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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Jun 1, 2018

In this episode, Mark interviews Danièle Cybulskie about how she translated her passion for The Middle Ages into featured articles at that have reached more than half a million readers, has had her work as a subject matter specialist adopted for nine Ontario colleges, had created fun and informative books such as The Five-Minute Medievalist, Six Steps to Better Historical Fiction and many other great titles, not to mention fascinating speaking gigs, including a TedX talk, and as an author coach.

Before the interview, Mark welcomes new Patreon Supporter Jamie Davis, thanks Patrons for their support and introduces this episode's tongue twister, sponsored by Findaway Voices, which is in honor of Book Expo America taking place in New York.

The tongue twister is: "You know New York, you need New York, you know you need unique New York"

Mark also shares a few personal updates, including a recently released BookNet Canada suvey result about 2017 Publishing Trends as well as an experiment he is doing related to a FREE book promotion he is running at Kobo.

In the feature interview, Mark and Danièle talk about:

  • How she has been writing for for a number of years and has more than 150 articles published there
  • Her passion for coaching authors in authenticity and accuracy for the smallest details about the Middle Ages
  • Her favourite century, (the 14th Century) because it contained the Black Death and The Hundred Years War
  • The most common elements that writers get wrong (it often involves food and clothing)
  • The risks of getting one’s historical elements only from fiction and movies
  • Whether or not Holy Hand Grenade (as seen in the Arthurian Legend spoof film Monty Python and the Holy Grail) might have actually existed. (There WAS gun powder in Europe in that era)
  • How the use of guns and canons changed the use of armour and the way castles were built
  • Because Mark couldn’t resist bringing up the coconuts in the aforementioned Monty Python movie, the historic scholar who has studied medieval coconuts
  • The inaccurate food that is served at a particular “Medieval” style family dinner theatre show that contains foods that never existed in Europe at the time, such as potatoes
  • Danièle book The Five Minute Medievalist and The Five Minute Medievalist’s Guide to Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse
  • Her forthcoming release (recently signed with a UK publisher), Medieval Europe in Fact and Fiction
  • How sitting at home with her first baby was her introduction towards sharing what she had studied through writing
  • The challenge she has been enjoying writing the different survival guides each month, including the way that she used Twitter to help decide the latest title
  • What she likes reading for pleasure (dystopian futures) and what her favorite medieval movie is (A Knight’s Tale)
  • How learning about the differences and the similarities of people in different historical periods can give us a better and more well-rounded ability to understand and have compassion for different cultures and people in our world today

After the interview, Mark reflects on how he uses history for his own non-fiction writing.

Links of Interest: