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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

May 11, 2018

Episode 20 is a solo episode where, in response to a few listeners who reached out and asked if he'd be willing to share more about his background and experience as an author, he takes the opportunity to reveal his own writer journey and the lessons learned along the way.

Prior to the lessons, Mark shares a bit of a personal update that includes the following:

  • Work on the forthcoming traditionally published book MACABRE MONTREAL which he is co-authoring with Shayna Krishnasamy
  • Work on the forthcoming anthology he is editing for WMG Publishing called FEEL THE LOVE
  • The new goal of weight-lifting at the gym now that the 21 K half marathon goal was reached (and the interesting way that ties in to LESSON ONE)

This episodes "Twisting by the Fool" Tongue Twister, sponsored by Findaway Voices came from a listener request.

Mark does both the requested tongue twister as well as in the voice/accent specified by that same listener.

He informs listeners that if there is a particular tongue twister they want him to try, or even if there is a silly voice they want to hear it in, to email ( or ping him on Twitter (@MarkLeslie)


The first lesson Mark shares is in relation to being open to new perceptions, new ways of seeing things and how, sometimes, locking ourselves into a fixed view can potentially lead to us limiting ourselves. He shares his own experience with the gym in this regard as well as a look back on how, just a little over ten years ago, he was biased and prejudiced against self-publishing. He shares what and how his eyes were opened in that regard.

The second lesson that Mark shares takes him back to his earliest days of discovering the love for storytelling and writing. And that is the magic that happens with the pen kisses the page. Of something being created now and enjoyed later. Writers take that for granted, but it is tinkering with immortality.

The third lesson has to do with the learning that happens when you are first writing and how, even when creating something that might be considered throw-away early fan-fiction style writing, there's a lesson to be learned. Mark shares what writing a terrible novel at the age of 13 taught him about discipline and sacrifice and so many elements that are important for a novelist to learn.