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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Nov 5, 2021

Mark interviews Chris Racknor about his Shawn Ronin mystery series, about science fiction and about his experiences in both traditional and indie publishing.

Prior to the interview, Mark shares 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 Chris talk about:

  • The report card snapshot from the first grade indicating Chris had an affinity for writing
  • The serialized blog stories on Chris's blog early on in the advent of digital reading
  • The 2004 goal Chris set related to writing a novel, and how that came to pass in 2020
  • Heading into the science discipline and wondering if it was for the science or for making the science-fiction more believable
  • How Chris's mother, concerned that he was reading too many comic books, handed him a copy of a Robert B. Parker novel
  • How science-fiction is about asking questions, while mysteries are about searching for answers
  • Chris's experience of working with a publisher and coming to realize the sub-par work they had done on his novel
  • The podcasts that Chris regularly listens to related to the business of self-publishing
  • Preparing and launching the first three books in his mystery series via the indie route
  • A bit of a background on the series and the main character
  • Some of the personal situations from Chris's own life that have factored into the novels
  • Strategies for launching three books at once, such as immediately making the first book in that series free
  • Advice that Chris would give to his younger self
  • And more...

After the interview Mark reflects on Chris's determination to not give up despite the challenges he faced with his first book, but instead, to take a different approach.

He also talks about the importance of asking and how you miss 100% of the shots you never take.

Links of Interest:


Chris Racknor has a Ph.D. in physics and lives in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. He has been an astronomy teacher, physicist, motorcycle owner, competitive strongman, varsity rugby player, and stay-at-home dad. He is a family man, Data Scientist, sci-fi nerd, professional kilt-wearing tree thrower, Transformers toy collector, and sumo wrestling aficionado with plenty more stories to tell.


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