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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Feb 1, 2019

In Episode 59 Mark interviews Sara Rider, author of contemporary romances full of heart and heat about strong women and the men who can’t resist them.

Prior to the interview, Mark shares a few personal updates which include:

  • Recently reading THE HOLY SH!T MOMENT by James Fell
  • A forthcoming trip to Colorado Springs for Superstars Writing Seminars
  • Thanks Patreon supporters with a note that there'll be additional content posted for them upon his return from Superstars in early Feb 2019

Mark also shares a word about this episode's corporate sponsor,  Findaway Voices . . .

. . . you can learn more at


In their conversation, Mark and Sara talk about:

  • How Sara's passion for and experience in soccer and reading romance novels led to a series of romance novels that focus on professional soccer players
  • The wishfulfilment element of those novels
  • Sara's experience with slush piles, an agent and having her first novels published by an imprint of Pocket Books, one of the world's largest publishers
  • The reasons why Sara decided to self-publish her next series, which included the ability to give away free books
  • How Sara continues to work with her agent while exploring both traditional publishing and self-publishing opportunities
  • Mark's discovery of Sara's Books and Brews series because of the unique craft brewery setting for these novels and the reasons why Sara decided to use that as part of the setting
  • How the idea for a book can pop right into Sara's head almost fully formed
  • The elements that connect the books in the Books & Brews series (which include the intertwined world of writers and brewers)
  • The division of time related to working full time, raising a family and writing
  • The role of deadlines in Sara's writing life
  • Tips for ensuring that her break and lunch-time writing sessions are not compromised
  • Sara's biggest regrets from when her first novel was launched and what she would have changed
  • The approach Sara takes with her newsletter


After the interview, Mark reflects on Sara's mention of the fact that readers are interested in and want to like the writers that they read.

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