Creative Careerist: Mark Slade

1421469_693317140679035_780817517_nMark Slade lives in Williamsburg, VA, with his wife and daughter, Chihuahua and a frisky Pomeranian.

He has written stories published in Burial day, vampire anthology You Can’t Kill Me–I’m Already Dead, Weirdyear, Yesteryear,The Rusty Nail, Linguistic Erosion, and other publications. He just released his first novella, a weird Western/fantasy titled A Six Gun and the Queen of Light.

He is also the host and sometimes narrator of the story podcast DARK DREAMS; and runs Nightmare Illustrated and works with Horrified Press.

His influences are Richard Matheson, Rod Seling, Robert Bloch, Charles Beaumont, Robert E. Howard, Ed Mcbain, Charles Addams, Mad Magazine, and of course, Led Zeppelin.

What does an average day look like for you in your creative career?
Basically, I wake up after working an evening shift, answer emails about the magazine or podcast, answer Facebook messages. Write a little, work on the mag, write some more, interact with family then go to work, come home hit the email again and Facebook.

How did you get to where you are now in your career? What key moments, decisions or circumstances brought you here?
I guess when Burial Day published my first story. I started Dark Dreams podcast and Blackout City Podcast with Frank Larnerd. Then a few months later Blood Moon Rising and Horrified Press began publishing me. And now with Nathan Rowark, I have Nightmare Illustrated magazine. I still get tons of rejection letters, but I keep moving on.

What excites you most about your work?
When someone tells me they like it. Really only reason, besides getting the stories out of my head, that I do this, is to get readers and connect with people.

What is its greatest challenge for you?
Oh, right now, fill over 50 pages of a magazine with enough art and stories and also sell enough copies of the mag. Hopefully we’ll meet our goals.

How do you get your best ideas?
Late at night, hopped up on caffeine, or walking my Pomeranian.

What do you do when you get stuck?
For a story, I walk away from it for a day or so, or I start another story. That usually works cause I feel guilty not working on it.

How do you make sure you make time for creativity in your life?
I just make time. Kind of made writing and all connected to it my new hobby. Which I don’t watch much TV anymore except a movie, a show I’m interested in, or a Cowboys game. Plus everyone in my family has their own thing they do.

What advice do you have for other aspiring creatives who want to follow in your footsteps?
I don’t know exactly what advice, because I’m not all that successful, I’ve only been at it steadily for less than two years. I guess just keep going, don’t be discouraged. If one thing doesn’t work, try it from a different way. Eventually something good will happen. But that depends on your view of success. I like what I’m doing, I feel like ive achieved something if I finish a story.


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