Mark Therrien

Mark Therrien

Mark Therrien is an author and stay at home dad to three lively kids and one friendly dog. He and his wife Ashley live in Coon Rapids. When he is not writing, Mark enjoys living room wrestling matches with his kids, Minnesota Twins games, and a late night bowl of cereal. Mark is a proud driver of an awesome 2011 Honda Odyssey minivan, which was his inspiration for The Megavan

Tell us about the featured book. What is it about, and why did you choose to write this story?

The Megavan is the story of a young family told through the eyes of someone who is there for it all: Their trusty minivan! The minivan is up for any job, any task, and any request, transforming into whatever the family needs on that day while truly becoming a part of the family in the process. It’s a story of shared experiences, and being with the people that mean the most to you during life’s biggest moments. 

I wrote this story based on events from my own life.  One day I was in the garage with our family van when I started marveling at everything we’ve been through with it by our side.   I thought, “This isn’t just a minivan, it’s a Megavan!” (A bit of a Dad joke, yes).  
In a larger sense, I wrote this story to try to help spread a love and enjoyment of reading that I’ve seen in my own kids.

Tell us a little about your writing process. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

I spent about six months researching before beginning my book, with the research including podcasts, articles, #bookstagram, live events, and conversations with several local authors.  The most challenging part for me was editing and molding my book into something that a wide age range could enjoy while still staying true to the original heart of the story.  Although challenging, every part of this experience for me has been a new kind of fun that I have had the best time doing.  

Are there any writers or authors who have influenced your writing? If not, who are some of your favorite writers?

I love reading children’s books by authors that aren’t afraid to dip into outrageous silliness, like Mo Willems and David LaRochelle. I also love reading books from authors that tell a fun story within a broader meaningful story, like Christopher Denise.  Clever writers like Christopher Healy and Hudson Talbot give reading to your kids a fun twist, and the overall most important thing to me is to be sure to put a smile on a kid’s face, like Ryan T. Higgins, Dr. Seuss, Jeff Kinney, and Charles Schultz.  I tried to bring a little of all of those aspects in my book.

Has a library or librarian impacted your life or your writing life

I grew up visiting the Anoka County Library’s Northtown location with my parents and loved getting to check out my own books. My elementary school library was always such a cool place as well, and in my college years I had many marathon essay writing sessions in our university library.  With the library’s help, I found an enjoyment of reading children’s books in my younger years which resurfaced in a whole new way upon writing my book.

When you’re not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time? 

When I’m not writing, I enjoy living room wrestling matches with my kids, Minnesota Twins baseball games, and a late night bowl of cereal.  I also enjoy date nights with my wife Ashley, and taking our golden retriever Radke out for walks.

Favorite place to go to in Minnesota? 

My favorite place to go in Minnesota is Target Field, home of the Twins!

Where can readers find you online? 
Facebook: @marktherrien-author
Instagram: @marktherrien13