289 episodes

Perspectives and reflections on the writing and publishing life. Mark Leslie Lefebvre, a writer, bookseller, digital publishing advocate, professional speaker, and publishing consultant explores inclusive and collaborative opportunities for writers and book publishing professionals via interviews, discussions, and reflections about the industry. (Mark's personal website is www.markleslie.ca)

Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing Mark Leslie Lefebvre

    • Arts
    • 4.6 • 13 Ratings

Perspectives and reflections on the writing and publishing life. Mark Leslie Lefebvre, a writer, bookseller, digital publishing advocate, professional speaker, and publishing consultant explores inclusive and collaborative opportunities for writers and book publishing professionals via interviews, discussions, and reflections about the industry. (Mark's personal website is www.markleslie.ca)

    Edo van Belkom on Re-Adapting and Re-Inventing Your Writer Self

    Edo van Belkom on Re-Adapting and Re-Inventing Your Writer Self

    Mark interviews Canadian author Edo van Belkom about his life in writing, and the January 2023 the Paramount+ TV series adaptation of his Silver Birch Award-Winning Novel WOLF PACK by Jeff Davis and starring Sarah Michelle Gellar.
    Prior to the interview, Mark shares comments from recent episodes, a brief personal update, welcomes new Patron Dharma Kelleher, and a word about this episode's sponsor.
    You can learn more about how you can get your audiobooks distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at starkreflections.ca/Findaway.
    In their conversation, Mark and Edo talk about:
    An old picture of the two of them at a "Sci-Fi Saturday" multi-author event from the late 90s where Mark was one of the managers (Attendees were David Shrogryn, Edo van Belkom, Carolyn Clink, Robert J. Sawyer, Douglas Smith, Andrew Weiner, Mark Leslie, Sally Tomasevic, Marcel Gagne) Edo's journey as a writer, beginning with his first published short story being published in an annual "Year's Best" anthology Writing about six or seven novels before his first one sold, and writing books that weren't published until more than twenty-five years later Working on gaming-tie-in related novels Landing his agent after having a short story appear in one of Jeff Gelb's "Hot Blood" anthologies Following his wife's advice to write a YA novel, which became the award-winning novel Wolf Pack and how that book was sold over a telephone pitch/proposal Having a couple of his mass market paperback novels (Scream Queen and Blood Road) be optioned for films Some of the silly things that writers hear when speaking to non-writers at parties such as "why don't you write a bestseller?" What being nominated for the Silver Birch Award did for that book Winning the Silverbirch Award Going from selling 10,000 copies of the first book in the series to only about 1,000 or so copies of the 2nd and 3rd books in that series How the greatest part of winning the Silver Biirch Award was the live event at a small stadium in downtown Toronto, Ontario Winning the Bram Stoker Award for a short story ("Rat Food") that he co-authored with David Nickle What it was like co-authoring a story well before the days of the internet Edo's short story collection Death Drives a Semi and how, when looking for places to market it, he found a trucker magazine that he ended up writing a series of stories in for fifteen years The "Mark Dalton: Owner, Operator" series of stories Converting a one-day workshop for truckers about fuel efficient driving practices into a novel Details and experiences related to the ice roads in Canada's Northwest Territories. (Ice roads are seasonal winter roads built over frozen bodies of water. The ice roads in Canada are about 400 KM (250 miles) long and are built over 64 frozen lakes The story behind how Wolf Pack got turned into a new Paramount+ television series What it was like seeing a teaser trailer for "Wolf Pack" after a year of hearing nothing about the option deal that had been signed How the book "Wolf Pack" got into the hands of Jeff Davis What it was like to be in Los Angeles for the premiere of the series, including walking the red carpet Seeing his name in the show's opening credits "Based on the novels by Edo van Belkom" Some of what's planned for the home-town showing of the first episode in the series in Brampton, Ontario Why, if he can help it, Edo plans on not doing any more soul-crushing in store book signings any longer And more... After the interview, Mark reflects on three different things.
     
    Links of Interest:
     
    Edo van Belkom (At Jabberwocky Literary Agency) Edo on Twitter Edo on Facebook Edo on TikTok Wolf Pack on Paramount+ Wolf Pack TV Series - IMDB Wolf Pack TV Series - Wikipedia Be a guest on the Stark Reflections Podcast Superstars Writing Seminars (Save $100 with code: STARKSSWS2023 Findaway Voices Buy Mark a Coffee Patreon for Stark Reflections Best Book Ever Podcast Lovers Moon Podcast The Relaxed Author Buy

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Vulnerability in Writing, Performance Art, and Tarot Readings with Liz Worth

    Vulnerability in Writing, Performance Art, and Tarot Readings with Liz Worth

    Mark interviews Liz Worth, a professional tarot reader, a poet and author.
    Prior to the interview, Mark shares a brief personal update and a word about this episode's sponsor.
    You can learn more about how you can get your audiobooks distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at starkreflections.ca/Findaway.
    In their chat, Mark and Liz talk about:
    The many things that Liz "slings" Satisfying that craving Liz and her husband have to be surrounded by "vintage things" via owning an antique shop The importance of helping take something inherited off someone's hands in a meaningful way and to someone that will find use in it How Tarot, the occult, and writing have always been a part of Liz's life, and her mother's influence in this area Growing up going to psychic fairs, learning astrology and card reading Being draw to punk and goth culture in the 90s in high school Making her own goth zine (Last Breath Escapes), photocopying it, and making it available through a local record store Doing something similar for her poetry How zines were a precursor to the niche market ability of eBook digital publishing nowadays The first book projects Liz worked on How "Punk" is an entire ecosystem of creativity and not just a style of music and dress Liz's work not only doing Tarot readings but teaching others how to do a Tarot reading The things Liz would do during her performance poetry that she would never do in other professional aspects of her life How, logically, Tarot is a thing that shouldn't work The vulnerability and expectations that a person has going into a Tarot reading How you're always going out on a limb when you're interpreting and giving a Tarot reading Looking for narratives and story in the images and how do things make sense Some of the intangible things about Tarot that are difficult to explain Things that Hollywood, Television, and writers often get wrong about Tarot readings The importance of running with something in a creative way rather than feeling like everything had to be so "tamped down" Liz's latest vampire novel, The Mouth is a Coven And more...  
    After the interview, Mark reflects on that importance of letting one's creative license work its magic.
     
    Links of Interest:
     
    Liz Worth's Author Website Liz on Instagram Liz's Books Liz Worth's Tarot Website Episodes with Jeff Elkins, The Dialogue Doctor Be a guest on the Stark Reflections Podcast Superstars Writing Seminars (Save $100 with code: STARKSSWS2023 Findaway Voices Buy Mark a Coffee Patreon for Stark Reflections Best Book Ever Podcast Lovers Moon Podcast The Relaxed Author Buy eBook Direct Buy Audiobook Direct Publishing Pitfalls for Authors An Author's Guide to Working with Libraries & Bookstores Wide for the Win Mark's Canadian Werewolf Books This Time Around (Short Story) A Canadian Werewolf in New York Stowe Away (Novella) Fear and Longing in Los Angeles Fright Nights, Big City Lover's Moon Hex and the City The Canadian Mounted: A Trivia Guide to Planes, Trains and Automobiles  
     
    Liz Worth is the author of eight books. Her newest novel is called The Mouth is a Coven, published through Manta Press. She has been nominated twice for the ReLit Award for Poetry, and her writing has also appeared in FLARE Magazine, Chatelaine, and the Globe and Mail. She works as a professional tarot reader by day.
     
    The introductory, end, and bumper music for this podcast (“Laser Groove”) was composed and produced by Kevin MacLeod of www.incompetech.com and is Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 

    • 59 min
    Investment, Compromise, and Evolution with Juliette N. Banks

    Investment, Compromise, and Evolution with Juliette N. Banks

    Mark interviews Juliette N. Banks, a bestselling, wide author who writes steamy contemporary and paranormal page-turning romances.
    Prior to the interview, Mark shares recent comments, welcomes new patron Dharma Kelleher, and shares a personal update and a word about this episode's sponsor.
    You can learn more about how you can get your audiobooks distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at starkreflections.ca/Findaway.
     
    In their conversation, Mark and Juliette talk about:
    Juliette always believing that some day she would be a published author, but it was something she never chased Juliette's marketing background at a book she wrote in 2012 that was published by Random House in 2013 The significant and tight Covid related lock-downs in New Zealand Juliette's adaptation to reading a lot of eBooks during the pandemic The incredibly expensive cost of print books in New Zealand Writing an archangel series and a vampire series Launching her books and reader magnet in Jan and March of 2021 Working a full time job squeezed into 4 work days per week while writing all these novels The roughly 200 people Juliette was sharing her works with for free before she even published her first book (and how they've maintained their loyalty as readers to this day) Launching a new contemporary billionaire romance series at the beginning of 2022 The parallel between the vampire characters and the billionaire characters Training herself to think very American in terms of her largest readership base Calculating the value of going to book signings, particular in the cost of flying from New Zealand to somewhere in the US The process Juliette works on with editing and publishing Having had five BookBubs in 2022 The steady stream of releases and the stress that comes from that, particularly when illness like Covid occurs to throw a monkey wrench into it Where Juliette has been focusing in her initial goal to get to the 5 figures she needed in order to quit her corporate job Spending time on learning what she has to do to make her books "BookBub Worthy" Why she doesn't separate "indie" and "traditional" - you're competing in a store with suppliers of all sizes The pricing strategy that Juliette uses How only 10 of her books are creating income right now. The other 10 are things like reader magnets The way Juliette plans and maps out her writing business The importance of knowing what your skills and abilities and weaknesses are The value of professional coaches and taking some action upon those meetings/sessions And more... After the interview, Mark reflects on the investment Juliette made by engaging for a long period and in detail with a group of 200 readers.
     
    Links of Interest:
     
    Juliette N. Banks Website BookBub Article: How I Maximized my First BookBub Deal EP 285 - Written Word Media's Top 10 Publishing Trends for 2023 EP 284 - Collaborations in AI with Elizabeth Ann West Walk Thru of Sudowrite with Elizabeth Ann West (Patreon) EP 280 - J.C. McKenzie & Jo-Ann Carson on the 2023 Jozie Planner for Authors Be a guest on the Stark Reflections Podcast Superstars Writing Seminars (Save $100 with code: STARKSSWS2023 Findaway Voices Buy Mark a Coffee Patreon for Stark Reflections Best Book Ever Podcast Lovers Moon Podcast The Relaxed Author Buy eBook Direct Buy Audiobook Direct Publishing Pitfalls for Authors An Author's Guide to Working with Libraries & Bookstores Wide for the Win Mark's Canadian Werewolf Books This Time Around (Short Story) A Canadian Werewolf in New York Stowe Away (Novella) Fear and Longing in Los Angeles Fright Nights, Big City Lover's Moon Hex and the City The Canadian Mounted: A Trivia Guide to Planes, Trains and Automobiles  
     
    Juliette N. Banks is a bestselling, wide author who writes steamy contemporary and paranormal page-turning romances with alpha heroes who fall for sassy heroines and a healthy dose of action and suspense.
    Juliette has a vast background in consumer market

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Written Word Media's Top 10 Publishing Trends for 2023

    Written Word Media's Top 10 Publishing Trends for 2023

    To kick off the new year, Mark shares a Jan 3, 2023 article from the Written Word Media blog on the Top 10 Publishing Trends for 2023.
    Prior to the main content, Mark share a personal update and a word about this episode's sponsor.
    You can learn more about how you can get your audiobooks distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at starkreflections.ca/Findaway.
    Links of Interest:
     
    Written Word Media: Top 10 Publishing Trends for 2023 Join Written Word Media as an Author Be a guest on the Stark Reflections Podcast Superstars Writing Seminars (Save $100 with code: STARKSSWS2023 Findaway Voices Buy Mark a Coffee Patreon for Stark Reflections Best Book Ever Podcast Lovers Moon Podcast The Relaxed Author Buy eBook Direct Buy Audiobook Direct Publishing Pitfalls for Authors An Author's Guide to Working with Libraries & Bookstores Wide for the Win Mark's Canadian Werewolf Books This Time Around (Short Story) A Canadian Werewolf in New York Stowe Away (Novella) Fear and Longing in Los Angeles Fright Nights, Big City Lover's Moon Hex and the City The Canadian Mounted: A Trivia Guide to Planes, Trains and Automobiles  
    The introductory, end, and bumper music for this podcast (“Laser Groove”) was composed and produced by Kevin MacLeod of www.incompetech.com and is Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 

    • 39 min
    Collaborations in AI with Elizabeth Ann West

    Collaborations in AI with Elizabeth Ann West

    Mark talks with Elizabeth Ann West about her writing and using AI tools such as Sudowrite for intriguing new types of collaborations.
    Prior to the interview, Mark shares a comments from recent episodes, a personal update, and a word about this episode's sponsor.
    You can learn more about how you can get your audiobooks distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at starkreflections.ca/Findaway.
    During their conversation Mark and Elizabeth talk about:
    Elizabeth's start in indie publishing back in the "early days" of self-publishing The Jane Austin Fan Fiction that Elizabeth writes for a living The panic in the writing community with the dropping of chatGPT (GPT = Generative Pre-trained Transformer) What Public Domain content is and a look at the grey area of AI generated content and copyright Changes to Public Domain and copyright law related to Disney and Mickey Mouse How Public Domain is really important to culture Some of the areas where AI has already been integrated into the tools we use as writers and just in general AI as a robotic co-writer that you can lean on as an author Sudowrite and how it's based on a UNIX command called "Super Do" and not "pseudo" making you the super user How as the human in this equation, you are the "creative director" still responsible for all of the final writing, the research, the voice, etc How prompts work within Sudowrite and the way authors can be very specific with them The importance of authors being unique and creative when creating their prompts How the AI works within the context of the most recent segment of the document an author is working within The idea that's in development of performing something like a "fine tune" A bit of the tech about how "tokens" work within the technology Playing within "Open AI Playground" How much time a tool like Sudowrite can help writers with outlining and summarizing a chapter Simulating readers reacting to a piece of writing The process of interviewing an AI character The cost structure for using Sudowrite How Elizabeth has written and released three books since Nov 2021 with the assistance of AI The re-write function in Sudowrite that performs a "show, don't tell" on a sentence Feeling like a writer with super-powers by having access to these types of tools How Elizabeth teachers her online classes for learning how to collaborate with AI The $99 fee that gives people access to all of Elizabeth's "Learning AI" classes and recorded live sessions past, present, and future Elizabeth's thoughts for writers who are nervous, anxious, or worried about the disruption that AI will bring to writing And more... After the interview, Mark reflects on a few things Elizabeth said. He then shares his own recent experiment with creating a book description using chatGBT.
    Links of Interest:
     
    Elizabeth Ann West's Website Elizabeth's Courses & Coaching Intro to Collaborate With AI Tools - Outlining, Prose, & Editing (Affiliate Link) 1:1 AI Consultation with Elizabeth Ann West (Affiliate Link) AI COMMUNITY #WANTK (Affiliate Link) Elizabeth's Short Walk-Thru with Mark of Sudowrite YouTube Interview/Walk-Thru about AI / Sudowrite with Joe Solari Elizabeth's 20BooksVegas Presentation - "Selling Mr. Darcy" EP 265 - Elizabeth Ann West and Randall Wood from Scribecount EP283 - Doing LSB with Amy S. Peele Sanderson Takes on Audible Apple Digital Narration Be a guest on the Stark Reflections Podcast Superstars Writing Seminars (Save $100 with code: STARKSSWS2023 Findaway Voices Buy Mark a Coffee Patreon for Stark Reflections Best Book Ever Podcast Lovers Moon Podcast The Relaxed Author Buy eBook Direct Buy Audiobook Direct Publishing Pitfalls for Authors An Author's Guide to Working with Libraries & Bookstores Wide for the Win Mark's Canadian Werewolf Books This Time Around (Short Story) A Canadian Werewolf in New York Stowe Away (Novella) Fear and Longing in Los Angeles Fright Nights, Big City Lover's Moon Hex and the City The Canadi

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Doing LSB (Laughter, Stretch, and Breathe) with Amy S. Peele

    Doing LSB (Laughter, Stretch, and Breathe) with Amy S. Peele

    Mark has a chat with Amy S. Peele, an Amazon best-selling and award-winning author. They discuss her medical mystery series, her healthcare background, comedy, laughing yoga, and so much more.
    Prior to the interview, Mark shares a question from recent a episodes, an update regarding looking for guests (especially newer writers) for the podcast, and a word about this episode's sponsor.
    You can learn more about how you can get your audiobooks distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at starkreflections.ca/Findaway.
    In their conversation, Mark and Amy talk about:
    Having been an RN since 1974 and the life-long friends she has maintained her entire life Leveraging the "two best friends" theme in her mystery series as the two main protagonists Spending thirty-five years in organ transplants Deciding to kill people she didn't like in real life as fictional characters in her novels Writing the three murder mysteries after she retired in 2014 because she still had "transplants" that she needed to get out of her system The next book she is working on, a romantic comedy Amy's training with Second City Player's Workshop in Chicago because of her need to have some levity outside her day job work How Amy got started with where and how to publish her first mystery novel and how she found her agent The importance of relationships in the publishing world Why Amy values local independent bookstores, including her local bookstore, Book Passage The process of getting her books made into audio Self-care for writers and why it's important Laughter yoga and hand yoga How, especially lately, we've been in fight or flight mode and the fact that people are not breathing L.S.B. (Laughter, Stretch, and Breath) Why deep breathing and laughter is so valuable Advice Amy would offer to beginning writers And more... After the interview Mark shares a reflection.
    He then welcomes new patrons Lizbeth Meredith, Stephanie Tallent, and Angela Grit Landau and thanks all patrons.
    Links of Interest:
     
    Amy S. Peele's website Amy's Hand Yoga Video Be a guest on the Stark Reflections Podcast Superstars Writing Seminars (Save $100 with code: STARKSSWS2023 Findaway Voices Buy Mark a Coffee Patreon for Stark Reflections Best Book Ever Podcast Lovers Moon Podcast The Relaxed Author Buy eBook Direct Buy Audiobook Direct Publishing Pitfalls for Authors An Author's Guide to Working with Libraries & Bookstores Wide for the Win Mark's Canadian Werewolf Books This Time Around (Short Story) A Canadian Werewolf in New York Stowe Away (Novella) Fear and Longing in Los Angeles Fright Nights, Big City Lover's Moon Hex and the City The Canadian Mounted: A Trivia Guide to Planes, Trains and Automobiles  
    Amy S. Peele was born and raised in the Chicago area. Having graduated from South Chicago School of Nursing (SCCH) in 1974, Amy discovered her passion for organ donation and transplantation when she started as a transplant coordinator at the University of Chicago in 1976. She enjoyed a 35-year career in Transplantation retiring from University of California San Francisco in 2014. As President of the North American Transplant Coordinators Organization (NATCO), she was a guest on the Phil Donahue talk show as well as national and local radio stations, discussing the National Organ Transplant Act, which was passed in 1984.
    Amy has a love for comedy and improv and graduated from Second City Players Workshop in 1985 in Chicago. She has also studied Improv at BATS (Bay Area Theatre Sports) in San Francisco. Amy’s sense of humor comes through in all her writing.
    Amy met her architect husband, Mark Schatz, through his mother who was her student at a transplant coordinator course. They were married in 1987 and have two children. Gracie is a butcher, fishmonger, and chef living in Eugene Oregon. Bennett works in the digital sound industry in San Francisco, enjoys building bikes, and playing music.
    Amy now lives in Marin County where she h

    • 59 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

CaroB21204 ,

A great podcast for writers

There's no doubt about it, Mark knows what he's talking about. His years of experience alone back this up, but I enjoy listening to the Stark Reflections podcast because his interviews (and non-interview episodes) always make me reflect on my own writing or life in general. Keep up the fantastic work!

LicketySplit333 ,

Writing? Listen to this.

Mark’s podcast is my new favourite. He’s positive, knowledgeable, funny, and friendly. Add to that a desire to continue to learn (and share) about the publishing industry, and you have the perfect podcast for writers. Highly recommend!

Skitzkitten ,

My Morning Inspiration Podcast

I love listening to this podcast because Mark helps to inspire and give you food for thought. After listening I am revved up to create!
(I gave four stars because there should always be room to grow, get better and to keep up the good work!)

Top Podcasts In Arts

CBC Radio
CBC Radio
Roman Mars
Avery Trufelman
JOELLE Inc.
NPR

You Might Also Like

Mark Dawson
Joanna Penn
K.M. Weiland
Kobo Writing Life
Bianca Marais, Carly Watters and CeCe Lyra
Alliance of Independent Authors