Mark Henry ‘Isle of Wight Lightening’ Yzerman-Snare is currently a business owner, art collector, hip hop junkie, investor and father. His effect on The Jolly Pilgrim was profound and his linguistic and iconographic influences are found throughout.
During the Jolly-Pilgrim project, Mark was my number-one cheerleader. His central contribution was to buy into the idea, at an early stage, of charging into the most extreme creative project one could come up with, then refuse to give up on it, or me, or for that matter my family, when the going got tough.
Mark was with me through the punishing period of July to December 2007, when the first flagship sub-chapters were assembled and the book’s internal style took shape. During that time, and for the six months which followed, my relationship with him was entirely vampiric.
Throughout the winter and spring of 2007/2008, when I was zoned-in down at the end of an Essex orchard in a shed, he faithfully called every week to endure long babbled monologues. At the time those monologs had little logical structure, yet they were my main outlet of external communication during the formative stage of a protracted and extremely intense creative process, which went on for month after month after month. Mark saved the project on multiple occasions with well-timed injections of poignant wit, caught me every time it looked as though I might go off the rails and was the first to read the original, uncut, version of the book’s apotheosis, in April 2008.
We twice nearly came to blows. Once in September 2008 and again in December 2008, as he insisted the Jolly Pilgrim P.R. machine should commence as soon as possible, while I refused to relent from my ambition of constructing an all-in-one cosmic, historic and geopolitical thesis. Mark has been an unforgiving critic, having either lacked, or dispensed with, any filters. Consequently, he constructs communications in the most direct and vulgar manner, and in accordance with his own, ever-so-slightly twisted, sense of humour. He insists this saves the most precious of human resources: time.
In addition to the above, Mark designed the book’s web marketing strategy, showed me how YouTube channels work, produced and directed the tester-introductory video and talked me through the context of Facebook and other web-based networking platforms. Mark also orchestrated the injection of several boxing metaphors and three Muhammad Ali references into the book.
In response to our exchange of ideas during the drafting process Mark rediscovered a childhood love of cosmology and now lists Carl Sagan as a ‘home boy’. Once retired he has stated his desire to circumnavigate his home planet by yacht. He further insists that meticulous preparations for this project will ensure his vessel will be exactly the wrong boat for any Somali pirates (or, as he colloquially refers to them, ‘sea pikies’) to attempt to tackle.
Mark lives 10 minutes’ walk from a perfect sandy beach on the Dorset coast with his wife, Sheri, his son, Ben, his daughter, Neva, and their border terrier, E.D.D. (Extra. Despicable. Dogg.) Mark enjoys current affairs, learning and then deploying new things, engineering projects and beatboxing for the amusement of his kids.