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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Jul 12, 2019

In this episode Mark interviews Patrick O'Donnell who has been with a larger metropolitan police department for the past three decades, about his new book COPS AND WRITERS: From The Academy to the Street.

Prior to the interview Mark shares a personal update and then also shares the names of the four winners of the print copies of the book UNSKIPPABLE by Jim Kukral (from Episode 81).

Prior to the main segment, Mark shares a personal updateas well as a word from this episode's sponsor Findaway Voices . . .

You can learn more about how you can get your work distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at


In their conversion, which comes with a disclaimer that Patrick does not represent any specific police or law enforcement agency and does not intend for any of the information provided to be intended as legal advice, Mark and Patrick discuss:

  • Patrick's life before police work which included Sociology, Crimonology and an intense passion for music
  • The original goal of wanting to become a high school band director for his career
  • The restaurant management roles that Patrick was involved in and how being a night shift manager at an IHOP he ended up getting in more fights than in the same time period as a police officer
  • The various different ways you can get into a career with the police department and the details related to those methods of entry
  • Learning how to read/understand people via experience as a car salesman
  • The book (I Never Wore Plaid) he wrote about how to buy a car and navigate car salespeople under a pseudonym
  • The unfortunate situation that led to the loss of an opportunity in selling this book to a publisher
  • Patrick's book talking about the loss of his marriage (which is common in the police force) written under a different pseudoynm - Divorced Dad: Kids are Forever, Wives are Not
  • Mad City, the post-apocalyptic novel that he wrote under his own name
  • The reason why Patrick shelved the sequel to Mad City and started to write a series of books about the police force, which includes the first book, Cops and Writers: From the Academy to the Street
  • The seventeen years of working the night shift as a cop
  • The 50/50 chance that the average person has of their marriage failing, how being a cop bumps that up to 70% and how, if both partners are cops, the chances are 90%
  • Some of the basic things that writers can get wrong when it comes to police procedures or protocols
  • What Patrick has learned about book marketing through the various books and genres he has published in


After the interview, Mark shares details on how listeners and Patrons can win a print copy of Patrick's new book (you have until July 31, 2019 to leave a comment or question for Patrick on the show notes for Episode 84 at as well as his thoughts on the importances of a police procedural book that delves into such detail of this aspect of a police officer's life.

Links of Interest


The music for this podcast (“Laser Groove”) was composed and produced by Kevin MacLeod of and is Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0