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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Jun 5, 2020

Mark interviews editor Joshua Essoe who has edited for bestsellers, Piers Anthony and David Farland, for Dean Lorey, lead writer of Arrested Development, as well as numerous Writers of the Future winners, and USA Today bestsellers.

Prior to the interview, Mark reads some comments from recent episodes, reveals the winner of Sacha Black's Anatomy of Prose and says a word about this episode's sponsors, the patrons of the podcast.

Mark also shares a person update that includes:

  • Work being done on his Canadian Werewolf series of books
  • A new non-fiction writing project he will be releasing in the Fall of 2020:  Wide for the Win

In their conversation, Mark and Joshua talk about:

  • How, 11 years ago, Joshua accidentally fell into the role of editor
  • Joshua's previous role as an old book restorer
  • Being a book nerd since Joshua was 7 years old
  • Asking Brandon Sanderson to read one of his stories and the generous and constructive feedback he was offered
  • Advice from Superstars Writing Seminars that led Joshua to deciding to take on a new challenge, editing a fellow author's fantasy novel
  • Setting a goal of editing one of David Farland's novels
  • The difference between restoring old books and working as an editor
  • The genres that Joshua specializes in as an editor (science fiction, fantasy, horror, and speculative fiction)
  • The importance of aligning your writing and your goals with the right editor
  • The new book project Joshua is releasing and how he is launching it using Kickstarter
  • The first book: Action Sequences and Sex Scenes and why Joshua is releasing that one first
  • And more . . .


After the interview, Mark reflects on the huge success Joshua saw on his Kickstarter project within the first 6 hours and first four days and a quote from the artist James A. Owen, who designed his new non-fiction books.


Links of Interest:


Joshua Essoe has edited for bestsellers, Piers Anthony and David Farland, including the multi-award-winning novel, Nightingale. He's also edited for Dean Lorey, lead writer of Arrested Development, Mark Leslie Lefebvre, former director at Kobo, numerous Writers of the Future winners, USA Today bestsellers, and many other top-notch independents.

He was lead editor at Urban Fantasy Magazine from 2014-2015. From 2012-2015 he recorded the weekly writing podcast Hide and Create with co-hosts Michael J. Sullivan, Diana Rowland, Jay Wells, and Debbie Viguie.

You can find Joshua teaching about pitches, back cover copy, and editing every year at the Superstars Writing Seminars in CO. His approach to editing is to help you make your story the best version of itself it can be.

Joshua is also a writer. He was a 2014 finalist in the Writers of the Future contest, and is in the process of releasing his first in a series of non-fiction books on editing for writers.


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