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Howard Marks turns his pen to fiction

26th October 2009

Former drug smuggler and writer Howard Marks is nervous about switching from non-fiction to a novel with his latest work.

The author, whose previous books include autobiography Mr Nice and drug literature collection The Howard Marks Book of Dope Stories, will publish Sympathy For The Devil, his debut novel, next year.

'It's very different from my other stuff and a fair old jump for me to make. But I felt I had to stop writing non-fiction and that there was always a limit to how many autobiographies I could get away with,' the 64-year-old told the Western Mail.

However, Marks admitted that he is still nervous about how his first foray into fiction will be received, despite having a loyal fanbase, early interest in the novel's foreign rights and encouragement from his publishers.

He also explained that Sympathy For The Devil's publication date has been delayed until the biopic Mr Nice, which stars Rhys Ifans, hits the big screen in 2010.

The writer told the newspaper that the book is mainly set in west Wales and follows a policewoman's investigation into the death of an ex-lover.

Marks was one of the world's most notorious cannabis smugglers in the 1970s and 80s, before he was arrested by the US Drug Enforcement Agency in 1988.

After serving seven years in one of America's toughest prisons, he published his first autobiography, which is still an international bestseller, and reinvented himself as a writer, speaker and comedian.

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