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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

May 8, 2020

Mark interviews Sacha Black about her role and brand as a Rebel Author, about her writing, her podcast, and about her books for writers on crafting heroes, villains, and prose.

Prior to the interview, Mark shares a personal update, talking about recent birthday activities, a recent Star Wars parody video he created, and what that type of creation means to him as a writer.

He then shares some comments from recent episodes and a word from this podcast'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, Sacha and Mark talk about:

  • Where Sacha's "Rebel Author" brand came from, and how she has always been a bit of a rebel
  • How, the best way to get Sacha to do something is to ask her not to do it
  • The way that being an indie author is a bit rebellious in and of itself
  • The thrill of being a little bit naughty
  • How people are able to connect when you are being more authentic
  • Being on the border of introvert/extrovert and the connection with others that Sacha values from running her podcast
  • The appearance of confidence from the outside, and how the indie author community has allowed Sacha to regain some confidence
  • Being very intentional about wanting to leave her full time job to become a full time writer, and the planning and staging she worked on to get there
  • Sacha's life of being passionate about reading and writing
  • How a character Sacha originally wrote when she was 9 years old became the protagonist in her first novel
  • The randomness in the way that characters Sacha creates come to her
  • The combination of terrible memory and super geek that is part of Sacha's process as a writer
  • How she never intended to write non-fiction, but completely fell in love with it
  • The way that an overnight 100K of hits on a series of blog posts she wrote about villains led to filling a hole in the market and a path of loving writing non-fiction
  • How Sacha's new non-fiction title, The Anatomy of Prose, started off as a labor of love
  • The purposeful branding on the covers of these three non-fiction books for writers and how they incorporate three core values
  • The process of recording the audiobooks herself
  • How Sacha and her wife have negotiated the landscape of raising a six year old and each of them getting their work done
  • Katie Forest's book called Time Management for Writers and what she has to say about times of crisis
  • How the hardest thing for Sacha in terms of her work-life balance is letting go of the parental guilt
  • The challenge of finding books for a young reader whose comprehension for words has surpassed most content meant for people their age
  • The fact that if Sacha is terrified of something she is compelled to jump right in
  • Using made-up swear words


After the interview, Marks a few reflections about things the chat with Sacha made him think about.

He also shares how listeners can win a signed copy of Sacha's latest book by commenting on this episode. (Opportunity to win ends May 29, 2020 when a random drawing of commenters will take place).

He also thanks Patrons of the show and shares that Patrons will be automatically entered in a chance to win a set of Sacha's three books for writers, just by being patrons. The random draw for that will take place at the same time.


Links of Interest:



Sacha Black is an author, rebel podcaster, speaker and developmental editor.

She has five obsessions; words, expensive shoes, conspiracy theories, self-improvement, and breaking the rules.

Sacha writes books about people with magical powers and other books about the art of writing.

When she’s not writing, she can be found laughing inappropriately loud, sniffing musty old books, fangirling film and TV soundtracks, or thinking up new ways to break the rules.

She lives in Hertfordshire, England, with her wife and genius, giant of a son.


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