Friday, February 20, 2009

Author Interview with Mark Mynheir

Welcome to author Mark Mynheir.

Can you give us a little bit of information about your publishing history?

Rolling Thunder was my first book; it released in 2005. From the Belly of the Dragon was my second. The Void was next.

The Night Watchman is my latest. It releases in May of 2009.

When in the process of writing your book did you begin to look for a publisher?

I had written a complete novel before I attempted to find a publisher. But to be fair, I knew nothing about the publishing business. I do think it’s good for the first-time author to have the book completed. That way the agent/publisher knows that you have the wherewithal to finish the book.

What has been the best part about being published?

Seeing my name on a book at Barnes and Noble has been pretty cool. But in truth, I enjoy the whole process. I like writing the stories, seeing them published, talking with readers and other writers. The publishing industry is a lot of fun. Sure beats my day job.

Will you share with us how you come up with ideas for your books?

Usually, I use personal and job-related experiences. It’s a mishmash. I take from many sources. Anything that I can think of to make the stories stronger.

Do you plan your stories first with an outline or does it come to you as write it?

I do a very vague outline and then jump into it. The story often changes as I’m moving along. I classify myself as a seat-of-the-pants writer.

What do you want readers to remember and carry with them after reading your book?

I hope to create characters that the readers think about long after the story has ended.

What are your dreams for your writing?

I’d love to quit chasing bad guys at some point (they’re getting faster as the years go by) and write and speak fulltime. But for now, I still have to split the careers.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given/learned in your life as a writer?

Hone your craft. Everything else revolves around this.

What do you wish you had known when you first started out as a writer for publication?

I wish I’d have read a few more books on novel writing. I’ve had to play some catch up. There are a lot of subtleties and techniques to make stories stronger, particularly with regard to structure and point-of-view usage.

In publishing, I should have taken the time to talk with experienced authors about the business end and expectations. It would have saved me some unnecessary aggravation.

Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

Quite bumpy. When I was growing up, the worst thing I could think of doing was writing. I loathed putting words to paper. I’m Dyslexic and the very reason (I believe) that God invented spell check. But soon after I became a Christian, I felt the Lord leading me to write. It didn’t make much sense to me and seemed impossible. I shared with my wife what I thought God was doing, and she encouraged me to go to school and learn the skills I needed to write.

So, it took about ten years of classes, writing, and more classes. I met my agent at a writer’s conference. He shopped my first novel, which got some good reviews but didn’t sell. Then I wrote the proposal for Rolling Thunder, my first published novel. He sent it out. I expected it to take six months or so before I heard anything. But about a week later, I got an e-mail from Multnomah, asking if I would be interested in writing a series. I had to wake my wife up to read the e-mail, just to make sure I wasn’t losing my mind.

To say the least, I got kind of weepy when I held my first book. But don’t tell anyone.

For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

I started with a three-book contract, but it was upgraded to a five-book contract after the release of Rolling Thunder. So The Night Watchman is the fourth book of the contract.

Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

Chip MacGregor is my agent and a fantastic one at that. (I hope he reads this.) In today’s publishing world, a good agent is a must. The agent does a lot more than just secure the contracts. A good agent helps develop your career and writing as well.

If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

I think radio and TV are the best options. Oprah would be good.

How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

Self-promotion can be huge. But each author has to determine what he/she can reasonably accomplish. I have a very limited amount of time for self-promotion, so I’m very selective about what I take on.

Where can readers find a copy of your book?

Family Christian Bookstores

Barnes and Noble

Lifeway Stores

And anywhere Christian books are sold.

Please visit me at my website:

Thank you for having me.

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