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Bestselling Novelist
Climate Change and Screenwriter
Travels from: Los Angeles, CA

“This book is, simply put, a modern classic. If you read it, you’ll never forget it. Prophetic, terrifying, uplifting.”— Stephen King

Stephen Markley is the author of The Deluge: A Novel, which confronts the scale and gravity of climate change from a narrative perspective. A literary epic, The Deluge is one that will captivate readers as it interweaves multiple lives together into a breathtaking climax about what they’d be willing to sacrifice to salvage the future of humanity. Timely and gripping, it’s been hailed as a “once-in-a-generation” novel – and offers something powerful to fiction lovers, policymakers, and climate advocates alike.

His previous books include the critically acclaimed bestseller Ohio: A Novel, which NPR called a “masterpiece,” as well as Publish This Book, a meta memoir of his experience in publishing, and Tales Of Iceland, described as an anti-guidebook, the fastest, funniest memoir and travelogue of an American experience in Iceland. He has also written for the Hulu comedy, “Only Murders in the Building.”

He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop. Stephen grew up in Ohio and now resides in Los Angeles, CA.

The Deluge

Simon & Schuster |

From the bestselling author of Ohio, a masterful American epic charting a near future approaching collapse and a nascent but strengthening solidarity.

In the first decades of the 21st century, the world is convulsing, its governments mired in gridlock while a patient but unrelenting ecological crisis looms. America is in upheaval, battered by violent weather and extreme politics. In California in 2013, Tony Pietrus, a scientist studying deposits of undersea methane, receives a death threat. His fate will become bound to a stunning cast of characters—a broken drug addict, a star advertising strategist, a neurodivergent mathematician, a cunning eco-terrorist, an actor turned religious zealot, and a brazen young activist named Kate Morris, who, in the mountains of Wyoming, begins a project that will alter the course of the decades to come.

From the Gulf Coast to Los Angeles, the Midwest to Washington, DC, their intertwined odysseys unfold against a stark backdrop of accelerating chaos as they summon courage, galvanize a nation, fall to their own fear, and find wild hope in the face of staggering odds. As their stories hurtle toward a spectacular climax, each faces a reckoning: what will they sacrifice to salvage humanity’s last chance at a future? A singular achievement, The Deluge is a once-in-a-generation novel that meets the moment as few works of art ever have.


Simon & Schuster |

One sweltering night in 2013, four former high school classmates converge on their hometown in northeastern Ohio.

There’s Bill Ashcraft, a passionate, drug-abusing young activist whose flailing ambitions have taken him from Cambodia to Zuccotti Park to post-BP New Orleans, and now back home with a mysterious package strapped to the undercarriage of his truck; Stacey Moore, a doctoral candidate reluctantly confronting her family and the mother of her best friend and first love, whose disappearance spurs the mystery at the heart of the novel; Dan Eaton, a shy veteran of three tours in Iraq, home for a dinner date with the high school sweetheart he’s tried desperately to forget; and the beautiful, fragile Tina Ross, whose rendezvous with the washed-up captain of the football team triggers the novel’s shocking climax.

Set over the course of a single evening, Ohio toggles between the perspectives of these unforgettable characters as they unearth dark secrets, revisit old regrets and uncover—and compound—bitter betrayals. Before the evening is through, these narratives converge masterfully to reveal a mystery so dark and shocking it will take your breath away.

Tales of Iceland: Running with the Huldufólk in the Permanent Daylight

Giveliveexplore LLC |

When American author Stephen Markley was a fresh-faced, impressionable university student in Ohio, he saw Quentin Tarantino describe a trip he’d taken to Iceland.“Supermodels working at McDonald’s,” said Tarantino of the Icelandic.Markley never forgot those words.Seven years later, Markley set out with two friends for Iceland, and adventure would ensue. The three young men found a country straddling Europe and North America, recovering from its 2008 economic crisis, struggling to regain its national identity, influenced by the entire globe yet trafficking in its singular Icelandic sagas and legends.With Tales of Iceland, Markley delivers the fastest, funniest memoir and travelogue of an American experience in Iceland.Beware: You will NOT learn how to say “Which way to the potato farm” in the Icelandic language. Nor will you learn how to locate the finest dining options in Reykjavik, or the best opera house. This is not that kind of travel book. Markley and his two irrepressible twenty-something American pals do not like opera, had no money to eat much besides eggs and skyr, and learned only how to say “Skál!” “Takk,” and “Skyr.”The author of the growing cult classic Publish This Book, Markley dives headfirst into Icelandic history and culture while not ignoring all those weird stories found in the best travel writing: a road trip around the golden circle; partying in Reykjavík on National Day; drinking late into the night with gorgeous Icelandic women; hiking over pristine white glaciers featured in Game of Thrones; encountering a drunk, raging Kiefer Sutherland; crashing in the band Of Monsters and Men’s old apartment; getting hit on by a Wiccan in the famed Blue Lagoon; searching for signs of Icelandic “hidden people;” interviewing Jón Gnarr, the actor-comedian who accidentally became the funniest mayor in the world (by vowing not to form a coalition government with anyone who hadn’t watched all five seasons of The Wire); and countless other travel tales of youthful irreverence. If you’re about to pick up this book about Iceland, just know that it will be a little foul. Markley also brings his twisted sense of humor and combative social conscience to bear on why there are no prostitutes in Iceland, how fishing quotas planted the seeds of an economic doomsday, and why one should never invite Icelanders over for an after-party.Tales of Iceland is the indispensable travelogue and required reading for anyone wishing to visit this strange, beautiful, and remarkable country.As Markley reflects: “All I can say with full credibility is that I went to Iceland and kind of fell in love with the place.”Tales of Iceland tells how it happened.A Note from the Publisher, GiveLiveExplore:Travel guides are becoming static and stale. Savvy travelers in today’s connected world are better served using free, curated websites like TripAdvisor and Lonely Planet, and personalized travel tips are better garnered by polling friends, meeting fellow travelers abroad, or talking to locals on the street.While travel information has become a commodity, we believe good, honest tales are in short supply.Tales of Iceland is our answer. It’s the anti-guidebook — a fun, engaging story with useful cultural context to compliment your own travel experiences. Our hope is not only that this travelogue becomes the book travelers read before or during a trip to Iceland, but also that it inspires more to explore and live out his or her own tales of Iceland.

Publish This Book: The Unbelievable True Story of How I Wrote, Sold and Published This Very Book

Sourcebooks |

Fed up with the complicated quest of trying to get a book published, Stephen Markley decided to cut to the chase and simply write a memoir about trying to publish a book―this book, to be precise. It’s the most “meta” experiment he’s ever untaken, and like a Mobius strip in book form, the concept is circular, self-indulgent, and―maybe, possibly, hopefully―brilliant.

For fans of Dave Eggers and David Sedaris, Publish This Book is the modern day saga of an idealistic, ambitious, audacious, unyielding young writer who is tired of waiting his turn. Like any work that claims gleefully to be about nothing, it’s really about pretty much everything―sex, drugs, politics, pop-culture, ex-girlfriends and sexy vampires. From the hope of early adulthood to the rage of life’s many (unavoidable) disappointments, it is a story of overcoming the obstacles and discovering a happy ending at last.

Most importantly, it’s a story that will inspire readers to find their true voice in their work and in their life.

Authors Unbound

The Climate Crisis in Art and Fiction: How does one approach writing about such a massive subject?

Authors Unbound

Working Writer: On Careers in Memoir, Literary Fiction, and Screenwriting

Authors Unbound

How the Climate Movement Wins

Stephen Markley set out to write a realist novel of a future defined by a singular unfolding catastrophe, and in the course of that project he developed his story from scientific projections and thought constantly, deeply, and exhaustingly about how these changes to our biosphere will impact the systems we’ve built and we imperfect humans who inhabit them. Amid a bleak assessment of the climate crisis, he champions an opportunity to elevate a movement which can build a more just, equitable and prosperous world. We have every tool we need to decarbonize the global economy, renewables that produce cheap energy, and technologies that become more advanced every day.  What we need is the social and cultural will to push our political leaders to a tipping point. Markley discusses the three steps that might change the political calculus and set in motion epic change.

Politics and Prose

Stephen’s Writing

Honors, Awards & Recognition

Ohio won the Great Lakes, Great Reads Award, 2019
Ohio won Texas Institute of Letters Best Work of First Fiction, 2019
Ohio was a national bestseller
Ohio was named one of the best books of the summer 2018

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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