So, here’s the deal…

I’m a writer. I write novels for teens. Three months ago I quit my day job as a healthcare data cruncher to become a full-time writer, and now I’m doing my best to get the word out about my recent novel, LEMONADE MOUTH. And this is what my family and I came up with… 

LEMONADE MOUTH ACROSS AMERICA! is my family’s audacious attempt to make a writer’s dream come true with a road-trip adventure and a shoestring budget. It’s a summer-long, 26-city, 9,000 mile book tour across the USA and back–two adults, three small children and a pile of books all crammed into a minivan! For the story behind the story, click here. My website is

The Route: For a list of cities and dates, click here. If you’re nearby, come see us–we’d love to meet you!

National Public Radio: NPR recently ran a commentary about me, my books, and how I quit my job to write full time.  To hear it click here.



It all started as just a little idea…
After recently (March 30, 2007) quitting my day-job to become a full-time writer–a big financial risk that my wife and I decided to take (carpe diem!) – Karen and I talked about ways to make the most of our summer. It started as a just little idea: Let’s take the family on a fun road-trip in our rusty minivan and stop at some bookstores along the way…but it quickly grew into something much larger. Now it’s a summer-long, 26-city, 9,000 mile adventure across the USA and back!

Our friends think we’re crazy, but we’re doing it anyway. Thing is, we probably have only a narrow window of time in our lives when this is even possible: Karen’s starting back as a Spanish teacher in September, the kids are young (Evan 9, Lucy 8, and Zoe 5) and still want to be with us (that surely won’t last forever!), and I have a new YA novel out. So the timing seems perfect, right? Except…t we have no money, and our mechanic wonders whether our 1996 Honda Odyssey, which has close to 200,000 miles on it already, will make it–not to mention that this is the summer of the final Harry Potter, so Lemonade Mouth is going to have a tough time attracting any notice at all in Harry’s shadow.

But…we decided to do it anyway! (carpe diem again!)

Brace yourselves! We’re setting off on June 27!
We’ll be stopping in cities all over the country, dealing with heat, kid issues, and close quarters while doing our best to make a writer’s dream happen on a shoestring budget–all while discovering America! 

— Mark 

LEMONADE MOUTH (Delacorte Press, 2007)
I AM THE WALLPAPER (Delacorte Press, 2005)



  1. so here’s the deal!!!

    Do you mind if I “friend” you?
    It’s the only way I’ll keep up with your travels.
    You guys are going to have too much fun enjoying your Lemonade ride!

  2. Mainiacs love Lemonade!

    Hey Crew,

    Best wishes on your fabulous adventure… we’ll be with you in spirit and toasting to your successful adventure every chance we have. Sweet ride… is that really your old car under that wrapper?

    Lauren, Mike, Calvin, Luke & Stinger

    PS If your car doesn’t make it and you need a ride give a ring!

  3. name of your blog, url


    I think you missed out on a good opportunity. Can you change your blog name to something like 75MPH? Maybe you can get the domain name and point it to this url.

    and it’s a shame what those hoodlums did to your car. I hope insurance covers it

    Have a blast.


  4. “Mrs. Rude”

    Hi Mark and family, Just finished with a 2 hour “breakfast”/chat with your folks at the Kozy and got your email address from mom and dad. Good luck with your trip and hope you have found a solution to the fly-away antenna. Three squirrelly kids could make you seek a quick solution and finding the nearest van dealer. Look forward to following your travels and listening to NPR. Please let me know the broadcast times. Happy travels, Pat Rude

  5. Wishing you clear highways, good weather, minimal construction, declining gas prices, an endless supply of DVDs, large bookstore crowds, home-cooked meals every now and then, and no radar guns lurking behind billboards. Looking forward to seeing you in August in Michigan! Will be following your travels in the meantime. Happy trails. 🙂 Kelly

  6. Hi to all of the Hughes. It is great to read about your trip accross America. I am certain that you will always cherish this memory. Keep us posted. Stay well and have fun. Love, Judy and Tom

  7. I was one of those 40 or 50 people at Ann Moody’s party in Irving, Tx. Even though I bought your books to give to my grand daughter, I read them myself and loved every word. I would recommend them!!!!!

    • Hey, thanks! And it was a wonderful party! 🙂

      We’re in Utah at the moment. Everyone is asleep but me, but tomorrow we’re off to the Grand Canyon and then Las Vegas. So exciting!

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