Mark Edwards practices law, coaches soccer and basketball, sings in his church’s choir, and lives, with his wife and five children, in his hometown somewhere near Grand Pointe, Michigan. But that is not what he planned. Twenty-five years ago, he wanted to become a writer. His father, however, encouraged him to enter law school to give him something to "fall back on" if writing didn't "pay the bills." Mark followed his father’s advice, enrolled in law school, earned two legal degrees, and had a successful career. He argued and won many nationally published cases, and became a partner in one of the top firms in the Midwest—but he never gave up his dream of writing.
Several years ago, Mark Edwards’ father, while lying in a hospital bed after a multiple bypass operation, breathing and eating through tubes, asked his son if he regretted not having become a writer. The elder Mr. Edwards then told his son that he too had once dreamed of writing...and he encouraged Mark not to give up that dream.
At about the same time, Mark was helping his wife raise five book-devouring children. Each of them was a voracious reader. Mark's wife was having a hard time keeping up with their appetite for reading. Even frequent trips to the library, during which she sometimes checked out more than fifty books, weren’t enough to satisfy her kids. Most amazing to Mark and his wife was the effect that good series had on their children. They celebrated publication dates for the next Artemis Fowl or Harry Potter like birthdays. They advance-ordered each book in the Series of Unfortunate Events at least two months before its issuance. They collected and swapped Goosebumps and Animorphs' volumes like trading cards. They willingly waited for five other people on the library's list to finish, just to get a chance to read another Redwall story.
Mark hatched an idea. Tired of seeing video games and electronic toys under the Christmas tree, he decided to give his children something special—a book—that he would write. What’s more, he planned to author a series for them.
The idea for the characters in The Gang series had germinated in Mark’s mind for many years. Over the next few months, he roughly outlined the series, put together a tighter outline of the first book, and began The Saint's Bones. For the following two years, mostly between 10:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m., he wrote the story. Then, one Christmas Day, he surprised each of his children with a complete draft of the book, bound in white stock, with a simple black and white photograph on the cover. The kids loved it. They began to circulate copies among their friends and cousins. Their friends and cousins raved about it. Word of the book spread. Requests for the book, and for the next volume in the series, poured in. Mark and his wife decided it was time to bring The Gang to the public