Mark Haysom

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Mark Haysom
Mark Haysom 2013.jpg
Born (1953-09-17) 17 September 1953 (age 64)
Margate, Kent, England, UK
Occupation Novelist
Nationality British
Alma mater University of Leicester
Notable works Love, Love Me Do, Imagine

Mark Haysom CBE (born 1953) is a British author whose critically acclaimed first novel was published by Little, Brown Book Group in 2014. Love, Love Me Do is set in 1963 and tells the story of a family forced to leave their home in Brighton to live in a caravan. Having acquired world rights for the novel, Little, Brown said:

Honest and unsettling, yet ultimately uplifting, this unique, wise and addictive British debut weaves themes of love, betrayal, family and childhood, and shows that even though life has a habit of getting in the way of dreams, people find their own extraordinary ways of bouncing back.

Love, Love Me Do was one of just eleven books selected from across Europe for the 2014 Berlinale festival. His second novel, Imagine, set in 1973, was published in December 2015. His literary agent is Eve White.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Margate, Kent, Haysom was educated at Hazelwood School, East Grinstead Grammar School (now Imberhorne School) and the University of Leicester where he read English.

Career before writing[edit]

Formerly a British newspaper executive and Public Servant, Mark Haysom spent six years as Chief Executive of the UK's biggest quango. Having served for six years as a Non-executive director of HMRC, since 2010 he has been Chair of Phoenix Futures. He has also served on the Boards of St Giles Trust, Affinity Sutton and Action Aid UK.

Mark Haysom was awarded a degree in English from Leicester University in 1974. Having trained as a journalist and edited weekly newspapers in the north of England, he moved into general management and spent five years with Reed International running their newspaper titles in south and west London. In 1992 he joined Thomson Regional Newspapers where he ran their free newspaper division before moving the following year to the Western Mail and South Wales Echo as managing director. This company was later acquired by Trinity Mirror plc and Haysom was invited to join the board in 1998.

After a brief spell as managing director of the Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail, Mark Haysom was appointed managing director of Trinity Mirror's National Newspapers in 2001. In this role he was responsible for the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, Sunday People, Daily Record (Scotland) and Sunday Mail. During this period, he worked alongside Piers Morgan in what was the most successful period of his editorship of the Daily Mirror. The Daily Mirror became a more campaigning newspaper and won a number of newspaper awards. Mark Haysom appointed Tina Weaver as editor of the Sunday Mirror after the enforced departure of Colin Myler in 2002.

In 2003 Haysom moved into the public sector to take up the role of Chief Executive of the Learning and Skills Council where he was responsible for a £14 billion budget and was reported as being one of the highest paid executives in Government. In 2005 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Leicester University for his contribution to business. In 2008 he was awarded a CBE for services to education and training. During this time, the Education Secretaries he worked with were Charles Clarke, Ruth Kelly, Alan Johnson and Ed Balls. He stepped down from his role in March 2009 after the LSC's college rebuilding programme ran into difficulties. It was widely reported at the time that Mark Haysom "took a bullet for the boss". Shadow Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, David Willetts suggested that Mr Haysom was being used as a scapegoat and was "taking the rap for ministerial failure".

Mark Haysom joined the Board of HMRC as a Non-executive director in 2005. In 2009 he became a trustee of the St Giles Trust, the voluntary sector organisation that has a mission to help stop ex-offenders from re-offending on release from prison. St Giles Trust also works to help young people out of gangs. He became Chair of Phoenix Futures, a leading drug and alcohol addiction charity, in 2010. In the same year he joined the Boards of Affinity Sutton, one of the UK's largest housing associations and Action Aid UK.


Critical reception of Mark Haysom's first novel was positive. The Independent on Sunday talked of "Haysom's skilful debut … a highly readable novel with a warm heart"; The Sun said it was a "Wonderful debut about love, betrayal, family and childhood"; Good Housekeeping described it as "Funny and heart-breaking"; We Love This Book said that "In just a word or two, Mark Haysom seems able to evoke the pain of a deserted parent or the fear of a little boy". Outside the UK, it was said to be "original and stylish" and "bound to succeed" by the Irish Independent and Australia's Country Style magazine said: 'This first novel places Haysom up there with the literary luminaries.' In February 2014, it was one of only eleven books from across Europe selected for the Berlinale festival. Choice Magazine said of Imagine:"Haysom’s books combine believable, interesting characters with vividly drawn historical settings, the drama firmly rooted in time and place."