Season 2 | Episode 14 • Mark Parsons
Host & Guest
Mark H Parsons
About This Episode
For the last several episodes, we’ve been doing a highlight series on the podcast, interviewing our speakers for the 805 Writers Conference. Today Kathleen highlights award-winning author Mark H. Parsons. He’s a multi-talented major house-signed non-fiction and YA writer and musician.
Kathleen and Mark discuss his latest YA work, The 9:09 Project, releasing in November from Delacorte/Random House. The story follows a young man dealing with grief. He starts taking photographs every day at 9:09. Inspiring him to use this project to put his grief to work for him. They touch briefly on the process Mark takes while developing his stories, but more so on the why of them. Writing YA allows an author to explore significant subject matters and how to deal with life-altering moments. Join the discussion and get inspired by yet another one of our very talented conference speakers.
Adanna and Mark dive into the writing process—what Adanna calls inopportune moments that spark creativity and overcome writer’s block. They go over writing styles and how no matter your method, you can pull from all different places to be successful. It’s possible the most essential bit of their 20ish-minute conversation is the process for querying larger publishing houses. Listen to both segments together. Having the main episode and the after-hours released together is a rare treat. We’re very excited to have Mark as one of our speakers this year at the 805 Writers Conference.
About our guest
Mark H. Parsons
Mark H. Parsons has written primarily nonfiction for several years, penning over two hundred articles for national publications as well as a pair of nonfiction books before turning to book-length fiction. His first YA novel, Road Rash (Knopf/Random House), was named to the ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults list, as well as Bank Street College’s Best Children’s Books of the Year list. His latest YA novel, The 9:09 Project, is coming from Delacorte/Random House this November. He also has a writing blog on his website which deep dives into several aspects of the writing life.
“I love the writing process, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction,” Parsons says. “Please don’t tell my editor, but I would pay to write. I’m specifically drawn to the YA genre because it allows you the freedom to explore important issues in-depth and because teens have better bullshit detectors than any other audience. I would argue that in terms of veracity and impact, kidlit is not less than adult lit, but more than.”
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