Greetings, and welcome to today’s Author News 30 April 2021
It’s always exciting to speak to an author and find out about their journey to publication, but this interview really surprised me with its honesty and bravery. In her Burning Desire novels, M.L. Stark has turned traumatic real-life experiences into a four-part series. I’ll let the rest of her interview speak for itself…
My name is M. L. Stark, and I wrote the “Burning Desire” series based on experiences from my personal life. The series exposes the truth of what it’s like to live and fall in love with a psychopath. It’s the first series of its kind on the market.
I was married for over 20 years, have four children and four grandchildren. I wanted to write about my life. In my fifties I met a new man and all bets on a safe, happy life were off. While dating a sociopath, who had swindled others his entire life, I sacrificed my livelihood for a toxic adventure, leaving my husband and children behind and putting my life on the line. That gave me the inspiration to begin writing.
At what age did you start writing and how/when did you know you could make a career from being an author?
Since I was a teen, I’ve written a lot of notes and small stories then saved it for the right moment to work on in a more professional way. In 2014, I began to research sociopathic behaviour and, along with my first-hand experience dating a deranged man, reflected on how to get control of my life again. I wanted to shed light on psychological abuse and increase awareness of the fake love scammers and sociopaths use to mentally abuse others.
It’s not easy to get noticed among millions of new books released every year. The market is massive and your book can easily disappear among many others. My goal was primarily ‘self-healing’. As I began to heal, I was hoping to connect with people and deter them from entering a toxic relationship by sharing my own real-life events.
How do you approach writing a new book? Are you a plotter or a ‘pantser’ (someone who makes it up as they go)?
I use a lot of notes, letters, and pictures from my life. Then I moved on to serious research as I wanted my writing to be as true as it can. I jump from chapter to chapter, depending on what needs to go where, as the remembrance pops into my head. I’m very strict with keeping control of the countries and my character’s fictitious names. I believe I’m a little bit of a ‘plotter’ and a ‘pantser’.
What are you working on right now and when will we be able to get our hands on your latest release?
My first two books can be bought at any online bookstores and Amazon. I’m working on Part 3 where I write about my younger adult life of a true romantic love, having children, dogs, house, boat and cars for it all to end up in lots of sexual experiments, lies and infidelities within the marriage.
I’m writing back and forth between Part 3 and the final story of Part 4 where the narrative is about the child being born, abandoned and ending up in a Catholic Orphanage where I was physically and mentally abused. I will talk about how I experienced my first love during my late teens and how I was able to deal with my sexuality and trusting men after a lifetime of abuse.
What do you typically do on the publication day of a new book?
My two first publication days were during Covid lockdown. I did nothing, silently enjoyed it, and felt relieved that I’d achieved what I thought was impossible.
As Part 2 was published, I felt I had climbed the highest mountain in the world. I was finally free after 10 years of agony the psychopath had caused me. And that was the result I’d hoped for. I relaxed on my sofa, grabbed a cup of tea, some cookies and watched a funny movie.
Thank you to M.L. Stark for her openness in sharing her story. The first two books in her Burning Desire series are available to buy online now.
How easy or difficult has it been getting published? Have you got any advice for budding authors?
I asked myself the question: Do you really want to do it? Self-publishing is difficult. Everything is very expensive and I paid a fortune in marketing because the book doesn’t sell by itself.
I wished someone had advised me because as a newbie author I didn’t know I should have researched editors, publishers and marketing companies more thoroughly. The most important advice I gave myself: I did this to help myself and not to get famous and rich.