About Mark S. Parker:
Born in Mexia, I spent my early years in Waco and graduated from Belton High School and Texas A&M back in the 70’s. This Central Texas boy married a West Texas girl, Ann Becker, in 1977. We moved to Midland, her hometown, in 1980 when I received my Master’s degree. I went to work for Gulf Oil as a landman and was just happy to have a job. I’ve been a landman ever since. Sometimes with a company and sometimes independently. Our four children grew up in Midland. We now have five grandchildren with one on the way.
What inspires you to write?
I’ve always enjoyed books, words, letters and wordplay. My writing, until recently, has been for family, friends and church. A couple of years ago, about the time our grandchildren started coming along, my muse took off and I started writing books and songs for children and young people.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m not a grinder or a planner. I don’t worry about daily word quotas. I just let it happen. A lot of my writing goes on in my head. When the time comes, I sit down and write in furious spurts. I wrote what I think are two of the best chapters of SHAKY MAN in one day. When I’m on a roll I can’t stop.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
They take on a life of their own. That’s part of the joy of writing. For example, when I started SHAKY MAN, I didn’t intend for Mickey to be a major character. The more I wrote about Top and Mickey and their relationship, I couldn’t quit. As a result, the book ended up completely different from what I first envisioned.
What advice would you give other writers?
“Write what you know” is the best advice I’ve ever heard. No matter what world the writer is trying to create, they must leave a little bit (or a lot) of themselves. My personal advice is to find what works for you. Seminars, conferences and writing classes give great suggestions, but each writer should pick and choose the processes that work for them.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
When I finished my first, as yet unpublished, book, NATIVITY TALES, I went the traditional route through conferences, agent/publisher interviews, query letters and rejections. After finishing SHAKY MAN I decided I was too old, ornery, picky and impatient to go through that again. I researched my options and decided to go with hybrid publishing through Brown Books out of Dallas. They are the best in the field in my opinion. That seems to work for me. It keeps me involved in every phase of the book development, yet leaves me time to do other things, like writing.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
There are so many good writers out there today. I have to believe that self and hybrid publishing is only going to grow. That forces the writer into the marketing side of the equation. Fortunately for me, I enjoy that part of the business, too.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Middle Grade
What formats are your books in?: Print
Mark S. Parker Home Page Link
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.