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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Oct 30, 2020

In this episode Mark catches up with Mark Dawson to see how his publishing collaboration with Welbeck has been going as well as to find out about some new writing and publishing projects.

This episode is sponsored by:

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Prior to the interview Mark shares the following:

  • Comments from recent episodes
  • A welcome to new patrons
  • A personal update that includes:
    • Short story writing deadlines (2 target hits with 1 to go)
    • Recent media appearances related to a new book (and the fact that it's Halloween)
    • The song Mark commissioned from Meaghan Smith for his fiance Liz's 50th birthday to go with the artwork commissioned from Josh Vogt.  (Both called "Wonder Woman")
    • A recent music parody Mark created inspired by "The Monster Mash"


In their conversation Mark and Mark discuss:

  • How the role of "writer" is Mark's prime passion
  • The way Mark protects his writing time despite wearing many hats in the industry
  • Recently hiring a PA (Personal Assistant)
  • The importance of having a team that he can trust
  • Mark's daily ritual to ensure he gets writing done every day
  • The office Mark has rented that allows him to get writing and podcast work done
  • How a change of scenery can be helpful to writing
  • How John Milton often leaves a place in worse shape when he leaves it
  • The multiple influences that went into the creation of the John Milton character
  • The way that place, news items, and other factors combine for Mark to create a scenario to drop Milton into to watch how he interacts and reacts in that situation
  • How Mark avoids the "Murder She Wrote Conceit"
  • How traveling to a conference often negatively affects his writing productivity
  • The release of The Cleaner in hardcover from Welbeck Publishing and the impact of the pandemic on that.
  • The planned release of the mass market version of the books and the next book in the series
  • The "After School Detectives Club" books that Mark is collaborating on and how it was inspired by his daughter
  • How Mark shares what works and what doesn't work with various publishing projects and experiments he tries out
  • What Mark is looking forward to for the last two months of 2020
  • Some of the forthcoming courses Mark's company will be releasing
  • And more...

After the interview Mark reflects on the larger perspective of the industry and how an author like Mark Dawson, who has already sold over 4 million copies of his eBooks still has such a gigantic untapped market of readers to reach who have never heard of him.

Links of Interest:


Mark Dawson has worked as a lawyer and in the London film industry. His first books, The Art of Falling Apart and Subpoena Colada, have been published in multiple languages. He is currently writing three series. The John Milton series features a disgruntled assassin who aims to help people make amends for the things that he has done. The Beatrix Rose series features the headlong fight for justice of a wronged mother--who happens to be an assassin--against the six names on her Kill List. Soho Noir is set in the West End of London between 1940 and 1970. The first book in the series, The Black Mile, deals with the (real-life but little-known) serial killer who operated in the area during the Blitz. The Imposter traces the journey of a criminal family through the period; it has been compared to The Sopranos in austerity London. Mark lives in Wiltshire with his family.


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