Interview with YA novelist Mark Schreiber

cover for amanda911Today’s special author guest is Mark Schreiber to chat with me about his YA crossover novel, Amanda911.

During his virtual book tour, Mark will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too!

Mark Schreiber was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1960, graduated high school at age fifteen and began writing novels full-time. Princes in Exile, which explores a prodigy’s struggle to accept his own mortality at a summer camp for kids with cancer, was published in 1984 and made into a feature film in 1991. It has been published in ten countries, received two awards in Europe and was shortlisted for the Austria Prize. Carnelian, a fantasy, was published by Facet in Belgium. Starcrossed, a rebuttal to Romeo and Juliet, was published by Flux and translated into French and Turkish. His illustrated science book, How to Build an Elephant, was published as an Apple app by Swag Soft. He has written over forty books and received two State of Ohio Individual Writer Fellowships. For the last seven years he has been a digital nomad, living on four continents. He currently resides in Costa Rica.

Welcome, Mark. Please tell us a little bit about your newest release.
“Sixteen-year-old Iowa schoolgirl Amanda Dizon may be the nation’s most unremarkable teenager, until she falls down a well and finds herself instantaneously transformed from irrelevant to influencer.  Mark Schreiber’s sly, rollicking masterpiece, Amanda911, follows Amanda’s escapades and sends up the craven, fame-obsessed virtual culture of today’s adolescents.

As insightful as Dickens and as innovative as Heller, Schreiber is the definitive satirist of the social media generation.”—Jacob M. Appel, author of Einstein’s Beach House

Please tell us about your main character and who inspired him/her.
Amanda is a 16-year-old Iowan girl whose goal is not to disappoint others. She is timid and plain, but possessed with a wry wit, and a degree of common sense lacking in almost everyone around her. I based her loosely on my Costa Rican niece, who fell down a hole when she was little and almost died. The real Amanda Is now thirteen and I’m waiting either for her to learn English or for a Spanish translation, so she can read the book dedicated to her.


Excerpt from Amanda911:
The Influencer Festival was the brainchild of Emerson Frost, a Silicon Valley billionaire who thought Burning Man contained the wrong-colored sand and not nearly enough water. The 150 influencers and their guests were comped their trip, and the models, celebrity chefs and musicians were paid. He sold sponsorships and documentary rights, but the festival wasn’t meant to make a profit. Rather he used it as a tax-deductible party and a way to promote his cloud data company.

He had built thatched-roof huts; communal showers and toilets; an amphitheater; a windowless e-sports auditorium equipped with rows of consoles and big screens; an indoor disco with a bar; three restaurants in white tents, with bars of their own; a swimming pool with bar service; and a dedicated cell tower. All behind a secluded white sand beach. And there was a dock long enough to moor his yacht, and other pleasure boats. And a helipad.

Wow! said Amanda as we were driven through the gate. This is like a camp for rich people.


Have you ever had an imaginary friend?
No, but when I was four, I pretended a fallen tree on a neighborhood hill was a Stegosaurus. I loved dinosaurs decades before they became popular.

Do you have any phobias?
Heights. I love observation floors in skyscrapers, but not climbing walls and ladders. And mountain roads without guardrail are the worst. I still have nightmares about driving through the Verdon Gorge in Southern France.

Do you listen to music when you’re writing?
Yes, usually rock.

Do you ever read your stories out loud?
No. Literature, of course, began as an oral art form, often not even written down until many years later. Shakespeare wrote plays and poems to be seen and heard. Publication was an afterthought. And Dickens gave a reading tour in the U.S. that was attended like a rock concert. But in the 20th Century literature became textual, and you we were taught to read silently. We were trained not even to move our lips. What was that about? Now, however, with the popularity of audio books, the oral tradition is making a return.

Website | TikTok | Instagram | Twitter | Wikipedia

Buy links:
Amazon | Pleasure Boat Studio | Google Books

Thanks for being here today, Mark.

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6 thoughts on “Interview with YA novelist Mark Schreiber

  1. Bea LaRocca says:

    Thank you for sharing your author interview and book details, I have enjoyed reading about you and your work and am looking forward to reading your story

  2. Rosie says:

    I loved the excerpt, what an interesting author. And very talented, right from the get go at such a young age. It does sound fun to be a digital nomad, especially when you can traipse the globe, and not just a few states from your home!

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