Thursday, May 16, 2013

Interview with TBF author: Mark Shulman


The next author you can check off of our list is Mark Shulman. He is the author of Scrawl, Are You "Normal" and Attack of the Killer Video Book Take 2: Tips and Tricks for Young Directors.

Miranda Reads: In your book Scrawl, the narrator is a sympathetic bully. Did you ever experience bullying when you were a teenager?
Mark Shulman: I was absolutely part of the bullying world, but on the receiving end. The character Tod is an amalgam of bullies and semi-bullies I knew at East High School. When I was younger, I went to the homes of these kids. By high school they'd hardened, or at least were trying to harden, or most likely, were being hardened by circumstances. They'd do mean things, hurtful things, but not out of total malice. It feels like that was just what some kids did for fun, the way some people go hunting. I was a favorite target because, well, because I was destined to become a New York City writer type. Not the most common 70s East High kid.

MR: We know that bullying is not approved whatsoever. In your opinion, do you think that bullying in schools has gotten out of hand since you went to school?
MS: Are you kidding? Bullying nowadays is being stopped in ways that I never would have dreamed of. We didn't harass by cell phone and Facebook, which is a different experience, but for me there were real physical threats. At East we had a place where kids went to fight. By "fight" I  mean a tougher kid would goad a less-tough kid to go to the approved smoking area, by the huge antenna on Ohio near Main, which was never patrolled. You were chicken and tormented if you didn't go. You were beat up if you went, but at least the beating was relatively benign -- a few kicks and punches. If you rolled into a ball, you didn't get hurt so much. So, that was high school.

MR: One of your five fun facts says that you love animals…to eat. Is there any animal or insect that you wouldn’t dare eat?
MS: Oh, lots. I was just saying that to get attention. I am a happy omnivore. I won't eat bugs, cauliflower, house pets, Brussels sprouts, liver, goldfish (live or cheese-cracker flavored) or anything on the endangered list. I have eaten, but never myself killed, hippo, rattlesnake, ostrich, elk, moose, steer, butterfly, raccoon, chicken, shark, frog, and trout. Okay, I did kill the butterfly. It was an accident. The window was rolled down and I was going 60.

MR: What author are you most looking forward to meeting at the 8th annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival?
MS: I'd like to be there when Marissa Meyer, Megan Miranda, and Michael Morpurgo meet each other.

Are you ready to cross off more authors? We have:
  • Gennifer Albin: author of Crewl
  • Coe Booth: author of Tyrell, Kendra and Bronxwood
  • Margaret Peterson Haddix: author of the Shadow Children series, the Missing series, Running Out of Time, Game Changer, Just Ella and so much more! To see what else Margaret has written click here.
  • Faith Erin Hicks & Prudence Shen: co-authors of Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong
  • Robin LaFevers: author of His Fair Assassins trilogy, Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph
  • Marissa Meyer: author of the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Scarlet
  • Jennifer E. Smith: author of Comeback Season, Storm Makers, You Are Here, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and This is What Happy Looks Like
Remember to check the blog for the last book reviews and author interviews!


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