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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Dec 6, 2019

Mark interviews Talena Winters about her multi-genre fiction, and the numerous other creative tasks and entrepreneurial endeavors she is involved in.

Prior to the interview, Mark plays an audiobook marketing tip from an interview with Will Dages in place of the regular Ad read for 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

Mark then shares a few comments and tweets and then a personal update which includes:

In their conversation, Mark and Talena talk about:

  • The multiple creative pursuits that Talena is engaged in, and how she defines herself
  • Talena's background as a musician and the creative evolution of her upbringing that eventually led to writing
  • Getting married on the same day that both Talena and her husband had graduated from university
  • The full length-full scale musical that Talena and a good friend dreamed up and created and which has remained on the back-burner for many years
  • How inspiration strikes and keeps growing when Talena latches on to an idea
  • The course that Talena took from Holly Lisle while she was still home-schooling her children and how much she valued things she learned in that class
  • The legacy of the "story in the drawer" that Talena wrote and then tucked away
  • The tragic family loss which threw their lives for a loop, the public way that Talena shared that experience, and the outpouring of community support
  • The empty home, the overwhelming grief, and the surrounding environmental changes that led to a serious move into writing
  • The "creatives for hire" ad for a new magazine that caught Talena's eye the led to journalistic writing
  • Applying that journalistic experience to Talena's inspirational blog
  • How Talena divides up and prioritizes her time
  • The value and importance of learning how to say no to certain projects
  • The app Timely that helps Talena track the things she does (so you can stop lying to yourself)
  • The quote that Talena has on her website: "The universe is made of stories, not of atoms." by Muriel Rukeyser


After the interview, Mark reflects on the importance of saying NO and in prioritizing the many tasks that often either fall onto a writer's plate, or come within a writer's horizon.


Links of Interest:



Talena Winters is addicted to stories, tea, chocolate, yarn, and silver linings. She writes page-turning fiction for teens and adults in multiple genres, coaches other writers, has written several award-winning songs, designs knitting patterns under her label My Secret Wish, and is lead writer for Move Up magazine. She currently resides on an acreage in the Peace Country of northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, three surviving boys, two dogs, and an assortment of farm cats. She would love to be a mermaid when she grows up.


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