Author Spotlight Mark Haskell Smith

I’d like to say that this month’s author spotlight was chosen because we share a love of tacos and food trucks, but that would only be partly true. Simply put, Mark Haskell Smith is one of the premier humor novelists of our time, and we’re ecstatic that he’s spending January mapping the places in Moist, Salty, Baked, Delicious and his latest novel, Raw: A Love Story.

Raw follows the whirlwind life of Sepp Gregory, a reality TV star and one of People magazine’s “sexiest men alive.” He’s about to embark on a media tour for his debut novel (not that Sepp has read the book. He lived it!). The book becomes a hit, but a respected literary critic is out to reveal the fraud. Raw mainly takes place in cultural landmarks around Los Angeles with side trips to Seattle, San Francisco, New York and the desert between LA and Vegas.

Mark is also mapping The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. According to Mark, “it’s the book that inspired [him] to become a voracious reader, which in turn helped [him] become a writer.” He went on to say that the book is “the portrayal of a completely amoral, psychologically complex and unreliable protagonist that really made me stop and say wow.”

It’s my turn to say wow. I’m consistently amazed at the places our Author Spotlight’s are continually mapping.

Follow Mark’s progress throughout January at PlacingLiterature.com and his Twitter account.

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