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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Sep 14, 2018

In this episode, Mark interviews Nathan Van Coops who claims that he lives on a diet comprised mainly of tacos. He enjoys old planes, motorcycles, and Volkswagens, contends that there is such a thing as “dressy” flip-flops and is the time travel adventure series, In Times Like These, and The Skylighter Adventures. Nathan, of course, isn't just an author, but he is also an aviator and the man behind Book Faces Live and we talk about all three things, and more.

Prior to the interview, Mark gives a personal update that includes:

  • His story "Active Reader" appearing in the latest issue of Pulphouse Magazine (#3) and how that had been a long-time goal
  • The royalty check received from McGraw/Nelson for a short story "Almost" that is being used in a British Columbia high school curriculum
  • He considers how both of these "new" items are stories that were previously published and yet can still result in residual income

Mark then thanks new Stark Reflections Patron, Amy Teegan and all existing Patrons who support the show via

In the interview, Mark and Nathan talk about:

  • Nathan's latest book, THE WARP CLOCK and its tag-line "To save her future, he can't have one." and the stand-alone nature of this series (THE WARP CLOCK is book 4 in the series) that allows a reader to jump in at any book
  • How time travel isn't just a trope that is being used and, instead, is an integral part of the world and story, in the same way that J.K. Rowling used magic in her Harry Potter universe
  • The first person present tense POV that is used for the majority of these books that are told through Benjamin's perspective
  • The genesis of the SKYLIGHTER adventures, based on the quiet and calm that Nathan experienced while flying a plane. He imagined the concept of what if the sky was actually as busy as the ocean?
  • The advice that Nathan would give to his younger self just starting writing
  • The branding Nathan created for his series, landing on using Damonza covers and then taking a hands-off approach to let them do what they do best
  • The reasoning behind why Nathan started Book Faces Live (to fill a gap in his own weekly podcast listening routine) and how he use his podcast to learn and gather information
  • The fact that, unlike many writers, Nathan is an extrovert; always where and when Nathan likes to write
  • The deliberate placement of Benjamin from the IN TIMES LIKE THESE series in 2009

After the interview, Mark talks about the tech issue that affected the tail end of the chat, and reflects upon how Nathan handled the unexpected issue quite professionally and effectively. He reminds writers that these types of things will happen and that it is important to remember the audience is actually cheering for you and you are in this together.

Mark remembers the way Nathan thought of the reader when working on his book covers, and suggests that Nathan did the exact same thing here during the tech issue - he considered the audience and did his best to safely "land" the podcast.

The lesson? When things go wrong, take a breath, and consider the audience.


Links of Interest: