Williams, Mark London 1959-
WILLIAMS, Mark London 1959-
PERSONAL: Born June 19, 1959, in Sacramento, CA; son of William R. (a journalist) and Deborah R. (an administrator) Williams; married; wife's name, Catherine (a midwife); children: Elijah, Asher. Education: University of California—Berkeley, A.B. (drama), 1981; University of Southern California, M.P.W., 1994. Politics: "Transformative." Religion: "Questioning."
ADDRESSES: Offıce—P.O. Box 4381, North Hollywood, CA 91617. Agent—Ruth Cohen, P.O. Box 2244, La Jolla, CA 92038. E-mail—[email protected] com.
CAREER: Journalist, editor, and freelance writer. Instructor, California State University—Northridge Extension and Learning Tree University.
MEMBER: Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, PEN West.
AWARDS, HONORS: Golden Duck Award nominee for excellence in children's science fiction, for Ancient Fire.
Ancient Fire ("Danger Boy" series), Tricycle Press (Berkley, CA), 2001.
Dino Sword ("Danger Boy" series), Tricycle Press (Berkley, CA), 2001.
Contributor of articles and poetry to periodicals, including L.A. Business Journal, Los Angeles Times, Variety, and L.A. Times Online. Script writer for Piranha Press and Mojo Press, both publishers of comics.
WORK IN PROGRESS: More installments in "Danger Boy" series; a fable; a picture book; research on passenger train lines and California Indian history.
SIDELIGHTS: During his varied literary career, Mark London Williams has scripted comics, published poetry, written reviews for Variety and the Los Angeles Times column "Meta Hollywood," produced plays nationally and internationally, and written his own series of children's books. When one day Williams's son Elijah blurted out "I'm Danger Boy!" he unknowingly sparked the idea for his father's "Danger Boy" series for middle-grade readers, which first rolled off the presses in 2001 with Ancient Fire. In the debut novel, main character Eli, who lives in the year 2019, is a regular kid until his mother disappears during a time-travel experiment. Then Eli must go back in time to the ancient Egyptian city of Alexandria, where he teams up with Clyne, a highly evolved dinosaur from another planet, and Thea, the daughter of the last librarian of Alexandria, to save the world and rescue Eli's mother. The tale is told in the first person, with chapters alternating between the three characters. Upon returning to his present time, Eli earns the moniker "Danger Boy." In the second installment in the "Danger Boy" series, Dino Sword, Eli and his companions from the first book team up again to tackle the "Fifth Dimension."
Both novels were popular with readers, reaching the Los Angeles Times best-seller list of children's books, and Ancient Fire was nominated for a children's science fiction award. A Publishers Weekly reviewer praised Williams for being able to write clearly about complicated ideas, predicting that Ancient Fire, an "inventively twisted" story, will give readers a "rewarding excursion." Furthermore, School Library Journal contributor Mara Alpert predicted that the first volume in the "Danger Boy" series "will leave readers awaiting the next installment."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Publishers Weekly, March 26, 2001, review of Ancient Fire, p. 94.
School Library Journal, April, 2001, Mara Alpert, review of Ancient Fire, p. 152.
Danger Boy Web site,http://dangerboy.com/ (March 30, 2003).
SciFan,http://www.scifan.com/ (January 14, 2003), "Mark London Williams."*