Author: Mark

  • My SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA coming out story/review, reposted for posterity

    Hi! Happy Halloween! Below, please find my review of Becky Albertalli’s SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA, originally posted over three years ago on a book blog I’ve since deleted. I’d thought the review was gone, but I found it squirreled away in my computer today when sorting out old documents instead of finishing my […]

  • Stuff & things 3: the one with the things

    This is an updates post, which is different from a News post because News posts are capitalized, but it’s still got quality content about my life and books and stuff. Also, things! If you’re curious, you can read more stuff & things posts by clicking “Updates” to the left of this post’s title. Interning Hi. […]

  • My WIP minus my WIP

    If you’re not familiar, Garfield Minus Garfield is one of the better things on the internet—an exploration of what Garfield comic strips are when the character of Garfield is removed. Hilarity abounds. I was thinking about it earlier, and I wanted to make a blog post—a short one—about what my WIP (retired code name: Overdue Hug; new code […]

  • Donate to Fox Benwell’s Medical Transition, Get a Critique!

    [UPDATED July 2: Alex Yuschik is also offering critiques—see below!] Howdy, friends! My knightly buddy Fox Benwell (who you know from his Twitter, site, and acclaimed debut, The Last Leaves Falling) needs some help. You can—and should—read his story here, but in summary: he needs a procedure done, but the out-of-pocket costs are ridiculous for one person […]

  • Stuff & things 2: revenge of the stuff

    This is an updates post, which is different from a News post because News posts are capitalized, but it’s still got quality content about my life and books and stuff. I’m gonna try to make these posts a regular fixture on this blogamajig, so we’ll see how that goes. ANYWAY. The Manuscript (Code Name: The Artwork […]

  • How I evaluated agents when I queried

    I am by no means an expert on how to select agents to query. I’m just this writer with an agent and an internship, you know? But I think I collected a solid list of criteria over my querying days, so I’m going to share it. (I didn’t actually have a list I’d consult—over time, I just […]

  • Sensitivity reading is now a thing I’m doing!

    Howdy, all! Justina Ireland started a database of sensitivity readers. Guess who’s in that database? Me! (Click on “Sensitivity Reader Database” and scroll down to find “Mark O’Brien”—I’d tell you the row I’m listed in, but it will change regularly as the database is updated.) So yes—I’m now offering sensitivity reading in the following areas: […]

  • Stuff & Things

    Updates updates updates! The Artwork Formerly Known As SWEETEST DOWNFALL I turned in a round of edits about a week and a half ago and I’ve been on cloud nine since. This is the book I always wanted TAFKASD to be. Agent Heather is taking it to the next level, and I’m so thrilled to […]

  • Keeping and caring for your faith, trust, and pixie dust

    I write gay character-driven YA contemporary romances. They’re not coming out books. The prose in my latest manuscript is experimental, which has led to a lot of my beta readers calling it “literary” (which I absolutely love but feel weird describing my own work as). They’re almost always dark in premise—SWEETEST DOWNFALL deals in part with a best […]

  • Thoughts from an editorial intern: queries!

    Quick disclaimer: please keep in mind that I don’t know everything. The point of an internship, alongside assisting and supporting the agent or editor you work for, is to learn. I’m still doing that—so below are observations and suggestions, not mandates. Also, while I work for an editor, the things I’ll talk about are designed to apply […]