Mark is well known in the indie publishing world. He has worked with Kobo, Draft 2 Digital, co-written with Joanna Penn, and been on more podcasts than I can count.
Today, I am very excited that he is on Discovered Wordsmiths talking about his fiction book series – Canadian Werewolf. If you’re looking for something with some paranormal and a bit of humor, this could be your book.
Of course, with Mark, we also have a bit of comic book talk and some dad jokes. 🙂
[00:00:00] Mark: Are you working on your author career, but struggling to get that first book published, does the goal of being an author seem too lofty or thoughts of having multiple books and making a full-time living are as fantastical as living in Cinderella’s castle. Welcome to discovered wordsmiths a podcast where aspiring authors can be heard.
Join Stephen Schneider is he finds and talks to authors. You may not know, but authors that have gotten their book on the author career path here, what they’ve done to get there and where they want to go. Now, settle back. It’s time for a bit of inspiration and advice. Come listen to today’s discovered
[00:00:44] Stephen: wordsmith.
Welcome to episode 94 of discovered word Smiths. And I’m very excited today because I eman talking to mark Leslie. Now, if you are an author, you probably recognize that name. [00:01:00] And mark is well-known in the author community. He has worked with Kobo. He’s worked with draft, the digital he’s been on just about every podcast out there.
So have him on my podcast. Uh, it was very exciting. If you are an author and know of mark, uh, this’ll be an interesting talk because we discuss his fiction books, which you don’t hear very often on other podcasts. So keep listening, mark has done way more than just the things you may already know him about.
If you’re a reader, like many of the authors on here, mark is probably someone you don’t know, but you may be interested in his books. So keep listening. I’m not going to hold you up, uh, with me babbling, because I’m very excited to get to the interview. So here’s what. All right. I’m very excited today. Uh, for this episode of discovered wordsmiths.
Cause I have mark Leslie LaFave. Did I pronounce that correctly?
[00:01:55] Mark: That’s amazing. I haven’t, you know why I usually lock LaFave off? When I write my face,
[00:01:59] Stephen: I [00:02:00] had to go listen to everybody. Else’s podcasts that you’ve been on to make sure I pronounced it correctly using one of those. But a lot of people listening probably already know who you are, but tell us a little bit about you outside of the whole publishing writing.
[00:02:16] Mark: Yeah. So I, I’m a book nerd through and through. I grew up reading Spider-Man comic books. If that’s not obvious from what I’m wearing and just reading in general, I just loved books. I was an only child. I spent a lot of time in my imagination making up stories and I loved reading or reading books, reading comics, and still do to this day.
And I always knew I wanted to be a writer. So that was something that was a passion I had from my early teens. I got my first rejection. I actually had my first rejection quite earlier in my emotional, personal life, my first rejection from a publisher and the other things about me that are, and then he’s not visible.
He’s just on the other side of the camera, but I have a life-size skeleton named Burnaby pones who accompanies me to book events because I write so you can see some of the skulls behind me. I do [00:03:00] write about them. I’m a purveyor of, of craft beer. I love craft beer. So when I travel, that’s one of the first places I’ll go to visit as a local.
And I’m also a purveyor of dad jokes. I rolling jokes are my specialty. Yeah, of
[00:03:13] Stephen: course. Well, we got a lot in common of the sides. No hair, just hair on the chin, right too bad. You didn’t make it to J and Zach’s career author down in Tennessee because they had granite city beer there. And it was one of the best loggers I’ve had in a very long time.
I had them get a growler
[00:03:30] Mark: and take the chance to hang out with you. Had I made it now. I was supposed to be there, but. Yeah, I had a, it was kind of funny because of the issues with coming back from the states, you usually meant having a team for 14 days and I have a personal event. I didn’t want to miss with some scenes.
Who’s over a little bit more at risk and I didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize me. So that was good. Next time. Next time, I can’t wait to check out granite beer and buy you [00:04:00] one.
[00:04:00] Stephen: Oh, that’d be perfect. But the Bach was really good. Also. I couldn’t, I took. Yeah, really good. And my family loves my dad jokes.
Also my 14 year old has been telling some now, so
[00:04:12] Mark: that’s the next one. You and I can get back to having beer and telling dad jokes. When we see each other, I
[00:04:17] Stephen: will write some downs on ready. So I got one other question for you. What’s your favorite rush song?
[00:04:25] Mark: Oh my God. That is a tough one. Oh my God. That is a tough one.
All of them. I probably have to go back to time stands still, which one of them know, see the, now that I want to go to limelight, then I want to go to, if I go with a long song, like the first side of 21, 12, so much goodness in that, that, that one song is probably my favorite, but when asked me every 15 minutes, I’ll change my favorite.
[00:04:52] Stephen: Hold your fire. Rock concert I ever went to for my 16th birthday. It was on my birthday. And so [00:05:00] hold your fire and time stands still some of my favorites, but there was an ice is
[00:05:05] Mark: off of that album too. Isn’t it? Oh,
[00:05:07] Stephen: that’s
[00:05:09] Mark: right. That’s marathon. Yeah. Good stuff. My first album was roll the bones, but the first concert I went to was.
[00:05:19] Stephen: I went to that one too. But my favorite song is red bar. Chad, I don’t know why, but it just, it, oh.
[00:05:25] Mark: Now do you ever drive in the car with your son and crank that tune and just go down small country roads?
[00:05:32] Stephen: Uh, yeah, that’s all we have around here is old country roads. Yeah. My son loves classic rock, so Russia’s one of his favorites and Def Leppard.
There’s two of his favorites. Zeplin
[00:05:46] Mark: addled,
[00:05:51] Stephen: mark. You said you’ve written your whole life and I know we’re going to talk a little bit about some of the things you’re involved with publishing wise later, but your books, your, [00:06:00] that you’ve been writing your series. Tell us a little bit about.
[00:06:05] Mark: Yeah. The most recent series of books that I’ve just really been focusing on in the last few years is my Canadian werewolf novels.
It started off the very first novel was a Canadian werewolf in New York and it’s urban fantasy action adventure with some obvious humor. If it’s not evident in the title humor. And then I followed that up with a novella called stowaway to play on a stove, Vermont, where he’s trapped on a train and he’s going to turn into a Wolf before he gets to his destination wolves on the train, maybe.
And then I did the fear and longing in Los Angeles was the, uh, the next full length novel in the series books three. And I’m just following that up with coming out in December, 2021, right. Nights, big city. So if you haven’t guessed, I love playing off. Somewhat familiar titles that people go, wait a second.
Isn’t that the name of, no, it’s not. It’s a slightly altered name of a movie you might be familiar with or a book or something like that.[00:07:00]
[00:07:02] Stephen: So why horror, what made you want to write horror?
[00:07:08] Mark: I think I’m still afraid of the monster under my bed and I always have been, I’ve always been fascinated by the unknown, the one in. Uh, what’s hiding in the dark. And so a lot of my writing has always explored that sort of that speculative fiction one F.
And so the story is either going to be, what if the empires were real or what if monsters did live in the sewer or whatever the thing is in the case of this particular series, the Canadian werewolf series is what if there was a polite beta. Canadian living in one of the world’s largest cities and knew he was an alpha Wolf.
He turned into an actual Wolf for 10 days during the light of a full moon and has no control over his Wolf side, but also has side effects as a human that give him extra powers. So what would it be like trying to live a normal life with this issue that you’re trying to [00:08:00] deal with, which is how the whole of the whole series came about.
For example, when I was in New York, walking near battery park. Yeah. I wondered what it might be like to wake up naked in a park like that with no memory of the night before, and maybe the taste of blood in your mouth and go, what’s going on? What did I do? How did I get here? And Hey, how am I going to get home?
Like, so that, that was that’s restorative. The dark humor comes in. And I think in a lot of horror, at least the horror that I enjoy, you can’t help, but involve a little bit of humor because it’s, you know, that whistling past the graveyard kind of thing is I’m. I’m either going to put my pants or I’m going to try to distract myself from the weird things that I can’t understand going around me.
And I always find that those, the juxtaposition of humor and horror can play really well with one another.
[00:08:48] Stephen: Yeah. Great. And then it goes to the I’m not running because I’m scared I’m running because I really want to exercise.
[00:08:57] Mark: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. I’m not scared at all. I’m just, I’m in really [00:09:00] good shape.
Looking at fast.
[00:09:01] Stephen: I am. What other writers out there? What other books would you say are similar to yours?
[00:09:10] Mark: I think so with the Canadian werewolf series, and I’ve only actually read part of one of his books, but I do have a plan to get through more of them. Jim butcher, a lot of people have compared to the humor that my right and the urban fantasy often. Jim butcher. I would say, I think fans have Kelly Armstrong.
She’s a Canadian horror author. She has the women or the other world series. And I think part of the Wolf nature that I use in Michael Andrews, my character, I was inspired when I read a bitten by Kelly Armstrong, where these are werewolves who actually turn into full size. Well, now they have their human consciousness.
Whereas Michael, doesn’t, he’s more like the Ono that I’m going to turn into the monster and who knows what’s going to happen when I’m the other. So Kelly Armstrong, Jim. And I think Stanley only because almost everything I write, almost everything I [00:10:00] write, it goes back to growing up on Spider-Man comics and just loving the stories that Stanley came up with.
So with great power comes great responsibility, even part of the character of Michael Andrew. Partially inspired by that thing that drives Peter Parker, but also the incredible Hulk. Where’s the man and the, and then the beast and, and, and the two of them are always at odds with one another. And you’re where did he leave me now?
And then similarly, of course, characters like Daredevil, uh, or Wolverine who have these extra sensory abilities to hear someone’s heartbeat or smell when they’re telling a lie. That kind of, uh, yeah, I think a lot of my writing, a lot of my inspiration comes from. The influence of probably a Stanley, one of my favorite writers of all time
[00:10:45] Stephen: internalize it.
I agree. So I got more questions on your book, but what’d you think of the new Spider-Man trailer for the new movie?
[00:10:54] Mark: Oh my God, my son. Or just hanging on, on, on effort trailer. I’m [00:11:00] so excited at the possibility of the multi-verse. Cause I did love the, into the spider verse cartoons. I thought that was brilliantly done.
I loved the way they did that. And I’m so curious to see the characters from that. The different Spider-Man universe has come together. I think that that could be done. I don’t know. I’m probably getting my hopes up too
[00:11:18] Stephen: much. I’m excited because just based on the trailer, I’m like this movie seems like classic seventies.
Spider-Man Peter makes a mistake and all the responsibility and tries to save everybody. It doesn’t go good. It’s Peter. That’s just how his life is. And then. Yeah. Yeah. The whole day with Mary Jane and off the bridge is Wednesday. So you again, but it’s his hands instead of a spider web. So is it going to come out better?
Yeah, I’m excited for it. It’s right on my birthday again.
[00:11:50] Mark: Oh, that’s fantastic. That is so exciting when it, when I remember, yeah. The one movie launched on my birthday the one year and I was so thrilled to be there the night of, [00:12:00]
[00:12:00] Stephen: yeah, we’re thinking of renting a whole theater, inviting all my friends. They do that now.
So it’s a great idea. Yeah. All right. Back to the books. So you’ve got this horror series. Is it the same characters throughout or are they different stories?
[00:12:18] Mark: Yeah, it is. It follows the main character, Michael Andrews, who is my Canadian werewolf. And it’s actually told in first person from his point. And so the only there are some snippets and scenes interludes that appear in some of the books that are interludes told from the perspective of the Wolf is Wolf self who doesn’t know the human.
He just has these flashes of man. And so it’s, Paul’s Michael. It follows his dear good friend, Gale, who he was once lovers with and he wants to be back with her, but she doesn’t. And so they’ve got this interesting sort of relationship where they do love each other, but they’re not together. They’re [00:13:00] just there as friends.
And there’s a few other characters. It’s almost like my J Jonah Jameson kind of character is Michael is a writer and it’s his agent Mac helping or Mack the knife. Who is, uh, just a crude Ruff treats, Michael, like, hell, but it’s an amazing agent who gets some deals like you wouldn’t believe. So a lot of people just love Mac love his sarcasm, and he’s constantly putting Michael down and Michael will take anything because he is a beta human.
He’s just a pushover polite Canadian who happens to get into this fight bad guys. And then buddy is another recurring character who is a traveling salesman who happened to be. The night, Michael was first attacked on his hitchhike into New York. When he got attacked by a Wolf, the car comes around the corner just in the Nick of time.
So the Wolf takes off, Michael doesn’t realize he’s been inflicted or infected with the Wolf, cursed a buddy, a bumbling, a traveling salesman who just [00:14:00] verbal diarrhea. The guy does not shut up. He loves the sound of his own voice, but he’s also a really fatherly figure. And he’s filled with trivia and he becomes a mentor to Michael and he shows up from time to time.
Cause he’s constantly coming through in New York and he always seems to show up at the most opportune times and helps Michael out because he knows a little bit of everything and is not afraid to tell everyone what he knows. So those are some of the recurring characters that have come back in, in several of the books.
[00:14:29] Stephen: Nice. Okay. And what other, do you have other horror series, other books?
[00:14:35] Mark: I have a few other standalone. I have I death, which is a standalone novel, and I do have plans to write further books in that series. I have written in a Vela in that series. I have another complete thriller, a near real-time near real-time science fiction, thriller or techno thrill, or maybe called evasion.
And I have mapped out or planned two other books in that series. Lately [00:15:00] the Canadian marble series has taken, taken over a lot of my attention. The only other thing is most of the horror I’ve written. The majority of the horror I’ve written are dozens and dozens of short horror stories that appear in numerous short story collections.
Then I have nocturnal screenings. One of them and that’s where I can explore. I think with horror, I have a lot of fun exploring something in a short window, like maybe 2,005,000, 10,000 words. And again, when you’re writing a short story, the good guys don’t have to win. Evil can eat. You can experiment. You can have a little more, a lot more fun, but the trope of, wow, I’m going to spend a full 300 pages with these characters.
The good guys, better win. Good, better triumph over evil, but in the short story, anything goes right. So all bets are off. And I love that. The fact that you can twist things with the reader and play with them and who cares if they’re not going to be as mad, because it was only 3000 words that they spent.
[00:15:57] Stephen: Right now I was going to ask you, cause you [00:16:00] mentioned several different books, different genres, similar clothes. And I know that’s one of the things everyone’s always, you go write a werewolf horror, novel, everything you write has to be wary of horror, but I don’t, I’ve never agreed with that. Do you find that people are distracted or they like one thing and not the other?
Or how has that affected.
[00:16:21] Mark: Yeah, I also write, I haven’t mentioned it, but I, right now we’ve worked with a traditional publisher for these ones will be my next question. I’ve got a true ghost story books, the haunted Hamilton, haunted hospitals, tomes of terror, creepy capital a COVID Montreal. Ghost stories of locations like true ghost stories or tales told us true, depending on, on, on your level of belief believer.
And I did find that I do get some crossover. People who read the true ghost stories will go, oh dude writes fiction. I like his stuff. Maybe I’ll write it or people who’ve read my fiction. Go, I love creepy stuff. Why don’t I read your haunted hospital’s book? So I do get some crossover, but [00:17:00] the reality is if I was doing this.
I probably would have honed in and just written one type of thing and just gone with it. For example, when I wrote Canadian marble for New York, it was supposed to be a standalone novel, but I had so many readers say, I want to see what happens with Michael and Gail next. Cause they wanted them to get together.
I want to see what’s the next thing. And I was like, oh, I’ll have a thing until a, there was an anthology. I was writing a story for, it was called monster road. And I’m like, huh? What if Michael got stuck on a train on the way to Vermont? Okay, perfect. This is great. Oh, I can write a story. And then that, even the editors, like they said, you’re not going to be able to keep this under 10,000 words.
And I think it hit 24,000 words in the first draft before I cut it down again. But that came out of demand from readers who wanted more. I think the challenge with me is if I’d been smart, I would’ve stuck to one thing and just written in a series. But I followed what I wanted to write. I followed my passion.
I followed the inspiration, which I recommend writers. [00:18:00] Yeah. You got to write what you want. It’s important to write which I want, and that’s been important to me, but if you can write what you want and try to not be all over the map, that’s probably gonna make life so much easier for you. Uh, whereas with my own writing, people either hate my writing and plenty of people do.
And like the reality, or is not everyone’s cup of tea. But there are some people who will pick up one of my things. And if they’re with me, if they like the style and the way that I tell a story, they’re willing to come with me into horror, they’re willing to come with me into thriller. They’re willing to come with me into urban fantasy and all the weird places that I take them.
I, in the long run, I know it’ll all work out and in the long run, I’m enjoying the ride. And hopefully the right Raiders will just pick up the pieces that work for them. Um, it’s yeah. It’s a weird place to be knowing that I should be doing it a certain way, but then going, yeah, but this
[00:18:56] Stephen: is more fun. Yeah, I agree.
I’m that way of thinking also, [00:19:00] but it does sound like you’re following the right to market because people said, Hey, we like this. So you’ve written more. So you do that line.
[00:19:10] Mark: Yeah, I think, I don’t think I’m smart enough to write to market
[00:19:14] Stephen: because people said we liked it. So
[00:19:17] Mark: instead of analyzing the market and saying, this sells well, I’m going to write it.
What I did is went, oh, readers really love this and they want more. Who am I to not give it to them to say, okay, let’s give you more. For example, I am working on a novella in the series. That’s going to be completely separate from. ’cause in, in a Canadian marble from New York, you find out that Michael’s ex-girlfriend Gail comes back into his life.
After this really amazing relationship they had, that was short-lived where he had to deceive her, the fact that he was a Wolf and she knew he was lying. And of course there was misunderstanding. And so they broke up and then she comes back because she needs his help years. [00:20:00] But I never told the story, the actual story of their relationship and enough of my readers really want that story because they really love the dynamic between these two characters and they want to see them as lovers.
So to satisfy them, I’m, co-authoring a book with a friend of mine, Julie Strauss, who is a brilliant romance writer. Cause I tried to write it and I couldn’t, I just can’t write romance. I like to read it. I enjoy it. Not. So we’re writing the backstory of the meet cute between Michael and Gail. That takes place years before the first book happens.
And that’s solely I don’t. People reading the whole series to want it. But I do expect that percentage of my readers who love the relationship and want to see did they get together? What was it like when they were a couple? And then we don’t even get to the breakup. We just get to the here’s, how they met and fell in love, bam, and the story.
Happy ending. If you want to read that as a romance, as a complete standalone, knock yourself out and have a good time. In the meantime, we’ve got these adventures to have over here,
[00:20:59] Stephen: and that also [00:21:00] goes back to. A lot of people have an idea, oh, I got this werewolf in New York idea, Canadian blah, but that’s not a story.
And once you develop characters and setting stories seem to flow, I started with one idea and I’ve got seven books now in the idea. So the stories can come out.
[00:21:20] Mark: Oh, for sure. A hundred percent. And, and sometimes they come out in ways you didn’t expect like that werewolf story was supposed to be a 10,000 word story of how does he get home?
How does he find clothes? How does he get home? What are the misadventures he has on the way? And it ends until a good friend of mine read it and went, that’s great. What happens next? And I go, nothing it’s over. He made it to his appointment. He goes, yeah, but what about the rest of his day? And he kept bugging.
And it was him bugging me that went, I could see what happens next. And that’s when Gail shows up like this character, it wasn’t even my mind until I was like, what what’s next? Okay. Someone from his past shows up says, I know you’re a werewolf. I figured it out. And I need your help. That kind of thing. [00:22:00] So yeah.
I love the fact that ideas can come from anywhere and some of the ideas. Yeah. You put them on the back burner. Some of them will come back in another story. Other ones will just die a slow death. What were you working on? Other things while you attend to the things on the front burner?
[00:22:16] Stephen: Right. So did you say that this is more traditionally published than some of your other books?
[00:22:23] Mark: Oh, no Canadian werewolf in New York was originally, the first story was written for a traditional market for an anthology called the beast within and then never sold it. So then I thought I should do something with the story, but it was long. It was like 10,000 words. And most markets were only accepting 6,000 words.
So that’s when I ended up turning that into the Canadian marble from New York novel. Those are all self-published. It is my, I have a series with Dunder and Canada’s largest independent public. A series of six books and not series, they’re all standalone, but they’re all about paranormal. They’re all true.
Paranormal [00:23:00] location-based books. And those were traditionally published along with a few. I think I Def. Traditionally published with a small publisher and several of the anthologies I’ve edited have also been traditionally
[00:23:10] Stephen: published as well, because I was going to mention to you, if you’re looking for a place to publish a couple of good ones, I’ve heard of there’s Kobo up in Canada, but then there’s drafted digital and America just if you’ve never
[00:23:20] Mark: heard of them.
Oh no, I’ve never heard. I’ve never heard of these hobo. What’s that is that some Japanese word.
[00:23:30] Stephen: Canadians, they think of the weirdest things. So what’s been the, you said the feedback’s been really good for these books and that helped you think of the next ones. Right? What do you think drives that? That makes it such good
[00:23:43] Mark: feedback.
I think people, people resonate with Michael Andrews. They resonate with the sort of every man who. It’s like me, I’m actually quite shy and I’m an introvert, but I’m playing a role right now. I’m pretty sure I have to be entertaining it as a guest on your show. [00:24:00] And when I’m speaking in public, I’m playing a role.
So I’m just acting, but I am normally shy and reserved. I walk into a room, I go hide in the corner and just watch everyone else. And no one notices me. And so Michael is that sort of shy and ends up finding him. Because of his extra senses and abilities finds himself wanting to help other people with boy scout that he is.
And I think people really, they like the two, two things that they appreciate about him are that he is willing to stick out his neck to help other people, which is, I think we all want to be helpful. We all want to be. Good and look out for other people. I think that’s nobody wakes up and says, I’d like to harm people and kill people.
Hopefully people don’t wake up. And then the other thing is because he’s so nervous because he’s so terrified. And again, this is based on my understanding of the teenage Peter Parker. Cause it all comes back to that. Is he cracks jokes? While he’s fighting the [00:25:00] bad guys, cause he’s scared out of his skin.
And he’s doing that to try to make himself feel better because I’m a hero I may as well be. And because he grew up reading Spider-Man comics. So that’s what Spider-Man did. So I’m going to crack jokes and I’m going to, one of the things he does a lot of is often when you’re fighting people, you don’t know their names.
It’s not like, Hey Steven, how you doing? I’m going to punch you in the face now. Cause you’re. No, I can say that will Steven looks like Lex Luther, for example. So in my head I’m calling them black or whatever the case may be. Those are the things that I think are people really enjoy that aspect of, or at least that the, the feedback and, and they do love the way that he interacts with his agent and he lets his agent walk all over them.
But then 10 minutes later, He’s going to not let some criminal get away with something.
[00:25:46] Stephen: Yeah. I was going to say it sounds a lot like Peter, the classic. What I love about Peter, I wonder
[00:25:52] Mark: who influenced me when I was.
[00:25:56] Stephen: So, if you had a choice, I would rather see these as [00:26:00] a movie or a set of movies or a TV show.
I don’t know.
[00:26:02] Mark: My partner, Liz says she wants to see Canadian werewolf turned into a graphic novel. I would love to see that. I, I think TV show could be interesting only because it’s episodic. Now, one of the challenges I’ve run into, even in writing these books is it’s the Marvel universe dilemma. Wait a second, all these superheroes and all these bad guys live in one city.
And it’s maybe it’s the principle that you get from the murder she wrote. What do you mean? The small village? There’s a murder every week, right? So there’s a certain concede in that. And so that’s why I even in the second full length, novel, the third book in the series, I have him go on. To LA, because I was like, why can’t have all the bad guys in New York all the time?
I can’t have, he’s the only paranormal creature allegedly. Right. Are there very few? He does encounter a Wolf in the first novel and it’s the only other paranormal creature he’s encountered. So suddenly I have these bad guys, the PFA, the [00:27:00] proud fighters for America who are a Neo Nazi group that very much was trying to do, worked in the black arts in the occult and tried to create a race of super.
Super bad guys. So suddenly there’s a bunch of super powered villains coming after them, but I’m very worried about just having the whole universe become paranormal, right? Because the whole idea is it’s a secret identity. He doesn’t want people to know, because again, if you get captured, he’s the FBI is going to lock them up and study them and prod them and try and figure things out.
So he doesn’t want people to know because that’s the reality of what would happen if people find out you have these abilities. So he keeps that a secret. And so therefore. Even having powered bad guys, I’m still, I’m now running into, especially in bright lights, big city. They realize these super power beams are stocking the Knights and there’s vampires attacking and Sasquatch creatures in New York and all kinds of.
Crap. That’s scaring the bejesus out of the people of New York. So it was like, what is going down is like, hell [00:28:00] look has opened up and all these creatures are suddenly showing up. I worry about that because I was like, no, I just want him to be a guy with these little episodic adventurous fighting muggers and getting cats
[00:28:09] Stephen: out of trees.
[00:28:13] Mark: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So that’s one of the challenges I run into as well. So I think that could work in a TV series maybe, but then I worry about that. Oh no. Another super powered bad guy shows up out of the blue,
[00:28:25] Stephen: right? Yep. Now let me ask you this. You love books, you got a bunch of books behind you.
What are some of your favorite books besides Spider-Man in San li?
[00:28:32] Mark: Honestly, I’ve always said so three of my favorite novels, three of my favorite novels of all time are John Irving, a prayer for. Powerful bug. I am a more literary title, but John Irving, some humor in there, some amazing humor and not necessarily in that one as much as some of his others, but that’s one of my favorite books of all time.
The classic science fiction, pandemic tale that was originally written in the [00:29:00] fifties by George R. Stewart earth abides, which I have read numerous times and have read since the start of this pandemic, which is not a good idea. I just love a love that story. I remember discovering it when I was a kid and I have to say different.
By Stephen King. That was the very first the body, which stand by me was based on, I’d never seen read a Stephen King book until I saw the movie stand by me as a young person then went, oh, wow. That was written by Stephen King. I got to read that story. So I picked up different seasons. I got the body, I read all the other ones.
Like they’re so amazing. Like every single novella in that collection is phenomenal, but. Pick up and read any new book by Michael Connolly. I just got his new one that just came out the dark hours on site. I’ll read anything by Michael Conley, a good friend of mine, Canadian science fiction writer. Robert J.
Sawyer love his books, Canadian, humorous Terry Fallis again, he hasn’t written a book. I haven’t loved. So I read a cross. I probably. [00:30:00] I have a book on the, go on my Kobo at any given time. I have another book on the go on, on any given time, another book on the go on Kobo audio app on my phone, and then usually at least two different print books on the go one’s in the bathroom.
The other ones, usually in my laptop. So I usually have about four or five different books on the go at any given time. I’m constantly. Yeah,
[00:30:25] Stephen: I same way I found that I was reading like a Asimov and Robert Parker, Spencer novel, like at the same time, I know, but they’re so opposite going back and forth. I was kinda like, okay, I need to concentrate on asthma for a while.
Cause it takes a little more to get,
[00:30:44] Mark: but Parker’s just so tight and just amazing.
[00:30:48] Stephen: So you have any favorite bookstores besides an obvious online?
[00:30:54] Mark: Yeah, my favorite. So I love when I travel, [00:31:00] I love to go to craft breweries, and I love to go to a local independent bookstores. I just love seeing the differences and the flavors and the nuances.
We have a great independent bookstore here in Waterloo, Ontario called Wordsworth about books, which is amazing. Uh, I love the folks there. I love going in there. I, since the pandemic. Gotten as much, now that they’re open to the public again, do my online orders and pick them up at the back door in the delivery that they’ve provided.
But I do love just going and exploring bookstores. And one of the things I’ll do when I go to a local bookstore in a new town I haven’t been to is I’ll go to the occult and paranormal section where I’ll probably buy a book about local ghosts, because I’m constantly doing research. I’ve got three different books.
Oh, the paranormal true ghost stories. And some of them are based on, Hey, I was local in this town. Okay. Some stories of ghosts. Okay. I can use that as research. So yeah, I think my favorite bookstore is that next bookstore that I’d [00:32:00] get a chance to go and explore because that, to me, just like discovering new beer is always, there’s always wonders because when you talk to them, they’ve got stories.
They’ve got their favorites and I just love the bartender. What’s your favorite? What’s your favorite train? Or a bookseller. What’s the last great book that you’ve finished reading. They’re there. Most of them who were passionate. Or just so eager to chat with you about it and that just, and that gets me going.
[00:32:24] Stephen: And I have, whenever we’d go on vacation, we’d always find one bookstore wherever we’re at and always go to all those.
[00:32:31] Mark: And I can’t help tidy cause I’ve been a book seller most of my life. So I can, when I go into a bookstore, people often think I work there too. Cause I’m tidying the shelves out of alphabetical order the book stacks.
You’re like, no.
[00:32:44] Stephen: People start asking them. What’s a good book and you interrupt all I can tell you over here. And then suddenly you’re
[00:32:51] Mark: what was the last great book you read? What did you like about it? Okay, come on. I, I, I that’s in my blood.
[00:32:58] Stephen: Yeah. Yep. Yep. All right. Where [00:33:00] can they tell us again, the name of the books where they can find it and then one last thing.
Why should they get you?
[00:33:07] Mark: Okay, so you can find anything you want about me and mark leslie.ca because I am Canadian. You can just find on any online bookstore, just search for Canadian, werewolf, mark, Leslie, and you’ll find them. I’m going to send, I’m going to do a caveat to the question. Why should they read it?
If they enjoy action, adventure tales about. Pushover Canadian, every man who is a beta human, but alpha Wolf, and want to see how he deals with these extraordinary circumstances. If they think that would be enjoyable, if they like some action, if they like some humor, if they’re not afraid of a few adult language words in their books, because I’m sorry, bad guys.
Occasionally when they’re killing people, they swear it happens. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it in my book. But if that’s your cup of tea and [00:34:00] definitely check them out, if they’re not, let me know what you like, and I’ll try and recommend something else, that’s going to be much better
[00:34:06] Stephen: for you. Oh, what a great service.
If you don’t like my book, let me know. I’ll tell you something else.
[00:34:12] Mark: And they pick up a book that they love. You know, I really liked this kind of book. Okay. Then you got to check out this one here. Don’t read my stuff. I would rather they pick up a book that you really love. Then pick up my book and go,
[00:34:22] Stephen: yeah, I agree.
I read that’s a super. So everybody, mark, thank you for telling us about your books. Don’t go away because we have some author talk, which I think you might have some good information on. So thank you.
[00:34:38] Mark: Thank you for listening to discovered wordsmiths, come back next week and listen to another author. Discuss the road they’ve traveled and maybe sometime in the near future, it might be you.
[00:34:57] Stephen: I have the, I believe, claim to fame [00:35:00] that I’ve had the most first-time podcast interviews for authors.
[00:35:04] Mark: Fantastic. Well, no, that’s exciting. Cause you’re training the troops and getting them ready for the big time. It’s. I often do that. When I work with authors, I worked with a lot of beginning authors and oftentimes they’re so appreciative.
And then I go, yeah. And then when you’re making six and seven figures a year, please don’t forget about you when you were first starting out.
[00:35:23] Stephen: Yeah. I had so many that like nervous. Okay. Do I look okay? What should I say? And so I had, I wrote up a tips page here’s to help you calm down a bit. And I always tell them that you’ll be fine.
I released an episode. Well, you know, once I started doing video on YouTube, I had something in my teeth, the whole episode. I’m like, so if I could live through that, it’s all good.
[00:35:45] Mark: I’ve been on stage with my fly down or even wearing a pair of pants that I just bought from the store. And they still had the, they still had the tag or the sizes.
And then somebody called me aside. Like it was like, I thought I want to talk to me about how great my talk was. He got the stickers are [00:36:00] still on the side of your pants. I obviously just bought them and threw them on.