Today we are very excited to share a special interview with author Mark Crilley (Lost in Taiwan)!
Read on to learn more about him, his book, and a giveaway!
Meet the Author: Mark Crilley
Mark Crilley is the author and illustrator of more than forty books, including several acclaimed graphic novels, for which he has received fourteen Eisner Award nominations. His work has been featured in USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, and on CNN Headline News. His popular YouTube videos have been viewed more than 400 million times. He lives in Michigan with his wife, Miki, and children, Matthew and Mio.
Website * Instagram * Twitter * Facebook
About the Book: Lost in Taiwan
In this exciting graphic novel about stepping out of your comfort zone, a traveler finds himself lost in Taiwan with no way of finding his brother—but he soon learns that this forced disconnect is helping him explore and experience the big wide world around him.
THIS WASN’T PAUL’S IDEA.
The last thing he’s interested in is exploring new countries or experiencing anything that might be described as “cultural enrichment.” But like it or not, he’s stuck with his brother, Theo, for two weeks in Taiwan, a place that—while fascinating to Theo—holds no interest to Paul at all.
While on a short trip to a local electronics store, Paul becomes hopelessly lost in Taiwan’s twisting, narrow streets, and he has no choice but to explore this new environment in his quest to find his way back to Theo’s apartment.
In an unfamiliar place with no friends—and no GPS!—there’s no telling what adventures he could happen upon. And who knows? Maybe it turns out he has friends in Taiwan, after all.
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
I lived in Taiwan for two and a half years, teaching English, studying Chinese, and eating some of the world’s most delicious food. I wanted to create a graphic novel that would pay tribute to the people and culture of Taiwan, and to give readers a taste of what it feels like to be there.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
He’s kind of a secondary character, but I had fun writing the dialogue of Wallace, a cheerful fellow we don’t meet until pretty far along into the story. He’s my portrait of the type of modern, pop-culture-loving youth that I encountered over and over when I was living in Taiwan.
YABC: How do you know when a book is finished?
In some ways it never is really finished; you just reach a point where you say, “Okay, I need to stop tweaking things now!” But for me, it’s usually after one or two rounds of revisions with the editor, during which we’ve hopefully identified all the mistakes and areas where there’s room for improvement. Technically, the final step in the process is almost always creating the front cover art, and writing out the “acknowledgments” page.
YABC: What research did you do to write this book?
Well, lots of it is just drawn from my own memories. But I did scour the internet for photos and videos of modern Taiwan, so as to make sure the visuals would be accurate. There’s a “tea making” scene in the book that’s based on articles and videos about how to properly prepare tea in the traditional Chinese manner. I did similar research to make sure the “praying at the temple” scene would be accurate.
YABC: How do you keep your ‘voice’ true to the age category you are writing within?
I’m lucky I’ve got a teenaged daughter in the house, whose way of speaking was a bit of a model for Paul, the book’s main character. I actually showed her the scene in which Paul is playing a video game, to make sure I got the details of that dialogue right.
YABC: What type of scene do you love to write the most?
I really enjoy writing dialogue. I love the challenge of reflecting the rhythm of conversation, with all the pauses and little facial reactions that are essential to everyday chats. If I’ve done my job right, you don’t just read what characters are saying, you “hear” the way they said it, and are aware of the emotions that underpin their words.
YABC: What other age group would you consider writing for?
I’ve got one or two story ideas that would only make sense for grownups, i.e. the main character needs to be an adult, or middle aged, or even older. Typically graphic novels aren’t written so much for grownups, so it’s tricky to find publishers interested in an idea like that. But I’d love to give it a try someday, if I’m given the chance.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
My next project is a two-book series that’s aimed at upper elementary and middle school students, due in stores this coming winter. It’s the first thing I’ve done in years that is focused directly on humor, and I’m having so much fun coming up with all the jokes and ridiculous situations. But the key thing about it is the format: These are highly experimental books that bring together comics, letters, diaries, and other unusual forms of storytelling. I can’t wait to see what people will think of them.
Title: Lost in Taiwan
Author/Illustrator: Mark Crilley
Release Date: 5/23/2023
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young adult fiction
Age Range: 12+
~ Giveaway Details ~
Three (3) winners will receive a copy of Lost in Taiwan (Mark Crilley) ~US Only!
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
2 thoughts on “Author Chat With Mark Crilley (Lost in Taiwan), Plus Giveaway! ~ US Only”
This looks great
This is a beautiful cover and sounds perfect for my daughter who is outgrowing middle grade fiction but not yet ready for a lot of the YA books yet!