. He lives in Brighton with his partner and their two children. www.johnhiggs.com@johnhiggs

Judy Upton

Judy Upton is a playwright and screenwriter based in Shoreham-by-Sea. She grew up in the Brighton area and the majority of her stage plays have been set there. Her plays have been produced by the Royal Court, National Theatre, Birmingham Rep and BBC Radio 4 among others. Her latest play CONFIDENCE stars vlogger, author and influencer Tanya Burr and will appear at the Southwark Playhouse from May 2018.

Kerry Young

Kerry Young was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and moved to England in 1965. She is the author of three novels, all available from Bloomsbury: PAO, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Book Prize; GLORIA, which was longlisted for the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature and nominated for the international IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and SHOW ME A MOUNTAIN. Kerry is a reader for The Literary Consultancy, a tutor for The Arvon Foundation, and a Royal Literary Fund Fellow. She is also Honorary Assistant Professor in the School of English at the University of Nottingham and Honorary Creative Writing Fellow at the University of Leicester.

Kevin McCloud

Kevin McCloud studied Art & Architecture at Cambridge, trained as a theatre designer, then set up his own design, lighting and manufacturing business. Today he concentrates on television work, journalism and product design. He is best known for his series Grand Designs and Grand Designs Abroad which have spawned a monthly magazine of the same name. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, an ambassador for WWF and has a number of honorary degrees and is second on the leaderboard .04 seconds behind Jay Kay on Top Gear's Star in a Reasonably priced Car.

Maria Whatton

Maria Whatton was born in Liverpool and moved to the Midlands in the 1990s where she married a Birmingham firefighter and raised a family. She is a multi-award-winning storyteller who tours nationally and internationally telling ancient legends and folk tales. She lectures and performs in theatres, festivals and educational establishments.

Miranda France

Miranda France was born in 1966 and was brought up in East Anglia and Sussex. She read Spanish and Latin American Studies at Edinburgh University, which included a year in Madrid. In the early 1990s she lived in Brazil and Edinburgh and then Buenos Aires, and in 1996 she won the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize for a piece about her time in Buenos Aires. Her first book, BAD TIMES IN BUENOS AIRES, was published in 1998. She lives with her husband and young son in London.