Life As a Fiction Author

February 2, 2017 | by Mark Stephen O'Neal

My name is Mark Stephen O’Neal, and I’m a Christian author who has been writing since 2007. I’ve endured many of the pitfalls that come with self-publishing...I've learned how to carefully and skillfully create a plot, format my paperback books and proofread my own work before submitting it to a second pair of eyes through trial and error. My journey hasn’t been easy, but it has been very fulfilling.
Now, I’d like to share a little about my background. I was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago in the 70s, and I had a strong affinity for baseball as a youth. However, I didn’t play baseball beyond my teenaged years. As I entered adulthood, I didn’t have a clue about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I earned a degree in business after six long years divided between two universities, but I still didn’t know what my true purpose was yet at twenty-four years of age. I would eventually find a job three months after graduation as an assistant manager in the Walgreens management trainee program. My tenure at Walgreens was short-lived—I toiled there a little over a year due to the stress of laboring fifty-plus-hour work weeks and working for various demanding store managers—and I bounced around in various other jobs like shipping clerk, mail room clerk and retail sales clerk for five years before I ended up in banking. Check processing proved to be an easy and steady paycheck that paid my bills, but the job itself didn’t satisfy my quest to be successful.

I remember coming home one night tired and frustrated from working at the check processing center, and I asked myself the question why am I doing this? I subsequently got down on my knees and prayed to God for direction, and the Holy Spirit instantly whispered an answer to me that would change my life forever. I then began writing my first book about the decline of Little League baseball in inner-city Chicago shortly afterwards. Now mind you, I have never written a book nor have I ever remotely considered writing a book, so I knew this had to come from God.
I have many novels in the pipeline that will be available on my site for purchase soon. Writing has been a very rewarding journey for me even though book sales have been up and down, and I wouldn’t trade my experience for all the tea in China. Check out my blog for more topics that I plan to write about in the weeks to come. Thank you for taking the time to visit my website.  


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