YA Author Takes to the Road and the Airwaves

Alison Morris - May 24, 2007

Mark Peter Hughes shared some uber-cool news with the Association of Booksellers for Children's list-serv today, and I am thrilled to be passing that news along!

First let me say that Mark has (as of March 30th) quit his job to write full time. As if that wasn't brave enough, he is currently planning a seven-week road trip with this family to travel across the country visiting bookstores (mostly independents) and promote his most recent novel, Lemonade Mouth, which I've mentioned previously. Here is where we come to the biggest piece of news: National Public Radio has asked Mark to record "audio postcards" during his road trip — "audio postcards" that will be broadcast to the 12 million regular listeners of All Things Considered!!  Wow, wow, wow!  How fantastic is that?!

I know, I know… We could all die from envy on this one, but let me also add this little bit: Mark didn't have connections at NPR who scored this gig on his behalf. Thinking he had an idea that might work well for their SoundClips series, he went to the NPR website, found a "How You Can Participate" phone number, then pitched his idea to their answering machine. A producer called him on his last day of work (!) to hear more. He ultimately concluded that Mark's idea would be better as a series of clips rather than a one-off broadcast, so Mark's proposal and the subsequent sample recording he sent along were passed up through the ranks. Fast forward a bit and… poof! Mark is suddenly recording a series of "audio-postcards" that began with one wildly optimistic phone call.

Soon we will all be listening to entertaining bits of Mark's adventures with his wife, three kids, a rusty old van, and a whole lotta bookstores! Will Mark and his entourage be careening through your neighborhood? Check out the tentative path of his cross-country journey to find out, then e-mail him to tell him the name of your favorite independent bookstore. With any luck he might be able to include them on his tour.

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