Tag Archives: non fiction reference

Interview with Author Mark James Murphy 

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I have enjoyed writing from a very young age, I won a fictional short story contest when I was very young and had a press release at the time in a local newspaper, I have also had some of my poetry published in anthologies. My first love is art however, I graduated from university with a Degree in Fine Art, and even while still studying I was running lino cutting workshops from my studio for people of all ages. I have produced a large body of artwork to date, in particular lino cutting, which I really enjoy. 


2) What inspired you to write your book?

 I always aspired to see more of the world and began solo travelling in 2015 with a trip to Athens, Greece. Since then I have travelled in Europe, North Africa, spent two months in India, explored much of south-east Asia and lived in Vietnam for over 4 years, teaching English as a foreign language. This love for travel has really helped me rediscover my passion for writing and inspired my new book.

I also recently started doing a travel blog, packed full of travel itineraries, guides and useful tips. It’s an extension of my book. This is the link:

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I really hope that by reading my new book, readers will be encouraged to confront any fears or hang ups they may have, that may be preventing them from travelling and realizing their dreams. Being from a very working class background myself, I always thought maybe I would never get to break out into the big, wide world and go to all of these amazing places. But I was brave enough to throw caution to the wind and take my chances working in a foreign country and it was the best decision of my life so far. I want to inspire readers to follow their heart and live life to the fullest, not accepting less. 

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

 I was drawn into the genre of travel, simply because its the area where I feel I have a lot of experience and expertise to offer and share. I am a very creative person and writing is a great outlet for this, so I like to think not only is my book an informative non-fiction travel guide, it is also a rich, narrative. It’s pretty poetic at times when I am describing my own memoirs. 

5) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Facebook has been particularly useful in growing readership and driving traffic to my website. I have a Facebook Page which shares the same name as my book ‘Travel For As Long As You Wish’, here I share original photos, reels and blog posts I’ve wrote, all inspired by my travels around the world.

This is the link to my travel facebook page:


This is the link to my art facebook page:


Bookbaby.com helps independent authors bring their creative vision to the marketplace. Sell eBooks online in the biggest retail stores.

6) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

My advice to new or aspiring authors would be to really be prepared to put in the work on marketing your books, remember your job has just begun once your book is out there. It’s a highly competitive market but don’t forget why you started writing in the first place, because it’s what you love and it’s important to let this passion be your main driving force. Let the passion and shine through and do it with a flourish. 

7) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

In regard to the future, I am hoping to eventually release a paperback and audiobook version of my current book and hopefully increase the popularity of both my book and my travel blog. I feel my content is very useful to anyone wishing to travel more. I will also be returning to teaching English in Vietnam later this year, as well as continuing my practice as an artist! So lots to keep busy with.

You can visit my website here: https://markjamesmurphybooks.com/

My ebook ‘Travel For As Long As You Wish: The Blueprint For Budget Travel, Backpacking And Escaping The Rat Race’ is available here:


About the Author

Mark James Murphy is an artist, teacher, adventurer, and writer. He was born in Sunderland, North-East England in the early 1980s. He has solo traveled extensively throughout the world and in 2017 decided to leave behind his job and apartment in the UK to teach English in Vietnam, South East Asia, for almost five years, describing it as the best moment of his life so far. There he also continued developing his practice as an artist and printmaker, documenting his travels through the medium of linocut. In 2019 he fulfilled a childhood dream when he backpacked for two months throughout the whole of India, ending up in a remote village in the Himalayan foothills. He has played football with local kids in the Sahara desert, lived with Hmong people high in the mountains of North Vietnam, and worked as a farmhand in Southern Spain. Mark is currently based just outside of London.

From Promising to Published by Melanie Faith, MFA Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Melanie Faith showcases to readers the path and means of taking their story from the writing phase to the publication phase in her book “From Promising to Published”. 


The Synopsis

You’ve been writing and honing your craft for months or years and are curious about seeking publication for your latest project. Perhaps you wonder about the next steps in the process. Look no further!

This book has a little something for every writer interested in expanding their audience and sharing their writing with readers, from pre-writing and writing your drafts to choosing your market and the writing life before, during, and after publication.

Topics covered include:

  • The Lovely Littles: Breaking into Literary Magazines
  • The Spinning Spider: Keeping Track of your Brainchildren
  • Options, You’ve Got ’em: Traditional, Indie/Small, University Press, or Self-Publishing 
  • Two Streams with One Stone: To Simultaneously Submit or Not
  • Monetize it! Part One: All about the Benjamins; Monetize it! Part Two: Risk and a Swimming Metaphor
  • The Myth of the Fancy-Pants Tools
  • The Art of Writing the Author Bio
  • Paradox Meets Passion: Writer vs. Author
  • The Slam-Bam Reply: Now in Two Painful Varieties; Creative Noodling
  • F.U.N

and so much more!

The Review

This was such a thoughtful and meaningful read. Authors and aspiring writers will absolutely love this book. The author’s writing style was very pointed and personable, allowing the reader to feel more like they were in a conversation and less like they were being preached to. This friendly and relatable approach to the subject allows readers to connect more to the author’s message, and the lessons found within. 

I absolutely loved the amount of information the author was able to fit into this book. From the process of crafting an author bio and finding a target audience, to more thoughtful approaches such as making multiple submissions and finding a literary magazine to be featured in, as well as the differences between an author and a writer, this book does an incredible job of not only drawing the reader in but finding the right balance of inspiration and education.

The Verdict

Honest, thought-provoking, and engaging, author Melanie Faith’s “From Promising to Published” is a must-read guide and reference book on the publishing process for authors. The knowledge the reader is able to glean from this book and the writing style will allow readers to return to this book time and time again and keeps authors invested in learning the process of getting their work published in a cohesive way. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Melanie Faith is a night-owl writer and editor who moves through the daytime world with her camera. She’s an introvert who likes to wear many hats, too, including as a poet, photographer, professor, and tutor. She’s been a doodler for years but just recently started to share her perfectly imperfect doodles. She loves to write about historical settings in poetry and prose, and this fall she taught both a Leaping Worlds class for historical fiction and time-travel writers as well as a university class about publishing. She especially enjoys creating nonfiction craft books that assist fellow authors on their writing paths, including books packed with tips about writing flash fiction and poetry. Her latest published craft books are: Photography for Writers, guides for teaching online and writing a research book respectively, and From Promising to Published: A Multi-Genre, Insider’s Guide to the Publication Process (all from Vine Leaves Press). Read more about her books, classes, and arts projects at https://melaniedfaith.com.

Purchase a copy of From Promising to Published on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Bookshop.org. You can also add this to your GoodReads reading list.


Blog Tour Calendar

December 5th @ The Muffin

Join WOW as we celebrate the launch of Melanie Faith’s blog tour of From Promising to Publishing. Read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book


December 5th @ Karen Brown Tyson

Visit Karen’s blog today and read about whether to monetize your writing or keep it a hobby.

December 7th @ Create Write Now

Visit Mari’s blog today to read a guest post by Melanie Faith about how to self-motivate.


December 8th @ Margay Leah Justice’s Blog

Join Margay as she reviews From Promising to Published by Melanie Faith.


December 9th @ Blunt Scissors Book Reviews

Jennifer shares her thoughts about Melanie Faith’s helpful book From Promising to Published.


December 10th @ World of My Imagination

Visit Nicole’s blog to catch her review of From Promising to Published by Melanie Faith.


December 11th @ Shoe’s Seeds and Stories

Visit Linda’s blog as she reviews Melanie Faith’s book From Promising to Published.


December 12th @ One Writer’s Journey

Sue shares her thoughts about Melanie Faith’s helpful book for writers From Promising to Published.


December 13th @ Lisa Haselton’s Book Reviews & Interviews

Visit Lisa’s blog for an interview with author Melanie Faith about her book From Promising to Published.


December 15th @ Mother Daughter Bookclub

Join Cindy as she reviews From Promising to Published by Melanie Faith.


December 16th @ The Faerie Review

Lily shares her thoughts about Melanie Faith’s book From Promising to Published.


December 18th @ Michelle Cornish’ Blog

Come by Michelle’s blog and read Melanie Faith’s guest post about overcoming imposter syndrome.


December 20th @ A Storybook World

Deirdra features a spotlight of Melanie Faith’s book From Promising to Published.


December 21st @ Elle Backenstoe’s Blog

Join Elle as she reviews Melanie Faith’s book From Promising to Published.


December 22nd @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Visit Anthony’s blog and read his review of From Promising to Published.


December 23rd @ Help Me Naomi

Noami shares a review of From Promising to Published by Melanie Faith.


December 24th @ The Mommies Reviews

Join Tara she reviews Melanie Faith’s book From Promising to Published and hosts a giveaway too.


December 27th @ Mindy McGinnis’ Blog

Join Mindy’s blog today where author Melanie Faith shares tips on writing author bios that have personality and heart.


December 27th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Join Beverley as she reviews Melanie Faith’s book From Promising to Published.


December 29th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Visit Beverley’s blog to read a guest post by Melanie Faith about the benefits of hiring a freelance editor and how to find a good fit.


January 2nd @ Elle Backenstoe’s Blog

Visit Elle’s blog again and read Melanie Faith’s guest post about the benefits of beta readers and how to find one.


January 3rd @ Editor 911

Join Margo as she features a guest post by Melanie Faith about the taking-on-too-much spiral.


January 4th @ Liberate & Lather

Visit Angie’s blog and read her review of From Promising to Published by Melanie Faith. She hosts a giveaway and also interviews author Melanie Faith about her book.


January 5th @ Word Magic

Fiona reviews this helpful writing book From Promising to Published by Melanie Faith. Don’t miss it!


January 7th @ Leslie’s Voice

Join Leslie as she reviews From Promising to Published by Melanie Faith.


The Canadian Mounted: A Trivia Guide to Planes, Trains and Automobiles by Mark Leslie Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Author Mark Leslie takes readers on a humorous and engaging journey to look behind the scenes of the making of John Hughes’s instant classic film Planes, Trains and Automobiles and the use of a very real book in a pivotal scene in his book, The Canadian Mounted: A Trivia Guide to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles”. 

The Synopsis

The Prop Book That Keeps on Popping Up!

Yes, the cover of this book looks a lot like the one Del Griffith (John Candy) is reading at the New York airport in the 1987 movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles. A strikingly similar book also appears in 2018’s Deadpool 2. It was long believed that this was a prop book. But it was a real book published in the 1980s and from a company that went out of business before the end of the decade.

This re-imagined incarnation of The Canadian Mounted explores the use of this prop book and many other intriguing, insightful and entertaining behind-the-scenes details as they relate to the classic 1987 John Hughes film.

Created for fans of the movie and of John Hughes, this book explores and shares stories related to the writing and making of the film, curious tales and collected trivia associated with it, including:

The incident that inspired Hughes to write the original script


The film’s eclectic sound-track

Missing Oxford commas

Deleted scenes

Ryan Reynolds’ adoration of fellow Canadian John Candy

General trivia

And more…

If you love and regularly re-watch Planes, Trains and Automobiles, then this is a book you must read.

The Review

This is a truly detailed and captivating read. The author does an incredible job of finding just the right balance in tone between educational moments from the film and book in question and personable writing styles that make this feel like a shared experience between friends. The wit and charm with which the author crafts this narrative was incredibly inviting to the reader. 

The vast amount of research and information the author provided the reader was spectacular. The way the author was able to implement everything from unused portions of the original script to behind-the-scenes commentary, and finds a natural way to blend this into the author’s own personal connection and history with the film and book itself made this such an inviting and unique read.

The Verdict

Informative, thoughtful, and humorous, author Mark Leslie’s “The Canadian Mounted: A Trivia Guide to Planes, Trains and Automobiles” is a must-read film and pop culture trivia and reference book. The personable and imagery-heavy writing style really allowed these experiences both for the author and those involved in the original production of the film to come to life on the page, and this book makes the perfect story to pick up for longtime fans of this film and filmmaker John Hughes in general. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Mark is a writer, editor and bookseller who was born and grew up in Sudbury, spent many years in Ottawa and Hamilton and currently lives in Waterloo, Ontario.

When he is not writing, he tacks “Lefebvre” back onto his name and works as a book industry consultant, having been a bookseller since the 1992, the same year his first short story was published.

Apart from publishing novels and non-fiction paranormal explorations under the name Mark Leslie, having works occasionally appearing on his mother’s refrigerator door under the name Mark Lefebvre, and podcasting and consulting about the book industry under the name Mark Leslie Lefebvre for his Stark Publishing/Stark Reflections brand, Mark is a lover of craft beer.

When he’s not enjoying craft beer or playing around with his three given names, he can usually be found wandering, awestruck through bookstores or libraries.