We know Mark Powers as the author of two wonderful blue manatee press books that encourage reading and music! But he has a wide range of interests and hobbies! Learn all about them here, and what inspired his books I Want to Be a Drummer! and I Want to Be a Reader!
Who Is Mark Powers?
Mark wears many hats these days. “I am primarily a professional drummer,” he says, “performing and recording with a variety of different bands and artists of various genres. When I’m around home, I teach private drum lessons and, during the school year, visit schools as a teaching artist – doing percussion assemblies and multi-day residencies.”
He adds, “I’ve published ten books: the two board books with blue manatee press, as well as other more instruction-focused drumming resources. In addition to all of that, I do some acting and have recently picked up the hobbies of coin ring making and digital collage art.”
The I Want To Be Books!
Mark’s experience teaching in over 200 school and organizations over the years inspired him to write stories that geared towards children younger than elementary school age.
“The I Want to Be a Drummer! story, being one that many wannabe drummers like myself have done as kids, was a natural way to go – encouraging children (and their adult reading partners) to notice sounds around them, and to then combine them to make rhythm and music,” he says.
I Want to Be a Reader! was inspired by his combined love of reading as well as his understanding that literacy is an important tool in every person’s life. “I’ve been a Reading Buddy in elementary schools in the past, working one-on-one with young readers, and currently pop into my wife’s fourth-grade classroom from time to time to do the same with her students,” he says. “My hope is that I Want to Be a Reader!, and its encouragement to be aware of letters and words, is a good place to get little ones excited about the awesomeness of reading.”
“I personally start and end nearly every single day reading something. In school programs, I often stress the value of communication skills. Reading, writing, listening, speaking and more, are vital to getting along with others and pursuing your dreams.” - Mark Powers
Advice For Young Writers!
“My advice is twofold,” he says. “Number 1: To simply write, write, write – whenever you have the urge or an inkling of an idea! And number 2: To share what you’ve written. Let the world see the literary art that you’re creating!”
It Takes a Village!
Mark has lived a creative life, and he’s quick to give credit to the people around him who make it possible. “I would love to take this opportunity to thank everyone I consider to be on my team here,” he says. “Maria Montag for the fantastic illustrations; Amy Dean and all at blue manatee press for the belief in these little books; IPG Books for the ongoing support; my wife Autumn for constant encouragement and inspiration; and every single parent, teacher, friend, mentor and child who has held these books and read from their pages. I love seeing these ideas float out around the world!”