Shark Summer was one of the books I read during May and I’m so excited to be able to share my interview with Ira Marcks!
Thank you so much to Little Brown Books for Young Readers for a copy of Shark Summer by Ira Marcks!
Congratulations on the publication of Shark Summer! How has the publication experience been for you?
It’s so satisfying to see the culmination of all your hard work collected and bound in a book! Graphic novels have the benefit of being a kind of book filled with pictures and There’s nothing like seeing someone smile at the art while they flip through the pages. Being Published is a magical thing.
Looking beyond the first days of the book release I’m excited to find out how the book connects with people. The story of Shark Summer is set during the filming of JAWS on Martha’s Vineyard in 1974 and I tried to be faithful to the look and feel of summer on the island. Long term, I look forward to hearing stories from people of their experience on Martha’s Vineyard.
How would you describe Shark Summer in one sentence?
The Blair Witch Project for Kids.
Can you introduce us to the main character(s) of Shark Summer?
Gayle, Elijah, and Maddie are brought together by their desire to enter a film festival. They all have very different reasons for teaming up and one of the joys of working on this book was watching these kids working together and taking on a responsibility they never saw coming. They all have such strong personalities, I really had fun watching them grow up a bit. Now that I’m finished working on the book, I do find myself missing our time together.
Do you know from the beginning how your books will end or do you let your characters decide their journey?
I have an idea of where I want the characters to end up in a very plot centric way. But the story of how they get there really depends on the choices they make along the way. The journey they are going to go on is always a bit of a mystery and that’s the real fun of making a book.
If you were a part of the crew that Gayle recruited, what role do you think you’d play?
I’d like to imagine myself as the director, but I’d probably be best as the editor. I feel like I have a knack for finding the story amidst the day to day.
Do you have a favorite scene, moment, or quote from the book?
I like creepy foreboding quotes from scary stories, so I’d have to say my favorite line comes when the young filmmaker Elijah Jones inquires about the origins of a local ghost story and the response they get from this mysterious girl Maddie Grey is “Some stories just find their way.”
What are three books you would recommend if someone enjoyed Shark Summer?
Two great kid friendly graphic novels with creepy seaside stories are Mark Siegel’s Sailor Twain and Cyril Pedrosa’s Three Shadows, and for anyone who’s a diehard JAWS fan and wants to know the full behind the scenes story I recommend Carl Gottlieb’s The JAWS Log.
What’s next for you? Anything you can share?
I’m working on a follow up to Shark Summer! It’s another story about kids solving a mystery on another iconic film set. That’s all I can say for now!
ABOUT THE BOOK
When a Hollywood film crew arrives on Martha’s Vineyard with a mechanical shark and a youth film contest boasting a huge cash prize, disgraced pitcher Gayle “Blue Streak” Briar sees a chance to turn a bad season into the best summer ever.
After recruiting aspiring cinematographer Elijah Jones and moody director Maddie Grey, Gayle and her crew set out to uncover the truth of the island’s own phantom shark and win the prize money. But these unlikely friends are about to discover what happens when you turn your camera toward the bad things lurking below the surface.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ira Marcks is a cartoonist living in Upstate New York with his wife, two cats, a dog, and lots of books he’s been meaning to read. His love for ancient magic and possible futures has led him to create a warehouse of esoteric objects for the Hugo Award-winning magazine Weird Tales and to tell stories about villainous technology for the European Research Council. Shark Summer is his debut graphic novel.