Mark has two new children’s books about sharks arriving on shelves in 2022 — Sharks Forever: The Mystery and History of the Planet’s Perfect Predator (with a foreword by Sea Shepherd Captain, Paul Watson and Big Sharks, Small World. Both are being published by Victoria’s Orca Book Publishing.
Orcas Everywhere – Mark’s first book for Orca won the 2020 City of Victoria Children’s Book Award. He also wrote two other whale books for younger readers – Orcas of the Salish Sea and Big Whales, Small World.
His Canadian bestseller, The Killer Whale Who Changed the World, won the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada award.
His stage play, Bar Mitzvah Boy, was published by Playwright’s Canada Press and longlisted for the 2021 Leacock Medal for Humour.
He is the author of two comic memoirs Free Magic Secrets Revealed (Harbour) and Never Shoot a Stampede Queen — A Rookie Reporter in the Cariboo (Heritage), which won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour.
Orcas Everywhere, The Killer Whale Who Changed the World and Never Shoot a Stampede Queen are available as audiobooks (narrated by the author).
Mark has written two other books of environmentally-themed non-fiction – The Green Chain: Nothing is Ever Clear Cut (Heritage), a collection of interviews dealing with the future of our forests and This Crazy Time (Knopf) written with/about controversial Canadian environmentalist Tzeporah Berman.
As a journalist, Mark’s credits include writing for CBC Radio, TIME, Maclean’s, The Utne Reader, The Hollywood Reporter, The Huffington Post and most of Canada’s major daily newspapers and alt weeklies (including The Globe and Mail, The National Post, The Toronto Star and The Vancouver Sun). He has written numerous articles for The Walrus, The Georgia Straight, the Tyee.ca and Chicken Soup for the Soul books (yes, really).
He was the editor of Reel West – covering western Canada’s film/tv/digital industry.
Mark was a long-time contributor to Canada’s original alt-weekly, The Georgia Straight, where his gigs included covering the Toronto International Film Festival for nearly 20 years.
His fave TIFF interviews included conversations with Terry Gilliam, David Lynch, Damien Echols, Woody Harrelson, Claudia Schiffer and Salman Rushdie. Other TIFF highlights, spending Rosh Hashanah with Sidney Lumet; talking highs and lows with Tommy Chong, hearing about the origins of R&B with Ruth Brown, and eating pizza with Michael Moore.
Mark is now tired of writing about himself in the third person.
My fave non-TIFF interviews include talking magic with Doug Henning, David Copperfield and Penn (from Penn and Teller); having Spalding Gray mock me because I called his worldview bleak; Skyping Tori Amos when she was in Istanbul; trying to get William Shatner to talk about being an icon (which prompted him to call me “a weird little guy”), a solo interview with Justin Trudeau back when he was considered the featherweight who would end the federal Liberal party. talking story with Elmore Leonard and getting completely tongue-tied during a solo sit-down in Vancouver with my all-time literary hero, Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
As a lifelong Canucks fan I also geeked out when I got to watch a hockey game in the booth with Jim Robson and Tom Larscheid, sang “Randorf the Commentator” to sportscaster, Dave Randorf, interviewed Trevor Linden and Pat Quinn and did a profile of Pavel Bure at the height of his Pavel Bureness.
As a lifelong theatre fan my fave theatre interviews include conversations with John Gray, Thompson Highway, Robert Lepage, Stephen Schwartz and George F. Walker.
As a lifelong film and TV fan my fave filmmaker interviews include Kevin Smith talking about Vancouver and about Zack and Miri, Robert Altman, Amy Berg, Jonathan Caouette (talking Tarnation), Gareth Edwards, Jeff Feuerzeig, Vince Gilligan, Sturla Gunnarson, Lasse Hallstrom, Michel Hazanavicius, Neil Jordan, Werner Herzog, Guy Maddin, Michael McGowan, Deepa Mehta, Errol Morris, Velcrow Ripper, Marjane Satrapi, John Sayles, Lone Scherfig, Gus Van Sant, Wim Wenders and James Wan and Leigh Wannell (the year they launched Saw).
Because almost every time I visit a high school I get asked, “who’s the most famous person you’ve ever interviewed” and I never have a clue how to answer this, you decide. I’ve also interviewed Gillian Anderson, Pamela Anderson, Monica Bellucci, Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Neve Campbell, Michael Cera, Claire Danes, David Duchovny, Ralph Fiennes, Colin Firth, Whoopi Goldberg, Paul Gross, Jewel, Laura Linney, Gretchen Mol, Viggo Mortensen, Edward Norton, Joaquin Phoenix, Christopher Plummer, Dennis Quaid, Molly Ringwald, Mira Sorvino, Octavia Spencer and Christopher Walken.
And because I understand, and surrender to the concept of search engines, my round table and junket interviews where I actually got to ask a question or three included: Antonio Banderas, Kenneth Branagh, Michael Caine, The Coen Brothers, Michael Douglas, Will Ferrell, Jodie Foster, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jude Law, Bill Maher, Pearl Jam, Ewan McGregor, Guy Ritchie, Martin Short, Sissy Spacek, John Travolta, Karl Urban, Sigourney Weaver and Robin Williams (for Good Morning Vietnam and one of those dramas we’re going to pretend never happened and yes, he really was that funny).
I’ve also covered press conferences for US President Bill Clinton, Boris Yeltsin, Brian Mulroney and assorted Canadian politicians you’ve probably never heard of and movie stars like Cameron Crowe, Tom Cruise, Diablo Cody, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Megan Fox, Steve Martin, Brad Pitt and Denzel Washington.
Some fave stories include:
And a few of my all-time fave stories that are searchable on-line:
A Social Media Riot Made for TV: This wasn’t ’94. This was weirder, more violent, driven by a lust for digital attention – The Tyee (the morning after “the hockey riot.”)
Congratulations, Preston Manning: It’s your country now, with adversaries defunded, in disarray, or both. – The Tyee (The morning after the 2011 federal election)