Mark interviews D. E. Cunningham, a middle-grade fantasy author, about his life as a storyteller and his new novel Marco Swift and the Mirror of Souls.
Prior to the main content, Mark shares a recent comment, a personal update, and a word about this episode’s sponsor.
You can learn more about how you can get your work distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at starkreflections.ca/Findaway.
During their chat, Mark and David talk about:
- The inspiration behind writing Marco Swift and the Mirror of Souls
- Writing a musical comedy for stage when in college, and making short VHS movies, improv and parodies with his friends when he was in high school
- Being able to bang out 1000 words an hour, but without proper structure and plotting
- Discovering Brandon Sanderson’s DIY writing class on YouTube
- How dramatically different the later drafts of the novel became after David learned more about the craft
- David’s desire to make the heart of the Marco Swift story about children facing trauma and learning to not blame themselves
- Inspiration from Mister Rogers and his own passion for ensuring that every child knew they were loved and they are capable of loving
- Going through depression and being semi-suicidal when he was younger
- Writing this first novel while working on his MFA for Film Production
- Hiring an editor through Reedsy
- Work David had done writing a couple of episodes and outlines for a few different television shows as well as voicing the main character for one series
- Spending a year and a half querying 122 agents
- The one agent who asked to read the book who told David it was “good not great”
- Hiring a second editor to address the feedback this agent had offered to David
- Trading skills with an artist/designer to get a professional looking cover for his self-published book
- The 99% Perspiration/1% Inspiration principal
- Realities of television and movie adaptations
- The coolest things about self-publishing a book
- David deciding to do the audiobook himself because he already had voice-acting experience
- Advice David would offer to his younger self
- And more…
After the interview Mark reflects on David’s life-long passion for storytelling, being cognizant of his target audience, and his determination and persistence as a writer.
Links of Interest:
- Marco Swift Website
- D. E. Cunningham Facebook Page
- D. E. Cunningham Instagram
- Findaway Voices
- The World of Publishing (Victoria, BC & Virtual) – May 14, 2022
- Buy Mark a Coffee
- Patreon for Stark Reflections
- Accounting for Authors
- The Relaxed Author
- Publishing Pitfalls for Authors
- An Author’s Guide to Working with Libraries & Bookstores
- Wide for the Win
- Mark’s Canadian Werewolf Books
D. E. Cunningham is a middle-grade fantasy author who currently resides in Virginia Beach with his wonderful wife and three fun-loving boys. His search for truth, goodness, and beauty have driven him to write larger-than-life adventures for a new generation of readers. When not writing, he can be found voicing cartoon characters, producing animated children’s shows, and exploring the wilderness with his family.