Mark Eldrich

"When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” ~ CSLewis

The Books That Inspired Imaginary Boy

Here they are in order of influence: 

1. Victorian London by Liza Picard

-This book is proof that non fiction works can produce novels. I’ve always loved the Victorian Era and Liza brings it to gritty life better than I ever could. 19th century London was truly the first Dystopian society.

2. The Ethics of Elfand by G.K. Chesterton

-Another non fiction work that is actually an essay within a book called Orthodoxy. It isn’t very long but Chesterton’s thesis on the power and truth of fairy tales was life changing.

3. The Door In The Wall by Marguerite De Angeli

-The only novel in the group and it is a Newberry winner. I really cherish this story and Marguerite’s writing style. Unfortunately, in this day and age it is gravely under appreciated. 

So there it is. The top three. I highly recommend you get these books and start reading!



What I learned from reading children’s books

The other day I got to thinking about what I liked most about children’s stories when I was kid,  and as far back as I can remember I’ve always enjoyed the stories where the child protagonist isn’t dealing with “kid” problems.
For whatever reason these books about school, bullies, growing up etc(no matter the genre) have never interested me and they still don’t. I don’t want ordinary, I want wonder. I’d rather read about a child facing an uncommon problem/conflict rather than an ordinary one. The juxtaposition of innocence and reality compliment each other nicely.


I’m probably in the minority here, but I think too often we sell children short on what they can do and instead revert back to westernized comfort zones. For me the best part of reading books is not seeing myself in a story, it’s seeing someone else. It’s the act of stepping out of my skin and into another individual, sharing in his/her struggles and triumphs. All around the world their are children who are facing war, hunger, natural disaster and disease, perhaps we would all be better humans if we could sit down, and for a few pages “see what cannot be seen.”

Why talking about my book makes me uncomfortable (and why that’s a good thing)

Being a writer suits me just fine. The solitude, the freedom and the slow, challenging process are all invigorating aspects I enjoy about writing stories. But being an author is wildly outside my cozy place. 
Whenever a friend, family member, co-worker or stranger asks me about Imaginary Boy, the middle grade novel I recently authored, my initial reaction is ‘yes, I did write said book, its about a boy with cerebral palsy,’ then I quickly change the subject to anything other than my book.

First, I am acutely aware that no one wants to hear someone talk incessantly about some book they wrote. Especially your family and peers.

Second, when someone asks me about my book it feels like an invasion of privacy. Alas, it is! An invasion I have invited! People and places only I have known for years are now known by others. What is this?

But then something happened. Someone actually read Imaginary Boy and was moved to tears, the same way I was moved when I was writing it. How can this be?

Then I remembered the way IB made me feel, the memories it recalled, the sorrow, the failure, the hope, the triumph. You see, Imaginary Boy is a story very close to me. And a good thing it is too.

Now a strange and wonderful thing has come to be. The Author has discovered what the Writer could not, and that is this. 

Because the story is personal to me, it can be personal to others. 
With the writer, the challenge of crafting a story is its own reward. 

But the author’s reward is to share, and any story too personal to discuss is worth sharing with others. 

Imaginary Boy

imageAvailable now at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, ibooks, who knows where else!? You may see it pop up anywhere. I started writing this story 3 years ago, and now it’s slowly creeping into the world. Hope ya’ll like reading it as much as I liked writing it. Go take a gander.

Homeschooled: How American Homeschoolers Measure Up


Thank you!

Many thanks to all those who shared love for the Imaginary Boy cover by Michelle Fairbanks. As we get closer to the release date I will have more information about special promotional items such as discounts, giveaways, blog tours, school visits etc.

Once here is the full wrap jacket for IB, can’t wait for everyone to read it!

Imaginary Boy Cover reveal

Here it is in all its glory! Hats off to Michelle Fairbanks/Fresh Design for creating such a beautiful image that perfectly represents IB. I cannot say enough good things about Michelle, if you are in need of a graphic designer Fresh Design is the place to go!


Imaginary Boy book blurb:

Eleven-year-old Benji Saintaubin dreams of becoming a hero like the ones in the books he reads while banished in the dark attic of his family home. But those heroes are all strong and handsome, not like Benji who uses a crutch and hides his disfigured face. When his father dies, leaving behind an unfinished story about an imaginary boy who must defeat a cruel and mighty dragon, Benji’s safe and secluded world is turned upside down.

After venturing out of the attic and onto the perilous streets of 19th century London, Benji finds himself separated from his mother in a frightening and unfamiliar world. Nearly trampled to death and sold into slavery, Benji comes to believe his father’s story may be more fact than fiction after his captor reveals a dragon-tail tattoo around his arm and plans that could destroy Benji. If he ever hopes to escape, be reunited with his mother and finish his father’s cryptic story, Benji must trust that a crippled boy can discover the unseen power needed to defeat a brutal and powerful dragon.

Join Benji on his treacherous journey in this compelling, edgy and inspiring middle-grade novel by debut author Mark Eldrich.

superhero’s & bad guys

It’s 8am and my boy is running around the house with a sword, pretending to fight the ‘badguys’. 

It is such a privilege to see the world through his eyes. The imagination is a beautiful thing. 


Imaginary Boy takes flight

I am very pleased to announce that my first middle-grade novel, Imaginary Boy, is set to be published by Booktrope Editions/UpDrift Publishing with a release tentatively planned for Fall of this year. I can’t wait for you to see the cover! Follow me on twitter @markeldrich to get the latest news. Later alligators.


Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: