Author of Devil's Tower
Mark Sumner lives on the northern edge of the Ozarks along with his wife, son, and a very enthusiastic golden retriever. He's the author of over two dozen short stories and eighteen books, including several young adult thrillers and the fantasy novel The Prodigal Sorcerer.
He enjoys hiking, camping, diving, anything to do with planes, and makes regular trips to the western U.S. to search for dinosaur remains.
Okay, that's all the standard stuff. Now on to some real information.
I always intended to be a writer.
For years, I went to classes on writing, and I bought every copy of Writer's Market, and I subscribed to magazines, and I fantasized about writing. But somehow, I never got anything down on paper.
Finally my wife put her foot down -- either write or don't write, but quit talking about it. That got me working. For a first goal, I turned to the Writers of the Future contest. Writers of the Future is a quarterly contest, so it gave me a regular "deadline" to shoot for.
My first try at WOTF earned me a "finalist" spot, but not publication. So did my second, and my third.
On my fourth try with the contest, I hit paydirt. My story "Surrogate," took first place in 1991. I got a good pay check, and a wonderful trip to Washington D.C. where I got new insight into all aspects of writing. Even before the WOTF story saw print, I had sold several short stories to magazines like Asimov's and Dragon. I've since sold around twenty stories to various magazines and anthologies. Soon afterwards, I began writing young adult horror for Harper. I've done six books for them. If you should get in a mood to search for them, I recommend the titles Deadly Stranger, and The Dark.
I went on to write the book The Prodigal Sorcerer, a fantasy novel, for Harper. I co-authored the novels Kingdom of Sorrow and See No Weevil. These were both written with fellow Missouri writer, Marella Sands, and published under the pen name Kenyon Morr.
Devil's Tower, and it's upcoming sequel, are by far my favorite of the things I've written. I hope you enjoy them, and encourage you to communicate what you liked about the books -- and what you didn't like.
And not the most critical piece of info...
At about the same time as I was putting out that third story to Writers of the Future, I fell in with a group of local writers called "The Alternate Historians." This writers group contained a number of aspiring writers, including Laurell K. Hamilton, Deborah Millitello, Marella Sands, N. L. Drew, Tom Drennan, and Rett MacPherson. At the time I joined, all the members were raw newcomers, but working together, we soon began to make some sales. At this time, our group has sold over forty novels and fifty short stories.
I've also been a member of an electronic writers group "Tale Spinners." This group includes some much younger and much hotter writers than me, including John Bunnell, Katie Daniel, Connie Hirsch, Karawynn Long, Dan Perez, Sherwood Smith, and Kathleen Woodbury. These folks were kind enough to read through the first draft of Devil's Tower, and were invaluable in getting the book into shape.
Some people will tell you that writers groups are useless. I'm telling you they've been to the wrong writers groups. If you can find a group of people that are all willing to work together, really work, you've got a resource that can't be beat.
Please feed the writer -- send feedback.
You can contact me by letter, phone call, or email. Let me know what you think of Devil's Tower or any of my other work.
PO Box 515286
St. Louis, MO 63151
(800) 600-7176 (phone)
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This page last updated on 18 March 1996.