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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Nov 26, 2021

Mark interviews author Brittany Fichter about writing happily ever after endings, clean romance, and taking the time to care for her readers.

Prior to the main content, Mark shares a personal update, thanks new patron James S. Aaron, and shares 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 Brittany talk about:

  • Writing clean, sweet, and wholesome romance
  • Living and writing with OCD, Tourettes and free-floating anxiety
  • The Writing Gals Podcast and their outline of the various levels of heat in romance fiction
  • How the outline for Brittany's last book was 50,000 words
  • The way that clean romances can still deal with heavy concepts and deep emotions
  • Writing fairy tales that are full fantasy, much like the darkness to light moment in The Lord of the Rings
  • Brittany's childhood love of fairy tales and her desire to what to know the characters beyond the tropes
  • Stephen King's writing prompt to write a story you'll never share with anyone, and how Brittany used that to write a story inspired by Beauty and The Beast that she published in 2015
  • Revising covers, and the fact her first book (Beyond Beauty) has gone through four covers already
  • Getting writing done with young children
  • Making YouTube music playlists for every book that she writes as a way of triggering her brain that it's time to write
  • The push that leads a lot of writers to writer burnout
  • The Happy Planner brand
  • Writing and publishing a chapter a week on her blog to keep her readers happy while they're waiting for the next book
  • Why Brittany has a "Fun and Games" section on her website and why she avoids political discussion in her reader groups and author page
  • How her writing is all about light overcoming dark
  • The way that 2020 had us on social media and on our phones a lot, instead of being with and understanding others
  • Advice Brittany would give to new writers
  • And more...

After the interview Mark reflects on the importance of attending to the needs of your readers.

Links of Interest:

Brittany Fichter lives with her Prince Charming, little fairy, and little prince in a decently clean castle in whatever kingdom the United States Air Force has most recently placed them.


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