262 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)

    How to Write Brilliant Beginnings with S.W. Millar

    How to Write Brilliant Beginnings with S.W. Millar

    Mark interviews S.W. Millar about his new book - How to Write Brilliant Beginnings: Crafting Your Novel’s Opening Chapters Made Easy.
    Prior to the main segment, Mark shares a brief personal update, comments from recent episodes, and a word about this episode's sponsor.
    You can learn more about how you can get your work distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at starkreflections.ca/Findaway.
    In their conversation, Mark and Shane talk about:
    Shane's background as an urban fantasy writer and a certified Story Editor Writing his first novel back in 2010, pulling it out of a drawer in 2015 and realizing how much it was lacking, and then engaging in a long period of study to better his craft and understanding of the business Wanting to write the kind of books he needed when he was first starting out and wanting to learn How reading Jim Butcher's Harry Desden files novels inspired Shane to want to write similar tales Realizing that he wanted to train as a writer-friendly editor with Kristina Stanley from Fictionary The importance of having a degree of distance when you are taking in feedback from editors or readers Shane's preference for the type of fiction he prefers to edit: Urban fantasy, Thrillers, and Science-Fictio How to Write Brilliant Beginnings, Shane's new book, and why it is such an important element to help with sales The invisible/subtle question that you set up so that, in the reader's mind, they are compelled to keep reading to find the answer to it Why it is equally compelling to end your chapters, particularly the first two or three chapters, which as much of a hook as possible That "just one more principal" The idea of a character "going about their current 'flawed' existence" How everything a character sees and experiences is filtered through their wound and scar Giving your main character something very unique to them as an identifier The five top things that you should give your character for them to be three dimensional and compelling to readers The value of opening the novel with some type of conflict or action beat When ending chapters or cutting scenes, the element of cutting it off BEFORE the resolution that can compel the reader to keep reading The way that old television programs, such as Batman that always cut to a commercial break with a hook that would make the audience want to keep watching to find out how it was resolved That "know, like, and trust" thing which can be so important when engaging in social media The importance of open-ended questions that can lead to engagement and detailed answers Shane's books: How to Write Brilliant Beginnings, How to Plot Your Novel and How to Write Novels Fast And more... After the interview, Mark reflects on distance and objectivity as well as that end of chapter "cut to commercial" hook.
    Links of Interest:
    S. W. (Shane) Millar's Website Instagram TikTok Fictionary EP 260 - Mood, Atmosphere, and Worldbuilding with Joshua Essoe 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 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 

    • 40 min
    Mood, Atmosphere, and Worldbuilding with Joshua Essoe

    Mood, Atmosphere, and Worldbuilding with Joshua Essoe

    Mark interviews editor Joshua Essoe about the elements of atmosphere, mood, and world-building.
    Prior to the main segment, Mark shares a personal update, comments from recent episodes, and a word about this episode's sponsor.
    You can learn more about how you can get your work distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at starkreflections.ca/Findaway.
    In their conversation, Mark and Joshua talk about:
    How Joshua got into being an editor twelve years ago The limitation of only being able to work 1:1 with so many clients at a time and how that led to Joshua deciding to release books (Essoe's Guides to Writing) to assist writers with some of his knowledge/experience The way Joshua divides up a typical day of work, which involves a lot of burning the midnight oil Joshua's unique way of combining two subjects into a single double-sided flip book as a special Kickstarter exclusive project The first flip book - Action Sequences / Sex Scenes The second flip book - Worldbuilding / Mood & Atmosphere The problem with trying to release a flip-book format in the traditional print book market. (Where does the bar code that's supposed to be on the "back" of the book go?) Original artwork from James A. Owen that is part of these books, and this special Kickstarter project The 6 major areas where writers usually have issues in Worldbuilding, including Info-dumping, which is also broken down into 6 types: world-building info dump the back-story info dump the technical info dump dialogue info dump thought info dump emotion info dump How Kevin J. Anderson does a great job of setting up his world in the first several pages of the Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. novels Three big things that you need to do in your world-building: broadening it, deepening it, and involving it How writers need to shackle their impulse to share too many details about their world all at once to readers A discussion of Tolkien's world-building, which involved a combination of intriguing teaser moments, but also some longer segments of info-dumping What are we talking about when we're talking about Mood and Atmosphere? How there aren't that many books in existence on the topic of mood and atmosphere The way that every aspect of your writing that can contribute to mood How atmosphere is a part of mood, but is a big enough element that it can be understood and explored on its own An excellent example of atmosphere from A Wrinkle in Time How you want to be purposeful when creating and sharing mood in your writing Some of the rewards that are going to be available in Joshua's Kickstarter And more...  
    After the interview, Mark reflects on a couple of things from the discussion.
    Links of Interest:
    Joshua's Website Joshua's Worldbuilding, Mood & Atmosphere Kickstarter EP 137 - Action Sequences and Sex Scenes with Joshua Essoe Kobo Writing Life Podcast - EP 76 - (Mark's first interview with Joshua) Findaway Voices The Emotion Thesaurus on the Writers Helping Writers Website Other Episodes Mentioned in this podcast EP 247 - My Mom's Influence on Me As A Writer EP 258 - June 2022 Reflective Hangout Highlight Clips   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 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 

    • 55 min
    Do You Hear What I Hear? The Sound of Opportunity

    Do You Hear What I Hear? The Sound of Opportunity

    In this solo episode where Mark shares some examples of ways that authors can leverage some of the audio and audiobook options available to them.
    Prior to the main segment and clips, Mark shares a personal update, comments from recent episodes, and a word about this episode's sponsor.
    You can learn more about how you can get your work distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at starkreflections.ca/Findaway.
    Links of Interest:
    Findaway Voices Other Episodes Mentioned in this podcast EP 029 - Terry Fallis on Writing with Authenticity, Humor, and Passion EP 063 - Wait! Did You Hear That? All About Audiobooks EP 136 - Great sales at Google with Brian Rathbone EP 148 - AI Voice Double Conversation with Joanna Penn EP 233 - Love Only Better, with Paulette Stout EP 227 - Publishing Trends and Reflections for 2022 EP 257 - Naima Simone on Writing with Heart, Humor, and Heat Draft2Digital Podcast EP 073 - Acting, Audiobooks, and TikTok with Actress Sarah Sampino This Time Around (Short Story - Audio Versions) Human Narrated/Scott Overton (Paid) Human Narrated/Scott Overton (FREE YouTube) Google Play AI Narrated - Mike (FREE) The 7 P's of Publishing Success Human Narrated/Mark (Paid) AI Narrated - VocoCraft - Brian AI Narrated - Google Play - Mike Mark's Short Story Collections Active Reader Bumps in the Night Snowman Shivers Evasion (Human Narrated / Brian Troxell) 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 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 

    • 50 min
    June 2022 Reflective Hangout Highlights

    June 2022 Reflective Hangout Highlights

    This week's episode is a series of highlighted clips from the nearly 3 hours of Reflective Hangout sessions that took place in June 2022 with Mark and a few patrons of the podcast:
    Katie Cross Matty Dalrymple Roland Denzel Kathy Mac Prior to the main segment and clips, Mark shares a word about this episode's sponsor.
    You can learn more about how you can get your work distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at starkreflections.ca/Findaway.
    Links of Interest:
    Findaway Voices Audiobooks See Double Digit Growth (Findaway Blog) APA - Sales & Consumer Survey Press Release June 2022 Reflective Hangout 1 June 2022 Reflective Hangout 2 June 2022 Reflective Hangout 3 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 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 

    • 47 min
    Naima Simone on Writing with Heart, Humor, and Heat

    Naima Simone on Writing with Heart, Humor, and Heat

    Mark interviews USA Today Bestselling author Naima Simone about writing sizzling romances with heart, a touch of humor and snark.
    Prior to the interview, Mark shares a personal update, reads recent comments, and shares a word about this episode's sponsor.
    You can learn more about how you can get your work distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at starkreflections.ca/Findaway.
    During their chat, Mark and Naima talk about:
    Naima's unique and fun tagline: "Where heart, humor, and heat collide" Learning to read as early as 3 and 4 years of age Some of Naima's favorite books she read when growing up, and also sneaking into her mom's room to read her mom's more adult romance books at the age of 11 and 12 Writing her first story about a cucumber named Fred who went to the bookstore The romance book she wrote in the 2nd grade The "fan fiction" type of stories that she used to write and trade with her sister The "Donnie Wahlberg" inspired romantic story Naima wrote Why Naima worked so hard and never gave up on her dream to be a published author What was supposed to be that "next level" of her career and the experience of opening that first royalty check Naima's father's advise about following your passion and how his support and advice helped her at that devastating moment of seeing that particular royalty check The importance of the emotional and logistical support of her husband How Naima may write romance but that her husband is the romantic person in their relationship The core of honor, respect, and vulnerability from her husband who has made it into some of Naima's fictional characters Deciding between working with a publisher or self-publishing a particular writing project Naima's love of the 80's and 80's music and how that has made it into a particular series she is writing Her book Jessie's Girl, and the connection to Rick Springfield using it as an example that song titles can't be copyrighted Naima's advice for new of beginning writers And more... After the interview Mark reflects on Naima's pivotal moment.
    Links of Interest:
    Naima Simone's Website Instagram Facebook Twitter EP 256 - Knowing Your Value and Worth as an Author 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 The Canadian Mounted: A Trivia Guide to Planes, Trains and Automobiles  
    Published since 2009, USA Today Bestselling author Naima Simone loves writing sizzling romances with heart, a touch of humor and snark. Her books have been featured in The Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly, and described as balancing “crackling, electric love scenes with exquisitely rendered characters caught in emotional turmoil.”
    She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent, and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.
     
    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 
     

    • 48 min
    Knowing Your Worth and Value as an Author

    Knowing Your Worth and Value as an Author

    Mark shares an excerpt about calculating your worth as an author from the book ACCOUNTING FOR AUTHORS which he co-authored with D.F. Hart.
    Prior to the interview, Mark welcomes new patron Jenny Simard LaBranche to his patron supporters, and shares a word from this episode's sponsor.
    You can learn more about how you can get your work distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at starkreflections.ca/Findaway.
    Links of Interest:
    Accounting for Authors EP 255 - Overcoming Obstacles and Just Doing It With Jenny S. LaBranche Findaway Voices Buy Mark a Coffee Patreon for Stark Reflections 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 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 

    • 35 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!)

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