For this month's interview, we have the pleasure of meeting published author, Mark Alan Smith. I have met Mark on one of the many Facebook writing pages. He has written many different types of publications, both in fiction and nonfiction.
On to the interview!
Short Bio: Former firefighter, emergency medical technician and corrections officer who also served in the United States Marine Corps. I have authored a variety of articles on a wide range of topics and I’m currently working on several writing projects. These include a non fiction preparedness guide and a fiction/fantasy series titled The Tales of Dohrya. I reside in western Oklahoma and enjoys hunting, cooking and taking part in IDPA pistol matches as I can.
Published Works: Roma Victrix (an alternative history novella) Preparedness The Basics and Beyond, The Tales of Dohrya The Southern War (Book one of a six book series)
Current Projects: I am currently writing 11 full length books and a number of short stories
When did you begin writing?
I started writing Dohrya in high school as well as original poetry and then slowly expanded my writing to included technical articles.
Did you receive any special training or attend a school?
Where do you get your inspiration from?
With the poetry it was a form of therapy, I suffer from depression and the poetry was a form of self therapy. The poems were not dark, quite the opposite in fact, writing helped me to pull myself out of the depression. Writing fiction fantasy (which I was a huge fan of and still am) was an outlet for my creative side.
What is (in your opinion) the most important thing to remember when writing, and why is it so important?
A key piece of advice that a friend of mine gave me years ago that I often remind myself of when I am writing dialogue is that not everyone talks the same. I had a tendency for all my characters to have the same inflection, the same syntax etc. After he told me that it was as if I was suddenly seeing the writing in a whole new light and it really helped me grow as a writer.
What is (in your opinion) the most challenging part of writing, and how do you overcome it?
Staying true to who you are as a writer, I’ve written a number of different articles, poems and several books all the while not changing my core principles or beliefs. If I do that then I feel I can’t be true to who I am and therefore what I’m writing isn’t as good.
Did you use an agent? (why or why not?)
I do have a publisher.
Did you use an Editor? If not, what process did you use to edit your work?
I have changed how I edit. I formerly did it electronically, just read through it on the computer and made the changes there but with my current project (a three book series) I’ve taken to printing it out and going through the printed pages with a red pen and then making the necessary changes in the digital copy after. Yes it does take longer but for me seeing it in the hard copy printed format I am able to better visualize the story and I can do a better job of editing.
How did you get your book published? (self-published, Vanity publishing, Mainstream publisher).
I am fortunate to have a friend who owns a publishing company and have a contract through her.
Do you handle your own marketing?
I do some of it but mainly my publisher (Auctoritas Publishing) handles it.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Stay the course (pardon the cliché’) and keep writing.
I found Mark’s life experience and how it reflected in his work to be inspiring. I hope everyone found this interview informative, and I would like to thank Mark Alan Smith for taking the time to take this interview. Your participation was very much appreciated.
Until Next time.