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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Oct 29, 2021

Mark interviews John Gaspard about his mystery novels, his decision to move from traditional publishing to indie publishing, and other behind the scenes business decisions about his life in writing.

Prior to the interview, Mark shares comments from recent episodes, a brief personal update and a word about this episode's sponsor.

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 and John talk about:

  • John's journey to traditional publishing and the process of getting his rights back and checking out indie publishing
  • Working with an agent
  • Some of the research John has done to find a publisher
  • What a "right of first refusal" clause in a contract is
  • Offering his publisher money to get out of the contract he was in
  • The writing John was doing as full time work that was NOT writing novels
  • Writing a mystery in novel form compared to writing it for the screen
  • John's early introduction to film making that led to film-making projects through high school
  • The two $30K feature films John worked on in the late 80s
  • The combo book/behind-the-curtains podcast John has created and the plan behind wanting to launch it
  • And more...

After the interview Mark reflects on the business decision and investment John made in himself.


Links of Interest:


John Gaspard is the author of the Eli Marks mystery series as well as four other stand-alone novels, "The Greyhound of the Baskervilles,” “A Christmas Carl,” "The Sword & Mr. Stone," and "The Ripperologists."

He also writes the Como Lake Players mystery series, under the pen name Bobbie Raymond.

In real life, John’s not a magician, but he has directed six low-budget features that cost very little and made even less – that’s no small trick. He’s also written multiple books on the subject of low-budget filmmaking. Ironically, they’ve made more than the films.

John lives in Minnesota and shares his home with his lovely wife, several dogs, a few cats and a handful of pet allergies.

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