Mark has written a Romance novel called 'Storm Chaser' through Whiskey Creek Press and it is doing well in Sales. Talk about motivated. That's Mark. He's been doing book signings and interviews and recently did a TV interview for a local station:
Here is Mark's Guest Blog:
1. Why do you write?
Why not ask me why I breath, why I eat chocolate, why I “read” Victoria’s Secret catalogues? I write because I can’t not write. Also because I have no other talents.
2. You are also an excellent poet, but you don’t write poetry often. Why not?
Laziness. It’s so difficult for me to write poetry, and so very time consuming: for instance, I spent hours on my poem about summer, trying to find a word that rhymes with orange. I tend to get into terrible time crunches, and writing even my light poetry takes so long…anyone who thinks poetry is easy never took a serious stab at it.
3. The world as we know it has ended. You cannot redo our world. Of all things to find, you find a genie in a bottle and are granted 3 wishes. What would those three wishes be?
Since I tend to be an optimist (except during winter) and believe humanity is more good than bad, I guess I’d first wish for a new Eve to get the race going again. That means my next wish would have to be to get my vasectomy reversed. Naturally, my third wish would be for a lifetime supply of Mountain Dew. Let’s keep our priorities in order.
4. Your novel ‘Storm Chaser’ is doing quite well. What do you think the reason is? (other than the fact that it is a good read) Is it the emotions you bring out of your characters/the realism of the book/a hidden ingredient?
I…don’t know. I never really thought of myself as writing realism; on the contrary, I prefer light escapism in both what I write and read, at least most of the time. Still, I want my characters to act like real people, in a real world, whether that world’s rural Indiana or a spaceship circling
Uranus Mars. I guess you could say I prefer, um, light realism? But the characters have to be people to me. No matter what situation I put them in, before I start the story I need to know them, and know how they’d react in any given situation even if that means changing the story to suit their personality. I think of myself as writing plot driven stories, but in the end all stories are about people.
5. To dream the impossible dream, what author do you wish you could be as famous as?
I suppose I’d choose someone at the level of Janet Evanovich. She makes me laugh and she’s wildly successful, yet she can still walk down the street without being recognized by a lot of people. Bonus; She had the money to hire someone to maintain her home, instead of getting her typing fingers smashed while demolishing a frakking crumbling chimney. Just sayin’.
There are three ironclad, unbreakable rules that a writer must follow in order to get published. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
It’s an old joke, but all too true. This is why, when people ask me how I got my first novel published, I give them the same answer as when I’m asked why I write, or where I get my ideas from, or how to please a woman: I dunno. Sometimes I just get lucky.
This is why newbies assume successful authors are hiding some deep secret about how to succeed in business. They just can’t accept “I dunno”. So, while I’m sworn to secrecy by the Secret Writer’s Society on the big stuff (There really is a SWS; who knew?), I’m going to give you some real, useful rules about writing and publishing that everyone swears by, but that writers violate every day and sometimes get away with):
No matter how brilliant your writing is, if you send it in handwritten on pink paper with purple ink, it will be rejected. This one’s pretty much a certainty, but other rules of formatting also apply.
Editors and agents want to find the next Big Writer, but they’re inundated with submissions and take any excuse to dig through the slush pile faster, so pay attention to all that stuff that separates them from the writing; Single spacing, bad spelling, comic sans type, drawing little smiley faces in the margins. All will send your manuscript zooming back to you at warp speed, even it it’s not science fiction.
On a related note, let’s say you’re a fantasy author who’s never been able to produce a manuscript of under 200,000 words. It’s perfectly formatted, the characters are brilliant, writing crisp, storyline original, and your mother loves it even though she usually reads Amish romances (like my mother does).
You still have to write a synopsis. Yes, you have to boil that entire 200,000 word story down, in something that resembles reducing an entire Wal-Mart super Center to a package of ramen noodles. A synopsis advanced my young adult mystery to the second level of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards even though, I figured out later, the middle of the actual novel was horribly flawed. in other words, a good synopsis got a bad novel off the slush pile.
Most novel manuscripts will never get read by an editor. Why? Because editors will never read a novel that’s not sent to them. Clean your baby up, make it as good as you can, and send it out.
Scary, isn’t it?
Now, let’s get to the really important rules for those wishing to be successful authors:
Ø Always wear black. It’s slimming, and you’re sitting at a keyboard all day munching on Slim Jim’s.
Ø Learn big words. Not for your novel – that’s publishing suicide, to use big words when small ones will do. No, it’s for when people expect you to sound smart at parties.
Ø People will assume you’re rich. Just get used to it, nod, and take vitamins, because ramen isn’t very nutritious.
Ø No one will understand why you have no idea how many copies you’ve sold. Don’t start explaining the royalty process unless you have a lot of free time.
Ø When someone asks where you get your ideas, stare at them intently and intone, “I’m getting one right now.”
Storm Chaser is available at Amazon for $6.99. And it is a great read!
Mark, thank you for your guest blog. You have an edge of humor that is subtle, yet funny.
As to what rhymes with orange? I'd move that word to anywhere but the end of the line! lol
'The orange I ate
made me sedate.' Tough one.