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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Nov 22, 2019

In this episode Mark interviews Arthur Slade, the author of twenty-five novels for young readers about his writing, about his multi-layered hybrid publishing activities, about writing at a treadmill desk, and about his author newsletter.

Prior to the interview, Mark shares a personal update, discusses a few social media and podcast comments, and shares a word about 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 conversation, Mark and Arthur talk about:

  • The ten years that Arthur has been writing using a treadmill desk, walking a minimum number of kilometers per day
  • How the energy boost has come from that allowing him to get more work done
  • Working and writing at a standing desk verses actually walking - and how long it took Arthur to get used to it
  • The walking speed that Arthur sets to enjoy a natural pace
  • Writing in forty-minute bursts, then taking twenty minutes off, which assists with the necessary reset for his brain
  • How long Arthur has been a full time writer and how he writes so much
  • The moderate success of self-publishing the Amber Fang series, and how they were recently acquired and released by Orca
  • The challenge of not being able to track sales on traditionally published titles
  • Death by Airship, the book that Arthur wrote by coming up with the title first, then figuring out what it would be about while writing it The book Dragon Assassin, which was picked up by Scholastic Books in Canada, but which Arthur maintains non-Canadian rights to
  • Working with Podium for one of his audiobooks
  • Arthur's novel Flickers, set in the 1920s in Hollywood, which was also hybrid published
  • The way that publishers and booksellers look at past sales history and how that affects their acquisition and buying decisions
  • The way that Arthur adds a unique personal flavor to his newsletter, and how he manages unopened reads of it
  • Arthur's love of audiobooks, as a writer and as a reader

After the interview, Mark reflects on Arthur's hybrid publishing journey and talks about how it is a solid long-term publishing strategy.


Links of Interest:


Arthur Slade was raised on a ranch in the Cypress Hills of Saskatchewan. He is the author of twenty five novels for young readers including The Hunchback Assignments, which won the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and Dust, winner of the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature. His lifetime of work has also received the prestigious Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence.  All of these awards mean that when he drinks tea he has to raise his pinky. It’s very fancy. He lives in Saskatoon, Canada. 

P.S. He does all of his writing on a treadmill desk. And he listens to heavy metal. At the same time.

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