About the Book
The Sons of Starmount: Memoir of a Ten-Year-Old Boy is the story of a wild band of boys living on a once-in-a-lifetime street. Most of us have a time and place in our childhood that sets the course for the adult we grow up to be. I found mine: Starmount Drive, Tallahassee, Florida,1977. Starmount is filled with poignant, hilarious, and soul-stirring stories of adventure and friendship, uniquely told through the prism of 1977. We were blood brothers on homemade rafts, defying alligators, water moccasins, and common sense. Muhammad Ali fought on the TV while we built boxing rings in the backyard. The Space Shuttle Enterprise shot through the heavens as we launched wooden spacecraft down metal guide wires from high atop our fort. The campfire-like glow of our streetlight hosted weighty conversations that ranged from remaining friends forever and finding all the best fishing holes on the planet Mars to Ted Bundy’s murderous rampage through the Florida State campus. Starmount is in the tradition of other coming-of-age standards, such as The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson, Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sadaris, and Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son by Michael Chabon. It also captures elements of Southern life in a style akin to My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South by Rick Bragg and The World’s Largest Man by Harrison Scott Key.
About the Author
Mark grew up in the vibrant cultural scene of Washington, DC, and began making a name for himself as a singer-songwriter through high school and college. While still a teen, he caught the attention of legendary songwriter, Tom Paxton, who lit a fire in the young writer, leading him to Nashville and a publishing deal with Cherry Lane Music. Today he is a well-published and critically acclaimed songwriter, having won distinguished songwriting awards, including the Kerrville New Folk Award. He has written for many top publishing houses, and his songs have been recorded by major-label and independent artists. Top industry publications including Billboard, Sing Out!, The Sounding Board–Martin
Guitar Company and the UK’s Maverick magazine have heralded his work.
Alongside an active touring schedule with his band, Runaway Home, Mark is now writing books, blogs, and essays. The Sons of Starmount: Memoir of a Ten-Year-Old Boy is Mark’s first full-length book. For more information on the book and the companion album, with original songs written from the book and produced in authentic 1970s style, please
Qn 1: Can you tell us more about your book What is it about?
We all have a place and time in our childhoods that define our adulthood. Mine was 1977, Tallahassee, Florida. This memoir follows a group of kids through the swamps, woods, and ethos of the 1970’s finding adventure and their future selves.
Qn 2: Who do you think would be interested in this book, is it directed at any particular market?
Parents, especially of boys, and anyone looking for the headwaters of their adult selves.
Qn 3: Out of all the books in the world, and all the authors, which are your favourite and why?
Any book by Rick Bragg. The southern memoirists tend to be the best memoirists in my opinion. And Rick Bragg combines humor, detail, and big picture perspective in perfect balance.
Qn 4: What guidance would you offer to someone new, or trying to enhance their writing?
Tell an honest story, with details that matter to you. Write every day and never skip hiring a great editor.
Qn 5: Where can our readers find out more about you, do you have a website, or a way to be contacted?
Weekly Literary Newsletter called Words from the Hollow: https://markelliott.substack.com/
Absolutely loved The Sons of Starmount! Beautiful, poignant, funny and nostalgic! Instantly transported me back to my 13th year in 1977. Mark’s years as a Nashville tunesmith shines throughout the book, each chapter like a well crafted song that speaks to our adulthood through the eyes, voice and music of our youth!