Welcome to my website. If you have got this far and you are not one of my friends or family then a double thank you.
So far, you know that I was cursed by my parents with a most unfortunate name, which as the fates have decreed is also quite unique. I say ‘quite’ as I have never unearthed another Mark “Bibby” Jackson in this or any other world, but I have to admit to the possibility that one does exist – if you know of another then please inform me. Yes, the Bibby isn’t a nickname; I have a birth certificate to prove it.
Although I state that I am a freelance journalist specialising in ASEAN, the publisher of AsiaLIFE Cambodia, editorial director of ASEAN Forum and Horizon Thailand magazines, in truth I am more a wanderer who writes. Despite graduating in English, I spent much of my career languishing in offices devising plans for dealing with objectors to railway projects, which were invariably shelved. Kafka would have loved it. It was only when I went to Vietnam as a VSO volunteer in 2003 that I was able to put my creative ability to the test through editing Vietnam Pathfinder magazine, an activity that was strictly non-Kosher according to VSO’s rules. A drunken conversation with an Irish friend in a Hanoi bar one night started the ball rolling. But that’s another story.
Since then I have served as editor-in-chief for Development Weekly and Business Press as well as writing freelance for a number of publications throughout Southeast Asia before establishing my own magazine – AsiaLIFE Cambodia – in December 2006. Following the success of this lifestyle and travel magazine, I established my own media company – AsiaLIFE Media – which specialises in publishing.
I have continued to pursue my freelance writing career throughout. A lifetime Leyton Orient and Liverpool fan – the least said the better – 2010 saw me commissioned to write daily columns on the Football World Cup for the Myanmar Times and Phnom Penh Post, entitled The Bib. Then the Phnom Penh Post recruited me to write the Heartbeat of the Nation, a weekly supplement on each province in Cambodia which was serialised over 26 weeks in 2011. In addition to writing, I trained journalists in Myanmar in 2010 and in Cambodia during the second half of 2011 funded by the Sasakawa Foundation.
April 2012 saw my debut as a novel(la)ist with the publication of Always, a short story about a man living the last seven days of his life in a cell and reflecting upon his life – cheery stuff.
Later in the year, I launched AsiaLIFE Thailand in Bangkok, which I’m afraid was a hopefully fleeting dalliance with failure. In 2013, I helped establish Horizon Thailand, the official magazine for the Department of International Trade Promotions (DITP), first in print form and then as a fortnightly e-newsletter.
In 2015, I set up ASEAN Forum magazine, a bi-monthly business magazine covering Southeast Asia, which went the way of AsiaLIFE Thailand.
My first Cambodia novel – To Cook A Spider – was published in 2015 to some critical acclaim – becoming the national winner for Cambodia in the categories of Best Self-Published Book and Best Asian Cuisine Book at the 2016 Gourmand Word Cookbook Awards. Also in 2016, I won a prize at the inaugural Essex Book Festival Crime Writing Short Story Competition for A Slow Death.
My second Cambodia novel – Peppered Justice – was published in late 2016. The second of Bibby Jackson’s Cambodian trilogy, Peppered Justice picks up where To Cook A Spider left off, with disgraced Cambodian detective Major Sorn Satya transferred to Kampot after his handling of the Defaux murder case. However, despite this set back the inspector is determined to fight for justice rather than kowtow to authority.
If you have managed to make it through to the end of this bio then you really don’t deserve to have the Timeline forced down your throat, but there again who said life is fair.
2004-6: Managing Editor, Vietnam Pathfinder, Dolphin Media, Hanoi, Vietnam.
2006: Editor-in-Chief, Development Weekly and Business Press, MC&D, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
2006 – now: Founder, Publisher and Editorial Director, AsiaLIFE Cambodia, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
2008 – 11: Cambodian Contributor to the Miele Guide, Singapore.
2009: Editor of When the Sun Awakens for Plan-O-Rama, Hanoi, Vietnam.
2010: Journalism Trainer at the Myanmar Times, funded by the Sasakawa Foundation; Columnist for the Phnom Penh Post and Myanmar Times, writing The Bib on the 2010 World Cup.
2011: Special Correspondent for the Phnom Penh Post, writing Heartbeat of the Nation; Editor of Mekong: Unravel the Mystery for Plan-O-Rama, Hanoi, Vietnam. Journalism Trainer for MEDIAR, Phnom Penh.
2012: Publication of Always, a novella; 2012: Launch of AsiaLIFE Thailand.
2013: Launch of Horizon Thailand.
2016: Winner of award at Essex Book Festival Crime Writing Short Story Competition for A Slow Death; Publication of Peppered Justice.