New Author Incoming
I had the pleasure of meeting Mark Snyder Jr on Twitter, and I asked him if he would like to do an interview with. I am glad he said yes because I always love meeting new authors on Twitter, getting to know them, and of course learning about their writing world. Bonus is getting to see and possibly buying their books in the process. Everyone needs someone new to read, and Mark just might be your author.
1. What sparked your interest in writing?
I was an English major in college and in graduate school. I think it was my exposure to so much literature in my life as a student as well as my life as an English teacher that sparked the interest in writing and creating those special, new and figurative worlds that an author has the complete privilege to create. I always thought I would be more of a non-fiction/journalist type of writer, but I much more prefer the fantastical part of fiction writing. Who knows, maybe one day I will write something non-fiction in hopes of publication.
2. Has anyone in your life inspired you to write?
I was inspired to write, initially, by all of the classic authors that we studied in college. I never thought of myself as a fiction writer, so I always marveled at the abilities of any author of fiction to create so many details for readers to picture as they read their words. I was so focused on academic writing, that I ignored any attempt to cultivate my own fiction writing abilities until I took an alternative discourse class in my final semester of my undergraduate program, in 2005. I started to think about my recent novel, The Legacy, back then, but placed those ideas on the “back burner” for many years.
3. When did you decide to publish?
I decided to publish in March of 2020 when I realized that I wouldn’t be leaving the house for some time. I had this story in my mind, and over a decade of notes to review, so it was the perfect time to make it happen. I sent my manuscript out, in July, to a few agents and publishers, but I was more interested in sharing the story with an audience for this book, than having it provide me with any substantial income as an author, so I self-published to “test the waters” with the story and with an audience. It was quite a process, and I learned so much about writing fiction. I couldn’t be happier with the results so far.
4. Are you an Indie Author or Traditional Author? Why did you choose the path you did?
I have self-published the first novel, and I am doing the same with the second novel (the second and last in The Legacy series), but my third novel will be my attempt to appeal to publishers and agents. Hopefully, we will be out from under the thumb of COVID as well as this political nightmare we are living through at the moment, which will create a better environment for writing and for publishing. I found so many agents not accepting submissions during the COVID crisis.
5. What is your first published book?
My first published novel is called The Legacy and is the first novel in a two-novel series. I am finishing up the manuscript for the second book now and it is due to my editor in February of 2021, after about eight months of writing. I was going to attempt to write just one novel of The Legacy, in the beginning, but the book had developed a mind of its own and became far too unmanageable for just one gigantic novel.
6. Are you happy with how your books are coming out? Would you change anything?
I am very happy and proud of myself for navigating these muddy waters, but I have learned what NOT to do from the first go-around with self-publishing. I spent far too much money on advertising on certain platforms, and I have learned that (in terms of self publishing) that with millions of writers on certain platforms, it may be close to impossible to stand out…regardless of your product. So, I adjusted my efforts and began to advertise my own website, sales channels, etc. I learned that casting a wider net, to create a readership, is far more important than dumping a ton of money into advertising, where the odds of being seen are likened to winning the lottery.
7. Will you continue to publish books for many years to come?
I would like to make this my career, in the end. I have ideas for three more novels swirling around in my head currently.
8. What genres inspire you to write?
I love all genres, but I do not have any current plans to write romance. That could change, but my favorite genre is horror and fantasy. I am a very happy and mild-mannered person, so these scary worlds are fun to escape into with a story.
9. What is your favorite genre to write? What is your least favorite genre to write?
My favorite is fantasy/paranormal and my least favorite, at the moment, is romance. I may eventually develop an interest and skill in romance writing, but as of right now, it’s a foreign concept to me as a writer.
10. What challenges have you faced publishing?
There are just so many avenues for self-publishing that it can get a little confusing with so many platforms that start to duplicate efforts, royalties are all different, etc. It takes at least one novel of self-publishing to actually understand the process. I did A LOT of research and I thought that I was concrete in my understanding, but I was not…which taught me so much. I am not looking forward to eventually querying with agents and publishers, as it is seems to be as much advertising with query letters as it is creating a quality story, but I will work hard to get their attention when the time is right for me.
11. What challenges have you faced in writing?
My biggest challenge was in the team aspect of writing. I hired an editor for my first novel, in the spring, and they had many strong reviews, so I didn’t think to also do a thorough (enough) full edit of my novel after getting it back from the editor; I only reviewed the changes that were proposed.
Due to my editor’s personal issues at the time as well as their taking on two novels at the same time, my book had so many missed errors that included basic grammatical issues that should not have been missed by a professional editor. I was so embarrassed, but after five full passes of my own, I revised the interior and I am, now, very proud of the book. I also just had another full proof read a few weeks ago with a second edition release that also includes some wonderful illustrations that I commissioned from an illustrator.
12. Where do your ideas for your books come from? Where do you keep those ideas?
I have this bank of ideas from the last decade, or so, swirling in my head. I think they will provide me with ideas for novels for a few years. I want to write a YA book in the future as well as a children’s book or two, so I want to diversify my writing as much as possible. I am not entirely sure if I will settle in one genre, because that seems to be what most successful writers do, so hopefully I can maintain interesting ideas for writing for many years.
13. Are you also a bookworm and does reading other works help inspire your own writing?
Oh yes! I love reading YA fantasy and that is what inspires me to write. I have spent so many years reading literary fiction, that I just love the elements found in YA fantasy, even if my writing isn’t necessarily geared toward young adults.
14. Do you have a website where we can follow you?
15. What is the link for your books so others may look and possibly purchase them from?
I am cheering you on, Mark. You did it! You published your first book last year and you are working on the next to be published this year. My fingers are crossed that you find an agent or published for your third book as well.
So if you enjoy fantasy, then grab yourself a copy of The Legacy by Mark Snyder Jr. and enjoy every little bite he has written. I look forward to seeing more of his books out there on the market and I hope you will too. Always explore new authors and their writings. I know I love to do just that and I have truly enjoyed learning about Mark, his inspirations for writing, and about his self-publishing of The Legacy.