Writer’s Spotlight: Mark Roush

FlatWhiteCoffee2Red was icing a tray of cookies in the kitchen whilst Claret was pouring cocoa into mugs. She wondered who was coming to the Coffee Shoppe today who would want cookies in the shapes of mouths and eyeballs. When the wind howled through through the dining room, Red knew Mark Roush was in and wondered if he had any of his ensemble.

M3: Mark, tell The M3 Readers a little bit about yourself, preferably in the third person.

MR: Mark Roush writes, directs, produces and edits commercially for companies including Nike, Autodesk and Intel. He has several optioned scripts. Currently, he is promoting his newest short film, Persephone – a story from Weevil & Nightshade’s Compendium about a girl who is made out of chocolate.

M3: Busyness is one of your fortés, but specifically where did you get into the publishing industry?

MR: It all started during a drunken stupor at a visual effects party in Portland, which eventually transitioned to me contemplating fairy tales at a dive bar. In-between that time there was a lady, many bottles of whiskey and me living in my office for almost two years. Not the best start but it could have been worse.

M3: Anyone you want to thank before we get to your twisted imagination?

MR: My building manager for not kicking me out of my office… even though she knew I was living there illegally. I should also thank the lady who stimulated me to write these farables, but she actually dumped me after I told her about how inspired I became after meeting her. So, I’ll just stick with thanking my landlord.

M3: Should is always in the mouth of the beholder. Betwixt all the other shenanigans, how did you find time to create your farables?

MR: Time found me. I couldn’t find any work and was struggling pretty bad, so it made time management much easier.  However, once work started up again, I made sure to find hours here and there, so I could finish my book.

M3: Now, you have more than ample projects to do. Should The M3 Readers care about your day job?

Mark Roush

MR: During the day I work as a director, producer, and editor for commercials and films. Also, I sometimes sit in the corner, crying, while eating packets of mustard, but I don’t think that qualifies as a job.

M3: Interesting. I had no idea you were trained in a test kitchen. Are your mustard breaks your idea of a hiatus?

MR: I don’t really take designated, defined breaks for writing, but on occasion I will drive to a lovely small town in the hills for the day; just to write, relax, and think about life and stories.

M3: Sounds idyllic. What is in the works at the moment?

MR: My burrito is currently in the microwave, and I’m finishing up my fifth feature film script. I have also been noodling around with stories for volume 2 of Weevil and Nightshade’s Compendium of Farables & Tales.

M3: Skip the burrito. The irises and broken capillaries in the eyeballs are marzipan. Whence do your ideas for farables emerge?

MR: I was walking down the street one night  (with the lady I’m not thanking), and we started talking about ice cream and how much of a cheat it was that we could only taste one type at a time. After discussing this for a moment, I looked at my fingers and the story, “Troubled Frederick McLinger Had Ten Tiny Mouths On The Tips Of His Fingers” downloaded into my head. We never got ice cream that night. *pouts*

M3: Probably for the best; mustard and ice cream will give you indigestion. Do you have a bone to pick with the industry in general?3: 

MR: Wow. I just came up with a new idea for a farable about a young girl who uses her bony fingers to pick locks.

M3: Happy to oblige the creative process. Other than tripping over random inspiration, have you had any triumphs over industry hurdles?

MR: I once ate dirt in front of a bunch of classmates in 8th grade when I was trying to jump a hurdle on the track. I brushed myself off, amidst the laughing, put the hurdle back up and cleared it the next time. It wasn’t a triumph… it was just an object that I overcame.

M3: So, you began early. Good practice; eating dirt will save you a fortune. Speaking of money, what is your favorite marketing platform?

MR: I have Amazon and Lulu accounts set up right now, but I didn’t wear platforms while setting them up. Would that have helped?

M3: Of course. The taller you are the better you clear the hurdles. How important is your own marketing to overcoming readers objections to parting with money?

MR: My own marketing is so important to me that I’ve decided if I don’t make it as an author, I will relegate myself to discovering the fountain of youth… unless Nicolas Cage finds it first.

Weevil and Nightshade's Compendium of Farables and Tales

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M3: If you have seen the trailer to his latest movie, you would know that is a no. You had a lot of fun creating this book. What makes it close to your heart?

MR: I truly believe new fairy tales need to be imagined and penned for young adults. It’s my belief that the complexities of life are introduced into a young adult’s life much more quickly these days, due to the advent of communication through the Internet and media, than they were fifty years ago. Issues such as sex trafficking, obsession and anorexia are discussed more openly now than they were back then… and with greater intent, care, and interest.

M3: Television is the devil. Let’s talk about non-moving pictures. How did you choose the illustrations for WaNCoFaT?

MR: My wondrous illustrator, Carla Lee, and I met through Twitter. I perused her website and really enjoyed her style. After many emails we honed in on certain aspects of each farable that I wanted to have designed then left it up to Carla’s imagination to put it together. She is a fantastic collaborator, and I highly recommend her.

M3: If I twisted your arm, what secret about yourself would you tell me?

MR: I hope you don’t tell them that I’m a cat – primarily because some people prefer dogs to cats and I’m not sure if I can take that kind of rejection right now.

M3: Rejection is not a worry around here; Bacchus chewing on you may be, but rejection- no. Break it down to simple terms: In 15 words or less, tell The M3 Readers why they would want to read your book.

MR: Taking risks is part of being an adventurous reader. Buy it. Risk being entertained.

M3: I do suggest not attempting to read it swinging from a vine; other than that, this is an everywhere else book. Thank you for stopping by, Mark. Watch your tail around the rockers.

Dearest M3 Readers,

Stop by and see what Mark Roush has had collected in Weevil & Nightshade’s Compendium of Farables & Tales. You can connect with him on his blogTwitter and Facebook.

Enter to win a hardback copy of Mark’s book below.

As always, thank you for supporting the many talented authors of The M3 Coffee Shoppe.

When you tweet and +1 this interview, please use the #hashtags: #WW #authors #amreading

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  1. Good luck with your new manuscript Mark and do watch out for those dog lovers as they can pinch your mustard if you are not careful 🙁


  2. Thanks for the luck Gray! With today’s economy… I’ll take either good or bad. Also, thanks for the mustard advice – well noted.

  3. This was a great interview, Mark and Red! Your quick wit and way of avoiding questions leaves me to believe your stories don’t divulge either, until the very end, that is. Great work!
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