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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Oct 24, 2019

In this episode Mark interviews Vanessa Ricci-Thode, a fantasy author,  fiction editor and a NaNoWriMo veteran.

Prior to the interview, Mark shares some recent comments from previous episodes and Twitter.

He also shares a word from 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

In his personal update, Mark talks about how he is approaching NaNoWriMo this year. He skipped it last year; but this year he is focusing on getting 50,000 words written for at least 3 different projects and will be tracking that.

He is also curious to see how many listeners are doing NaNoWriMo this year.

In their discussion, Mark and Vanessa talk about:

Mark and Vanessa talk about:

  • How Vanessa, who is an experienced NaNoWriMo veteran (doing it since 2006), first got into NaNoWriMo
  • Managing expectations with family during a month of regular commitment to writing time
  • Writing 50,000 words in 30 days while working part-time and being a part-time student
  • The first few NaNoWriMo novels Vanessa wrote
  • Being an ML (Municipal Liason) in the Waterloo, Ontario region
  • The fact that there are always a lot of first-timers who try NaNoWriMo each year
  • Vanessa's most popular or common advice for writers interested in trying out NaNoWriMo
  • Advice for authors who end up slipping in their writing goal early on or mid-way through the month
  • The "Mad Dash to Midnight" NaNoWriMo event that is done on the night of Nov 30
  • How people can find their local NaNoWriMo region (, where they can search by country, state, province, city
  • How Vanessa got interested in writing which began with making picture books when she was a young child
  • Vanessa's change in approach to the business of publishing with the advent of digital
  • Looking for ways to become a better writer, which led to Vanessa becoming an editor, opening her part-time freelance editing business in 2010
  • The genres Vanessa most prefers to edit (Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror), and why it's important to work with an editor who is familiar with and enjoys working in your particular genre
  • Common writer issues, such as starting their story in the wrong spot
  • The value of critique groups for writers, and how critiquing others can assist an author with their own writing
  • NaNoWrimo as a great place to meet and connect with other writers
  • Writing solo versus writing when in a group setting
  • What Vanessa is most looking forward to for NaNoWriMo 2019
  • The importance of "stubborning through it"

After the interview, Mark reflects on the importance of committing to something like NaNoWriMo as well as the element of being persistent and "stubborning through it" as Vanessa so eloquently said.

He then thanks Patrons of the podcast and closes out the show with a reminder that he's curious to hear from authors on whether or not they are doing NaNoWriMo and how they stubborn through things.

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