Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Jul 7, 2022

Mark interviews USA Today Bestselling author Naima Simone about writing sizzling romances with heart, a touch of humor and snark.

Prior to the interview, Mark shares a personal update, reads recent comments, 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

During their chat, Mark and Naima talk about:

  • Naima's unique and fun tagline: "Where heart, humor, and heat collide"
  • Learning to read as early as 3 and 4 years of age
  • Some of Naima's favorite books she read when growing up, and also sneaking into her mom's room to read her mom's more adult romance books at the age of 11 and 12
  • Writing her first story about a cucumber named Fred who went to the bookstore
  • The romance book she wrote in the 2nd grade
  • The "fan fiction" type of stories that she used to write and trade with her sister
  • The "Donnie Wahlberg" inspired romantic story Naima wrote
  • Why Naima worked so hard and never gave up on her dream to be a published author
  • What was supposed to be that "next level" of her career and the experience of opening that first royalty check
  • Naima's father's advise about following your passion and how his support and advice helped her at that devastating moment of seeing that particular royalty check
  • The importance of the emotional and logistical support of her husband
  • How Naima may write romance but that her husband is the romantic person in their relationship
  • The core of honor, respect, and vulnerability from her husband who has made it into some of Naima's fictional characters
  • Deciding between working with a publisher or self-publishing a particular writing project
  • Naima's love of the 80's and 80's music and how that has made it into a particular series she is writing
  • Her book Jessie's Girl, and the connection to Rick Springfield using it as an example that song titles can't be copyrighted
  • Naima's advice for new of beginning writers
  • And more...

After the interview Mark reflects on Naima's pivotal moment.

Links of Interest:


Published since 2009, USA Today Bestselling author Naima Simone loves writing sizzling romances with heart, a touch of humor and snark. Her books have been featured in The Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly, and described as balancing “crackling, electric love scenes with exquisitely rendered characters caught in emotional turmoil.”

She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent, and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.


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