Mark Douglas, Jr. is the author of The Prophet of the Dragon, The Hero’s Ballad, and Medical MECH. His love of storytelling began in school–as a teacher, not a student. After graduating college, Mark went on to teach history at Surfside Middle School. During his first year, he was inspired by a student program called D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read), a thirty-minute period in which kids read books. However, not all the kids in his class were excited about reading. So Mark began reading novels aloud to them. He read Wednesday Wars, Treasure Island, and the Egypt Game. But the kids enjoyed Percy Jackson & the Olympians most. They hated the chapter cliffhangers. Several kids started checking out the series from the library in order to read ahead.
Encouraged, Mark embarked on his own storytelling journey. And his first story idea came from a dream. He dreamed two men fought one another to the death from atop a high castle tower as a storm raged. Lightning flashed, thunder boomed, rain hammered, and the men punched, kicked, and slashed with their swords. But they were evenly matched. Neither could win. The battle ends when one of the fighters goes over the edge of the tower. He scrabbles for purchase, and grasp a ledge before plummeting a hundred feet to the cobblestone courtyard below. The soon-to-be-victor approaches, sword poised, and he says, “It was never supposed to be this way.” Then Mark woke up. And he was left with questions: Who were these men? Why did they fight? And what did the victor’s cryptic line of dialogue mean? These questions drove Mark to write his first novel, The Prophet of the Dragon.
Now, years later, Mark has written numerous short stories, co-authored a children’s book, and his work has been recognized by Writers of the Future—even published in the Florida Writers Association’s short story collection anthology: FWA Collection #6: First Step. His work has also appeared in the Syndicate’s Adventures in the Arcane, Volume II. He lives in Northwest Florida, with his wife and three children, where he is currently hard at work on a new book series for kids.