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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Mar 13, 2020

Storytelling doesn't have to be complicated. In this episode, Mark chats with J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon about their new book THREE STORY METHOD which proves that storytelling can be straightforward.

Bohannon and Thorn are successful co-authors, are the minds behind the Authors on a Train, Vampires of New Orleans, Sci-Fi Seattle, Night of the Writing Dead and Cleveland Rock Apocalypse writing retreats. They also launched their Career Author podcast in January 2018, the same week that the Stark Reflections Podcast was launched.

Prior to the interview, Mark waxes poetic about the previous times J. and Zach were on the podcast, including episode 74, where Mark had shared details about how he had proposed to his girlfriend Liz on the 50th birthday during an Alicia Witt concert, with a song Alicia wrote for him to use for the occasion. He also shares a short clip from the chorus of the song.

Mark then talks about working on getting a representative from Google Play Books to come on in a future episode, and reminds writers that it's easier than ever to create a direct Google Play account for publishing:

  • New publishers can visit and create an account in just a few easy steps
  • There’s no longer an invite code or waiting period when setting up a new publisher account

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

You can learn more about how you can get your work distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at

In their conversation, Mark, J., and Zach talk about:

  • The origin of Three Story Method and how the process for it was developed over the course of publishing a dozen books together
  • The importance of a having a process that can be used in a similar way for multiple different projects
  • How the book is meant for getting from an idea to a first draft of a manuscript and should be all that a writer needs. There's no up-selling or courses associated with it
  • The accompanying workbook that can either be downloaded for free or purchased for the lowest price they could set on Amazon for it
  • Ongoing dedication to learning, and re-learning, and continuing to refine the craft of writing
  • The importance of starting off with a good book before you even begin or consider heavy marketing
  • The value of the community that comes from running a weekly podcast
  • Why they value tight-knit, intimate groups when it comes to hosting author gatherings
  • The experience of brainstorming a universe for an anthology in a room full of engaged authors
  • J.'s ways and Zach's hacks (a bit they do on their own podcast)
  • ....and more....

After the interview, Mark reflects on the importance of life-long learning of both the business and the craft of writing.

He then shares how listeners have until the end of day March 31, 2020 to leave a comment on the show notes for Episode 123 at for a chance to win a free copy of Three Story Method and the accompanying workshop, courtesy of J. and Zach.

Mark asks that commenters leave either a "Way" or a "Hack" that they've found useful for either the business or the craft of writing (in honour of the J.'s Ways and Zach's Hacks bit that the two regularly do on their own podcast.

Mark also mentions that Patrons who support this podcast over at are all automatically entered into a drawn to win the same prize. $1 / month patrons will be entered in for one chance. $3 /month patrons will be entered in twice. $5 / month patrons will be entered in 3 times.


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