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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Apr 5, 2018

The smooth and sexy-toned Kevin Tumlinson is an award-winning and bestselling thriller author, with books available in hundreds of countries worldwide. With a long-standing career in film, television, radio, and podcasting, Kevin is a seasoned world traveler, and has produced documentary programming and films ranging from historic aviation to military history. His debut novel, a thriller, and the first in his Dan Kotler Archeological Thriller series was a 2016 Shelf Notable Indie award winner.

Kevin's love for history, archeology, and science has been a tremendous resource for his writing.  With thrillers, science fiction and genre-crossing books, including the non-fiction books the 30 Day Author and Writing a Better Book Description, Kevin has more than 30 novels, novellas and stories under his belt.

Kevin is also the Director of Marketing for Draft2Digital, one of the most beloved and author-centric distribution platforms for independent authors.

He lives in Texas, but works in random coffee shops, cafés, and hotel lobbies around the world.

In the pre-interview introduction to this episode, Mark shares a few updates that include:

  • How T S Paul (from Episode 13) ended up doing on Kobo in March as well as his continued growth (well ahead of the normal slow curve for sales growth on Kobo)
  • His training (or lack thereof) for the end of April Waterloo half-marathon
  • His rediscovery of the love of writing short fiction (and the #FreeFridayFrights he launches this week)
  • A thank you to the latest Patreon supporters of the podcast
  • This week’s Terrible Tongue Twister, AKA “Twisting by the Fool” – this time done in the voice of the guard from the French castle, as played by John Cleese, in Monty Python and the Holy Grail

In their chat, Mark and Kevin talk about:

  • The fact that Kevin was always a writer and how Kevin wrote his very first “book” when he was five years old
  • The early dictation that Kevin did with a cassette tape recorder when he was a child (dictating his own versions of the Encyclopedia Brown mysteries)
  • His introduction to reporting and journalism in high school and his first professional earnings as a writer ($10 per column)
  • The “nice advance” with a “terrible contract” that Kevin signed early in his writing career and then made the tough decision to leave, and pay back that advance
  • The Vimeo and YouTube web series Kevin and a few friends had planned, and how that story turned into a novel
  • Kevin’s move from writing science fiction and into thrillers and how that led to his best-selling and award-winning novel
  • Kevin’s goal to get 12 books in total written in the Dan Kotler series by the end of 2018
  • The pattern of alternating between writing novels and short stories that Kevin is considering
  • The basic minimum daily word count goal that Kevin sets for himself. (It is currently 2500 words)
  • How, regardless of what’s on his plate or calendar, that the writing for Kevin comes first. (As in, the very first thing that he does in the morning)
  • Stephen King’s quote about Art or Writing being a support system for life (and not the other way around)
  • The genesis and desire behind Kevin’s creation of the Wordslinger Podcast
  • How inspiration for writing and creativity can come from any source, or virtually any conversation, not just from authors and writers
  • A bit of a background on Draft2Digital and Kevin’s role as Director of Marketing at this author-centric company
  • How the “caring about the author” was something that always stood out the most when Kevin was initially looking at Draft2Digital as an author himself
  • How working at Draft2Digital has opened a lot of additional doors for Kevin
  • The automated in-matter and the amazing Book2Read offering that Draft2Digital provides to authors, book bloggers or anybody who wants to create a universal book link that connects to everywhere the ebook is sold online (including the ability to add affiliate codes for Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, etc into those links)
  • The newly launched Author Pages that Draft2Digital has recently released, which connects back to the Books2Read content


After the interview, Mark reflects on something that Kevin mentioned, which was PLAN vs PROCESS, and the importance of having a flexible process. Mark spends some time thinking about how focusing on the process rather than the initially failed plan has benefited him in multiple ways in his personal life as well as his recent attempt to evolve into a full-time writer.

Mark spoke openly about the process of transitioning in more personal detail on Episode 77 of the Inner Dominatrix Podcast, with host Dana Pharant back in December of 2017 (while he was in the midst of the latest transition in his life)

Mark also shares that he was recently a guest on Patricia McLinn’s new AUTHORS LOVE READERS podcast, where he and Pat had a fun time talking about the story behind the story of writing, where inspiration is found and other reader-centric questions about the writing life.


Links of Interest