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Monday, April 13, 2015

"K" is for "Koopmans" - (hey, that's me!)

This letter on the A-Z Challenge is very special to me, I feel like I've known it my entire life!

My theme revolves around the soon-to-be published memoir I wrote for opera singer, Donald Braswell.

"K" is for "Koopmans" (Hey, that's me!)
If you've been following my blog for a while you probably know all this, but I wanted to throw in a few bullet points about me, how I met Donald - and how he agreed to let me write his memoir.
  • I've been writing professionally since 2005 (my first paid job was a beat reporter in Florida.)
  • Three years later, we'd moved to San Antonio and I was again, a writer for a local newspaper - and avid fan of America's Got Talent.
  • Discovering that opera singer, Donald Braswell (and if you haven't seen his first audition HERE, you'll be amazed... especially at the 2-min mark) lived in my beat, I was thinking awesome feature idea, so I reached out... and out... and out... until he finally said, "Come in!"
  • I taped twenty minutes of the interview, got my "money shot" quotes and was about to finish, when I asked him a question... which led to a 45-minute chat as he told me the backstory of his life.
  • I knew it would be a great story to tell... so in 2009, I presented Donald with basically a business plan and volunteered to write the book for free. He gave me his blessing and off I charged like a literary Rhino into the wilderness of the Memoir Jungle.
    My new, stylish springtime "Virginia Look"
  • I had no clue what I was doing.
  • Luckily, there was no official timeline, and I had an amazing time learning my craft. Along the way, we had an agent, came close to a big deal, lost the deal, lost the agent and had several interested parties as time went by, but up until last year nothing official.
  • I told Donald I wouldn't quit looking until I found a publisher who believed in the story as much as we did.
  • The rest, nayah, who wants to remember falling asleep in front of the computer or opening yet another letter of non-acceptance :)
  • And then in 2014, (it still feels like it was only last year), someone said yes.
  • Thanks to Duke Pennell of Pen-L Publishing, REVIVAL: The Donald Braswell Story will be published Nov. 3, 2015.


As a PS.... I mentioned this in a previous post, but for those perhaps new to my blog, authors, Carrie Butler and E.J. Wesley of NA Alley, invited me last month to be their guest for a very special St. Patrick's Day Alleycast #7 podcast.

Obviously I don't expect anyone to stop and listen during the middle of the Challenge, but sometime in the future, (or if you're ever suffering from insomnia,) there's a ton of information about me, Donald and even a little about St. Patrick and the Blarney Stone, too.

(I start chatting after minute 22.)

Just click play:


Tomorrow: "L" is for "Lucas, Walter" (and a musical miracle in the making...)


Elephant's Child said...

Do you think that Donald realised that you were as tenacious (stubborn) as he is? Kindred souls?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mark .. I seem to remember someone called Koopmans who hangs around the blogosphere!! Your tenacity paid off .. and I'm so pleased Donald stuck with you too .. and how brilliant the publication is coming out in the Autumn ... congratulations to you both - cheers Hilary

Jeremy [Retro] said...

Who is the coolest guy... K is for Koopmans! Winner, winner... chicken dinner.

Jeremy [Retro]
AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

There's no earthly way of knowing.
Which direction we are going!

Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

Unknown said...

Congratulations Mark, sounds like a worthy project; and therefore worth waiting for the right home for--so glad you found it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And look where one question led!
Hardly recognize you in your new digs.

Jo said...

Boy do you ever look different with those clothes and a hat for goodness sake. Glad you persevered and that somebody finally said yes. I think it is well worth writing and will be well worth reading.

Pat Hatt said...

Makes all the hard work worth it when everything finally pays off

Annalisa Crawford said...

The two of you obviously connected and Donald felt able to talk freely - I bet you're so glad he did! Well done for sticking with it when people were walking away from the project too!

Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep

Tamara Narayan said...

What a great story. It's so nice to hear that you found success after trying, failing, and trying again. Congratulations on getting published!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I like your new look. It takes courage to reach out like you did. Am looking forward to the book.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Mark - you rock!!! I'm so amazed by your perseverance! Way to keep it going throughout all that adversity.

David P. King said...

I can only imagine the Virginia will think when you unleash your cape this summer. Your bullets are points and on the Mark! :)

Unknown said...

Great story!

Visiting from a to z blog challenge

~Sia McKye~ said...

You just had to go and confuse me. Here I am looking everywhere for the comments and I have to work and click on something waaay up there. Hmm.

spiffy new look. I bet that blood thinned out a lot living in Hawaii and now you're back in 4 season country. :-)

I think your book is a good one. It's inspiring, it teaches a lesson on not giving up what your heart wants to do. And that's both you and Donald!

Sia McKye Over Coffee

Lisa said...

I'm sure Donald is very happy right about now, that he finally listened to you! Love that new look you got goin' on, but it does hide too much of your face and you look like it hurts! Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

Anonymous said...

That's great! I know his fans will love it.

lol To your VA look. Welcome to the Eastern Shore.

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