Mark Gilroy Speaks Up!


Everyone’s Story welcomes back publishing executive and suspense author Mark Gilroy. I have the pleasure of knowing Mark for several years now and I’m always happy when he accepts my invitation to appear here. This week Mark shares with us insights to loving and hating various aspects of writing, fascinating to both the author and reader. Check out Mark’s generous BookGiveaway for 5 lucky winners of his newest release, Rise of the Beast. Mark and I look forward to chatting with you.

**This is the last week to vote for your favorite books for the 2017 Christian Small Publishers Association Book of the Year Award. Please consider supporting me with your vote of my novel Always With You, in the Fiction-General Category: Heartfelt thanks!



Mark is offering 5 randomly chosen commenters each 1 copy of Rise of the Beast. The winners will be announced here on Friday, March 31st between  5-6 PM EST.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.





Writing: you gotta love it and you gotta hate it!

I love churning out 5,000 words in a day. I hate deleting 5,000 words from a section that just wasn’t working. (Some things you’ve added to your story just don’t fit and can’t be saved.)

I love coming up with a surprise ending. I hate having to wade through 400 pages to fix spoilers and drop in appropriate hints for the alert reader. (I know from experience that alert readers will let you know when you missed one thing.)

I love approving press proofs. I hate proof reading and finding yet another typo or a missing question mark. (I personally believe that errors are real entities that get to work after you shut down your computer for the night.)

I love learning new facts in the research process. I hate having to distill complex research results into palatable insights that keep the story interesting and realistic without bogging it down. (I’m probably not the only writer who has to stop myself from “impressing” readers with the latest theories on the sociopathic mind.)

I love a five-star review. I hate a two-star review simply because a reader doesn’t like my genre. (Rule for Reviewers: if you don’t like mysteries, don’t review mysteries.)


I love when the words flow. I hate when words are like a wood splinter that you have to pick at for hours to get out. (How many times can you rewrite the opening paragraph?)

I love that opportunities to publish are limitless. I hate that there are so many books cluttering the marketplace. (I have a million author friends who agree with me wholeheartedly.)

I love when people say it must be great to be a writer. I hate when people ask if it was hard. (Yes, it can be very hard.)

I love finishing a 100,000-word book. I hate when I only have 40,000 words written of a 100,000-word book that has a looming deadline. (This is my life story. I thank God for the last minute or I’d never get anything done.)

I love reviewing other writers’ ideas. I hate when they really weren’t interested in feedback and critique. (If you really love what you have done, don’t ask for criticism.)

I love talking to people about my book. I hate having to be a self-promoter with family, friends, and strangers alike. (Doesn’t mean you won’t see another post with the latest-greatest-review on my Facebook feed.)

I love leaving a tangible expression of my thoughts and creativity in book form. I hate it when book sales languish. (Check out M.K. Gilroy titles on Amazon and other fine bookselling sites right now!)

I love when the designer nails a cover that fits the theme perfectly. I hate directing a third round of cover design tweaks. (If you can’t read the title in postage-stamp size, neither will online book buyers.)

So you want to be a writer? Great! It’s good for your mental and emotional health. What a great opportunity to flex your creative muscles. You’ll absolutely love writing the book that’s on your heart. But don’t start writing unless you are ready to struggle and fight over a phrase; unless you are ready for manuscript-reviewers and editors to beat you up; unless you are ready to put countless hours into an endeavor that may never experience widespread consumption and generate fabulous wealth; unless you are ready to sit in front of the computer, all by your lonesome self, without affirmation and encouragement and feedback from others.

If you’re like me, when you really dig into the task of writing, you’re gonna love it and you’re gonna hate it!

Mark’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Publishing ex and author @MarkGilroy Speaks Up: Loving and Hating Writing (Tweet This)

#ChristFic author @MarkGilroy shares insights on #Writing. #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Like #ChristFic #suspense? Check out @MarkGilroy’s #BookGiveaway of Rise of the Beast (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Mark “M.K.” Gilroy is a veteran publishing executive who has acquired, developed, authored, and ghostwritten numerous books that have landed on various bestseller lists.

His newest novel, Rise of the Beast, is the first in a new series called The Patmos Conspiracy. Filled with international intrigue, it follows the plot of a megalomaniacal billionaire whose goal is to save the world by destroying it. “I will do what others fear to do. I will rise from the seas and ride the blood red horse of the Apocalypse.”

Cold As Ice is his newest novel in the Kristen Conner Mystery Series. Conner is a character USA TODAY calls “Miss Congeniality meets Castle’s Kate Beckett; a lethal, smart, and fun combo.”

When not writing novels, Gilroy creates and publishes book products for retailers, ministries, and businesses. He recently launched a new publishing company, Sydney Lane Press.

Gilroy holds undergraduate degrees in Speech Communications/Journalism and Biblical Literature, and two graduate degrees, the M.Div. and MBA.

The father of six adult children, he resides with his wife, Amy, in Brentwood, Tennessee.

Places to connect with Mark:







Mark and I look forward to your comments.



SmallIsaJacketI’m honored that my novel Always With You

is up for the Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award.

Please consider voting at this link.

Thank you!!


41 comments to Mark Gilroy Speaks Up!

  • Love it. Hate it. LOL. Fun insights. And I agree with nearly all of them. Thanks for the fun read!

    • elaineadmin

      Heather, welcome back! I agree. Only a true writer can continuously nod along with Mark . . . while the reader gains insight into what goes into ripping one’s heart apart to get the words onto the page.

  • Beverley Johnston

    This is fantastic! Mark is genuinely transparent and a great guy. I worked with him for six years when he was the marketing director for a publishing company and I was a consultant. I am so happy that he followed his dream of publishing novels and forming his own publishing company. He is a diligent, excellent writer. He cares about his readers and is sincerely interested in being an inspiration to others. All the best with your new novel, Mark!

    • elaineadmin

      Beverly, thanks for visiting. Though I haven’t met Mark in person–yet–he is definitely an encourager! I’m happy he’s my guest this week.

      Hope to see you again.

  • Thanks, Mark. I’m working on my first novel and have already experienced some of the highs and lows that you’ve described. It is a love/hate process that I believe weeds out the wishful writers from the serious. Like you, I’m thankful for the love/have process because it has shown me that I can’t NOT write.

    • elaineadmin

      Welcome to Everyone’s Story, Bruce. So nice to see you here!

      Well said. The highs and lows definitely proves how we “can’t NOT write.”

      Please do come back to visit again.

  • Thanks for the opportunity to share what’s on my mind, Elaine!

  • Bruce – looking forward to some great work from you!

  • Heather – what can you disagree with?! 😉

  • Beverley – you are always waaaay too kind!

  • Amen. I love it and hate it. Mostly love it, in the right moments, it feels like destiny. I don’t have any big success but I understand all you are saying (or at least most of it) I can answer one question: You can rewrite an opening paragraph at least 1,592 times before you start your real editing work.

    • elaineadmin

      Thanks for visiting, CS. I often read how authors hate the editing process, but I love it! For me, it’s an exciting game when I unbury the junk from the real story and find a treasure. Hopefully, my readers will agree 😉

      Hope to see you again!

      • Hey soul writing sister, Elaine! It appears there’s another area in which we are alike…we love the edits!

        When I write, I don’t struggle with a word and rarely have to throw away sentences, much less paragraphs, pages or entire scenes/chapters. I’m not sure why it’s that way with me, but it’s just the way it is. When writing, I pay attention to sentence structure, punctuation, typos and so on – even format my books so I don’t need to spend so much time on them at the end. (I learned after getting the first book ready for publication that there are some processes I’m not willing to do for each and every book at the point when I thought I was close to hitting the publish button.)

        The edits…where the imagery and/or settings come to life, when an emotional encounter takes place, when actions are interjected…yes, it’s when the story really comes alive for me, though my stories will always be rich in emotion and conversation.

        • elaineadmin

          While I love to edit and polish my stories, I have learned to loosen my grip on what I once thought was good. It’s all a learning experience, for sure.

  • Connie Saunders

    I am a reader so I don’t know all of the agonies endured before a book is published but Mark, you have a given us insight and you have maintained your sense of humor!
    Thanks for sharing!!

    • elaineadmin

      I’m glad you’re sharing a reader’s perspective, Connie. Sometimes, it’s difficult for a writer to gauge how a reader will see things.

      Always enjoy your visits!

  • Mark, you’ve hit the love/hate relationship with writing on the head! I have one more…love it when someone says where do you come up with these great ideas….hate it when someones says let me tell you about my life, it’ll make a great book for you, really.

    • elaineadmin

      Pat, thanks tons for the laugh (even my 2-day-old migraine appreciates it!). I still have a relative who wants me to write a tell-all story that “would definitely amaze people.” Hmm.

      • Patricia, you made me laugh – almost out loud. Good thing I didn’t or I would have awakened the household. Technically, I should be sleeping – but I wanted to visit this post tonight. I’ve been too busy preparing, The Prayer, for publication since Mark’s feature went live. I had to come and pay my respects and catch up with a few familiar faces. 🙂

  • Mark, too bad we can’t do lunch; I could groan and laugh about this stuff for hours. Two things struck me most: I guffawed at the “cluttered marketplace/million author friends who agree” comment. And I wondered at the “words flowing/pulling at a wood splinter” dichotomy, because my writing has always come one slow, agonizing word choice at a time. I can’t recall experiencing this “flowing” you speak of. My method for starting a book is to write one sentence on day one. On day two, I re-read that sentence and add at least one more. Each subsequent day begins with me re-reading all the previous work before adding whatever I’m going to add that day. So the opening paragraph gets read a LOT, and re-written a LOT. Oddly, I enjoy the process anyway. Looking forward to checking out some of your writing! Thanks for a great blog post.

    • elaineadmin

      John, nice to see you again. I’m glad you enjoyed Mark’s feature and have been encouraged by it.

      • John, I think your entire comment (except for the last three sentences) floored me. You made me chuckle. I, too, picked up on the “million author friends who agree with me” phrase and chuckled then, too.

        Your writing flow, or lack thereof, just made me smile so much that it hurt my cheeks, and I’m trying hard not to laugh – not because I’m afraid you’ll hear me and take offense but because I don’t want to wake the household. Your words were like a breath of fresh air and I’m really glad you continue to enjoy the process of writing but, man, I have to say you’re funny and have a fascinating way with words. Perhaps you should be writing humor…I’d be first in line to buy your book.

  • Elaine, it sounds like you have another winner here and, I have to confess, that if I had to write a book about 100,000 words in length, I might struggle to come up with the words after the half way mark, too. Who knows? I hope I shall never find out because I couldn’t imagine the shipping costs of such a book, especially from Arctic Canada.

    Mark, you sound like a fascinating, well-rounded, humorous individual. It’s been a pleasure reading about you here at Everyone’s Story, and I wish you continued success in future endeavors. Your book sounds fascinating but I have to ask a (sincere) question: in a Kindle book that’s downloaded to your device, how many dots appear beneath the title? I’m trying to compare the length to the other books on my Kindle. (If you miss a dot or two when counting, it’s okay. I’m just looking for a close approximate.)

  • Marilyn

    Thanks for sharing the love/hate of writing a book, Mark. I appreciate all the work with countless hours to create fantastic books to read. As a beta reader for a couple of authors, I have gained a great appreciation for authors.
    Everyone have a blessed week and prayers for authors.

  • Mark, great list. Here’s one of mine: Love it when I get my heart racing at something suspenseful I’ve written. Hate it when the ending of a chapter falls flat. Good luck on your book.

    • elaineadmin

      Now, that’s a clever one, Kathryn… and I can relate to that.

      Thanks for visiting Everyone’s Story! Hope to see you again.

  • I am about to finish my first book and without Mark’s urging, encouragement and generous assistance, it would never have gotten beyond a short story I wrote on a whim. Our lives are changed by the people we meet and the books we read. Thanks Mark.

  • Jay – you are always too kind about my input. You’re the researcher that found a fascinating storyline with pirates and buried treasure!

  • Kathryn – agree – love getting caught up in the emotion of a storyline! And yes, sometimes overwrite and lose the impact for the reader.

  • Marilyn – being a beta reader is no easy task. Writers want feedback but also want instant gratification that it’s good as is!

  • Norma – thanks for your kind words. I do have a sense of humor – at least I laugh at my jokes and observations. I’m not tracking with your Kindle question on dots following title. Never noticed. I know some formatting on e-books is cleaner but haven’t observed the dots.

  • John – I’ve had weeks where I can write 7-8000 words a day. Then I’ve sat and stared for a month!

  • Patricia – I think reciprocity is required. If you listen to me, I’ll listen to you. But your point is great. If you haven’t started writing, it’s probably not time to share what you might do!

  • Connie – have to have a sense of humor to get through the “I hate doing this” part of writing! 😉

  • CS – have you ever noticed that the first third of a book is better edited than last two thirds? That’s because we’ve written the opening so many times. Only 1,562 rewrites? You’re slacking! 😉

  • elaineadmin

    Due to a major snow storm tomorrow I’m changing timelines a bit on Everyone’s Story. For this new blog week, rather than launching my new guest tomorrow, Friday, I’m wrapping up with the amazing Mark Gilroy and will be introducing my new guest shortly.

    It was a pleasure to once again host Mark Gilroy, a publishing executive as well as an author. Mark, thanks for a wonderful week. You’ve helped to make a bunch of us grin and a few of us ponder away. It’s always a delight to have you here and I hope you’ll consider coming back.

    Thanks too for the great BookGiveaway of Rise of the Beast. 5 lucky winners will be very happy!

    And the winners are…

    Heather B.

    Patricia B.

    John H.

    CS A.

    Bruce B.

    Congratulations to all. Mark and I will be contacting each of you shortly via direct email. Happy reading!

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