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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Jan 11, 2019

In this episode, Mark speaks with Katie Cross, a writer, mother and out-door enthusiast.

On her website, Katie describes herself in this way: "I am a creator of worlds, destroyer of evil, and a born wordsmith bringing light to the dark night of those that need an escape."

This is the perfect description for her, which you will get a solid taste of in the interview.

Before the interview, Mark welcomes new Patron Ember Casey, thanking her for her patronage of the Stark Reflections podcast. Ember and other patrons will have access to 27 patron-only posts, 3 special mini "Stark Reflections on other Podcasts" episodes and other additional audio and video content for as little as a coffee or two a month. If you are interested in the extra content or supporting the show, you can check it out at

Mark also shares a word about this episode's sponsor, Findaway Voices . . .

. . . as part of his personal update, which includes:


  • 2019 audiobook plans
  • An update on the progress with recording of the audiobook for The 7 P's of Publishing Success
  • A detailed look at three different views of Mark's 2018 writing income, broken down by type, format and activity.

In the interview Mark and Katie talk about:

  • The inspiration behind the first YA Fantasy series that Katie wrote, which started with the novel Miss Mabel's School for Girls, which was published in 2014
  • The Wattpad-like platform that Katie first started releasing the book on in order to get honest feedback before she published it
  • Learning how to read as an author rather than reading as a reader
  • The reason why Katie has the entire Antebellum series book covers designed and ready to go even though she hasn't published them yet
  • How the Dragonmaster Trilogy was initially supposed to be part of the Antebellum Collection, but became it's own unique project
  • The process of finding professionals to work with, through networking, slowly, over the years
  • The importance of Efficiency and Intention
  • The concepts of balance and counterbalance
  • Outsourcing particular tasks, like housekeeping and accounting, to allow for prioritizing writing activities
  • The two businesses that Katie runs - the Fiction Business and the GhostWriting Business (ghost-writing non-fiction books for high end entrepreneurs who want to write a book but either don't want to do the writing or aren't able to)
  • The scheduling for tasks such as social media, email, and interacting with fans
  • The importance of scheduling "self-care" time into each day
  • The community of about 200 people that Katie and her family are a part of
  • The daily hiking routine that is important for the entire family (including the dogs)
  • How Katie runs Facebook ads for her fiction and how much she spends per month on these ads
  • The two distinct mailing lists that Katie has for her different fan bases (YA Fantasy and Chick Lit), and how she interacts with and cares for the people on each list
  • The importance of talking to the reasons why reasons gravitate towards each of those unique genres
  • The advice that Katie would give to her herself when she was first starting, which includes finding a good mentor

After the interview, Mark reflects on the concept of Balance and Counterbalance.


Links of Interest:


The music for this podcast (“Laser Groove”) was composed and produced by Kevin MacLeod of and is Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0