Kingston University’s associate professor, Dr Mark Carew, has been writing for 25 years as a hobby but has finally published his debut novel ‘The Book of Alexander.’
Carew works for the school of life sciences in Physiology and Pharmacology, with a specialty in cell biology. Thus, the very inspiration for his book was the medical condition, synaesthesia.
“It’s a muddling of senses. For example, you hear music and see coloured lights. You eat salty food and imagine touching a solid object,” said the 50-year-old.
The literary fiction novel falls within the genre of mystery and the metaphysical. Carew drew inspiration from the likes of Iris Murdoch and Paul Auster.
“The protagonist Alexander has a special way of looking at the world. It is a novel on illusion and reality. You only ever see the world from your point of view, it’d be funny if you saw it from a remote one”.
Carew thinks KU students could relate to Alexander as he is in his early twenties and exploring his identity. Readers follow him on the journey on asking questions about the world.
Salt Publishing released ‘The Book of Alexander’ on 15th October 2018 which is the same day the story starts in the novel.
Carew has been lecturing for KU for 14 years and proudly shared his success to his class:“I just finished a lecture on peptic ulcers and I remember telling my students: “Hey, today is the day my book got published”.
For half of his life, Carew has been writing ‘almost everyday’ and amongst many short stories and novels he had written, this was the first one that he felt was ‘the one.’
“When writing, I imagine a potter starting out and the first hundred pots he makes are only ever going to stay in the workshop. It’s about learning a craft and finding your own way.
A lot of what I wrote will never see the light of day, but this book felt just right.”
Carew creatively combined his writing and teaching skills. Recently, he developed a series of interactive stories which aid students in learning science. These can be found on climbingthepyramid.com.