Monday, November 22, 2010

Author Interview Monday with Marilyn Bunderson (The Mark)
About Marilyn:
"As a child I often imagined that I had magical powers like super strength or the ability to fly. Other times would pretend I had rich relatives somewhere who would swoop in and turn my life into a fairytale. In the meantime I spent my time with a very normal loving family in a very normal small mid-west town. I survived high school (go KV Tigers) during the “big hair” eighties, which my children think is hilarious, and spent my time reading, shooting hoops, playing the violin, spending time with friends, and studying. When I grew up I got whisked off to a beautiful castle by a handsome prince to find the fairytale life I’d always imagined. I still spend my time reading, shooting hoops, playing the violin, and spending time with friends; along with writing, trying not to do housework, and teaching my children to live their dreams."
From Marilyn's website

She was gracious enough to answer some interview questions for the blog, and here they are:

--Can you give us a brief description of The Mark in your own words?

The Mark is a book about a group of teenagers who find they have a lot in common. They were all adopted, they all have the same color eyes, they have a connection when they touch . . . and they all have the same unique mark. As they struggle to discover who they really are and where they're from, they are drawn together to face a common enemy. Someone who will stop at nothing to make sure they never learn the truth.

--How did you get the idea for the story?

I got my first idea for this book while I was reading another book. There was a scene in that book that I thought would go a totally different direction--and then it didn't. But I thought . . . what if . . .? What if something did happen when two people touched? I built from that and the story grew as I typed. --Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with? Gaia. She's lived a long time and her views have undergone drastic changes. I think it would be fun to sit down with her and learn more about her. --What are some of your favorite books?

--Do you still have much time to read? 

Do I still have time to breathe? Um, yeah. Okay, maybe not as much as I would like, but those night hours are free and open baby. Favorite books/authors: Jane Austin (Pride and Prejudice), Shannon Hale (The Princess Academy), Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian), Stephanie Meyer (Twilight), Louisa May Alcott (Eight Cousins), J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter), Jessica Day George (Princess of the Midnight Ball), Journey for a Princess by Margaret Leighton (I read it 10 times or more as a child).

--If a fairy godmother told you your life could be like a favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why? 

You know, when you think about it, a lot of nasty stuff happens in books. Sure, many of them end with happily ever after, but the journey to get there is usually horrible. If I were to step into Twilight, would I really want to worry about vampires. Yikes, no thanks. The world of Pride and Prejudice is filled with mud, hard work, and social injustice. The Lightening Thief?--waaay to scary. But just for fun, and just for a little while (as long as I could choose if I were a good guy or a bad guy) I'd have to say Harry Potter just so I could have magic powers for a day.

--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on The Mark "playlist-" songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote? 

You can check out The Mark playlist on my blog: I don't mind music when I write, it can be helpful, but children asking questions and needing help stops me cold. I need either music or SILENCE in order to write. With 6 children, 5 still at home, I have to write when they're at school. While I was writing The Mark, my daughter, then 16, was working on Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin. You can hear her play it on my playlist. Obviously, that played a lot into my main character development. Tori is not like my daughter personality wise but her piano playing is definitely from my daughter, Sam.

--Could you give us any teasers from the sequel? 

Going at it from a different perspective. This one won't be from Tori's POV.

--If you could have any superpower what would you choose? 

The ability to move things without touching them.

--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?

I love to read, play piano and violin, volleyball, basketball, and or course, eating. I just love good food.

--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers? 

One of the main things that finally pushed me into writing was my disappointment with the raunchiness meter in YA books. There seems to be this big cycle where authors are putting more sex into books, maybe publishers are pushing for it. It's certainly an easy way to make a book interesting. Then readers/viewers grow accustomed to these lower levels of morality in both books and movies. Behaviors follow. I think there is a market for clean books. I decided that if I had a problem with these new trends I could either shut up and be disapproving or do something about it. I decided to do what I could to promote clean reads for teenagers. The more books out there, the better. Okay, lecture done. Don't I sound just like the mother of teenage girls?

Marilyn's blog, and  twitter

Thank you so much for your time!!

My review here
The Mark The Mark by M.R. Bunderson
"She's had it forever. A tiny mark on her hand. No big deal, right? But when Tori discovers that her ordinary freckle is really some kind of microscopic tattoo, she doesn't know what to think, especially after meeting Eric, a guy she feels strangely connected to--and not just because he has a mark too. All too soon, Tori and Eric realize that their marks are only the first clue to a mystery that will change everything. And with each new discovery, Tori finds herself pulled deeper and deeper into a world she could never have imagined."


  1. As a mother of an almost teenage boy, I couldn't agree more =) Wonderful interview girls!

  2. Oooooh who doesn't love good food in their free time?! haha love this interview...nice job! :)

  3. I had not heard of The Mark before. Glad to discover a new author. Thank you for the interview! I love the author's favourite books.

  4. Wow! I first heard of this book when Tara of 25 Hour Books, read and reviewed it. Since then I have been very interested in reading it, but I completely forgot it was on my wishlist.

    Thanks for this interview. I love the questions asked, esp the fairy godmother one. The author had great answers. :D

  5. Thanks for the interview, it was great chatting with you.

  6. I think it would be great to be able to live in the world of Harry Potter for a while! Although, I can imagine that it might not be as fantastic as one would think.

  7. Great interview. It's great to know that this has a sequel. I've been meaning to read the first.


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