Browse Meet the Writers
Writers A-Z

Writers by Genre
  Featured Writers  
Children's Writers & Illustrators

Classic Writers

Mystery & Thriller Writers

Romance Writers
  Special Features  
Author Recommendations

Audio Interviews

Video Interviews

The Writers of 2006
Award Winners
Discover Great New Writers

National Book Award Fiction Writers

National Book Award Nonfiction Writers
Find a Store
Enter ZIP Code
Easy Returns
to any Barnes &
Noble store.
About the Writer
* Interview
If You Like Mark Costello
You'll Like...
*Stephen L. Carter
*Alan Furst
*Ian McEwan
*David Foster Wallace
Meet the Writers

Image of 
									Mark CostelloMark Costello
During his former life as a federal prosecutor, Mark Costello wrote under the pseudonym "John Flood." Now that his second novel, Big If, has been nominated for a 2002 National Book Award for Fiction, Costello's real name is now sure to be on the lips of many more readers.

* Read the interview

Fact File

Mark Costello
Also Known As:
John Flood
Current Home:
New York, New York
Date of Birth:
July 3, 1962
Place of Birth:
Winchester, Massachusetts
B.A., Amherst College, 1984; J.D., Yale Law School, 1988

2002 National Book Award Finalist

Book Cover Image. Title: 
								Big If, Author: 
								Mark Costello.

Our Price: $ 12.69
You Save:  9%

Big If
by Mark Costello
Esquire called Costello’s second novel -- a darkly comic look at the secret lives of Secret Service agents -- “a wonderfully detailed book that's altogether rich and enriching, human and humane.” And Corrections author Jonathan Franzen proclaims Big If to be “alive with intelligence, comedy, and inside dope ... [it] sure-handedly captures the uncertainties of our times.”

*  Read an excerpt

Costello's Street Cred

Published while he was an assistant D.A. in Manhattan -- well before he was a bestselling novelist -- Costello’s first-ever book was Signifying Rappers: Rap and Race in the Urban Present. A nonfiction analysis of hip-hop music co-written with Infinite Jest author David Foster Wallace in 1990, it's not quite the tome either author will be remembered for. However, it was called "a vivid picture of rap's real-life context" by Publishers Weekly all the same.

A Debut on the Down-Low

Costello's Favorites

Book Cover Image. Title: 
								Bag Men, Author: 
								John Flood.

Our Price:  $ 8.95
You Save:  10%

Bag Men
by John Flood
For his first novel, 1996's Bag Men -- a thriller about a murdered priest set in 1965 Boston -- Costello decided to use the pen name "John Flood” to avoid any conflicts of interest with his then-career as a federal prosecutor in New Jersey. As he explained to, “I really didn't want it to be read as a sort of tell-all expose thing…. It may have been overly conscientious to use a pen name, but I felt it was just the right thing to do."

*Read an excerpt
Book Cover Image. Title: 
								Libra, Author: 
								Don DeLillo.

Our Price:  $ 13.40
You Save:  16%

by Don DeLillo
Though he never took a writing class, Costello has learned much from the writers whose work he loves. In an interview with Barnes &, Costello mentioned Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim, Alice Munro’s Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage, and Don DeLillo’s Libra among his favorites. On DeLillo, he raved, “DeLillo is the Babe Ruth of U.S. fiction; untouchable.”

*Lord Jim  by Joseph Conrad
*Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Stories  by Alice Munro
*Learn more in our interview with Costello