Author Name: Mark Paxson
Genre: Primarily literary, but a little bit of everything, including a legal drama (my first novel), and a domestic thriller (my current WIP)
Books: One Night in Bridgeport; Shady Acres and Other Stories; The Marfa Lights and Other Stories; Deviation; The Irrepairable Past; and The Dime
Bio: A semi-retired government attorney, I live in California. Two adult sons, two dogs, a wife, and a whole bunch of interests like painting, writing, cycling, hiking, gardening, cooking and baking that keep me motivated to keep exploring.
What got you started as a writer? I’ve always been a voracious reader but didn’t believe I could write, although I spent years imagining writing a novel. One day, almost 20 years ago, I outlined a story in my head on my drive home and I’ve been writing ever since.
What is your writing routine? I have a bit of a block that has lasted for a number of years and I allow all of life’s distractions to deprive me of a writing routine. But … these days, I write when I can and am making a little bit of headway. Typically Saturday or Sunday afternoons when I’m simply worn out by all of the distractions.
What route did you take to get published? With my first novel, I tried a little bit to get an agent. Without success there, I turned to what was then CreateSpace to publish a paperback and used KDP to publish the eBook. That’s what I’ve been doing ever since. With my last novel, The Dime, I tried again to get an agent without any success. I apparently don’t know the secret handshake.
What things do you do to promote your books? I have two blogs that I use to share news about my writing and publishing. I also use Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook but not relentlessly like some authors. When I publish something, I post and tweet about it. And occasionally when I get a good review, I’ll use that to remind people that I’ve got books out there. I also try some of the promo sites, but have found almost no success with them lately.
What is your favorite genre to read and why? This may be the most difficult question to answer. I’ll read anything. The books that have the most meaning to me are the ones that make me feel something deeply. I’m not ashamed to cry while I’m reading.
Do you prefer to write dialogue or description? Dialogue. I’m not a fan of a lot of description when I’m reading and I think that comes across in my writing as well. I want to leave things to the reader’s imagination and just tell the story. If the description isn’t relevant to the story, I try to avoid it.
Have any of your characters ever surprised you? Did this change the plot of your book? I’m a pantser so I’d have to say that my characters don’t surprise me. I generally start with an idea, a concept, and then I start writing. The entire thing is somewhat of a surprise for me as a result, which is what helps me write. It’s when I figure out the “rest of the story” when the block settles in because the surprises are over.
What is the most difficult thing you have accomplished in your life? Raising two boys to adulthood. Nothing else compares.
What three events or people have most influenced how you live your life? I can’t deny the influence my parents had. My dad was (still is at the age of 89) a writer. My parents gifted to me a love of reading and my mom has always been one of the biggest fans of my writing. And then there is the birth of those two boys—two little munchkins who changed my life forever.
What would you tell your younger self? Be bolder, don’t be so scared.
Have you ever met up with a bear on a hike? If so, what did you do? If not, are you looking up what to do right now? Great question. No and I hope I never do. Where I hike, I’m more concerned with mountain lions. All I know is “make yourself as large as possible!”
You’re locked in your local library for the night with no dinner. Thank goodness you have water, but you only have enough change to buy one item from the vending machine. Choices are limited to Fudge Pop Tarts, Snickers or Doritos. Which would you choose and why? Totally a Snickers. Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts are the only ones worth eating. Doritos are meh. Snickers has everything that makes a candy bar a candy bar.
What’s the largest number of people you’ve had in your kitchen at one time? Probably around 10-12. I make pizza and occasionally have pizza parties. Instead of hanging out elsewhere, most of the attendees like to hang out in the kitchen while I make the pizza.
Closing thoughts: Thanks for giving me this opportunity to share my writing. I’m a big fan of indie writers and think we need to do everything we can to support each other.
Website and social media links:
Writers group: writerssupportingwriters.com
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20 thoughts on “Who’s That Indie Author? Mark Paxson”
This was a fun interview. I enjoyed the responses. The pic at top is terrific! This is a person who knows how to have fun. 🙂
I had a neighbor take a series of pictures for me to use as author photos. This one was taken while I was as in the swing in their front years. I sooooo want to use this for one of my books but people keep saying it is t serious enough.
Write a humorous book. Problem solved! 😉
Hi Betsy – thanks for stopping by to support Mark. I’m glad you liked Mark’s answers to my questions! Fun is the word, right?
Great to meet Mark through this interview. Mark knows how to have fun. Good to hear your parents had good influence on you. Thank you for for interview, Barbara. 😊
Thank you. I can’t deny the influence they’ve had.
Hi Miriam – I thought the same thing when I saw Mark’s author picture! Thanks for stopping by to meet Mark. 🙂
You’re welcome, Barbara. 🙂
Nice to see Mark here, Barbara. great interview. Thanks to you both.
Hi John – I’m glad you could catch this interview – thanks for stopping by to support Mark!
Mark, as a former attorney, I would think you have a number of plot outlines in your files. You also mention begin a voracious reader, so there’s that gold-mine too. Thanks, Barbara, for this introduction. Full speed ahead for you too, Mark, as you promote your work! 😀
Actually, one of the things I want to write some day is a satirical, semi-true story based on the people I worked with over the last 20 years. Just not sure if I’ll ever get to it.
Hi Marian – thanks for stopping by to read about Mark and his books. I agree, he must have a lot of material from his legal career!
I’m a big fan of Mark’s work. Great interview! 🙂
Hi Berthold – oh I’m glad you saw this! Thanks for stopping by and supporting Mark! 🙂
Love that cover on tree “irrepairable past” book!
And the pans yet approach with your background of reading and parenting likely trickles into your finished books!
Hi Yvette – I agree – great covers! Thanks for stopping by to meet Mark 🙂
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