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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Mark Edward Langley

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? Writing, I believe, is earth’s oldest way of communication. Whether it be through pictograph or verbal storytelling or the written word. Writing is important in this day and age. Books are important and the freedom to write them without censorship is getting even more extremely important. Telling all sides to a story is important, and those who would only have us tell one side–a side that only they deem worthy–should be shunned and fought hard. There is nothing more powerful than the written word. It evokes emotion; it makes us think; it makes us feel. And when done well, it reflects our humanity.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? While writing the first three novels in my Arthur Nakai mystery series, whenever I struggled with writer’s block, I simply did what my father always told me: get up and walk away for a while and then come back to it with fresh eyes. That always seemed to work. Now, since I have been into writing books four and five, plus starting a new series, I have three stories to deal with, so it’s easier to if I get stuck on one, I simply now to another.

What is your favorite time to write? It used to be I wrote whenever because I was still working. Once I retired, I obtained an agent and within two weeks I had a two-book deal. Suddenly, I had a deadline and had to work daily. These days, after the publication of my third novel, I find–like Hemingway–the morning is the best time. The house is quiet, and my office is my sanctuary. I have my coffee and my laptop and things seem to flow better.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? I will have to admit, I have never actually received any advice from other writers except to tell me to keep going. What I can tell other writers, is to never let someone else tell you that your dream is worthless or silly. Your dream is not their dream, so they cannot understand it. There are plenty of naysayers out there. Follow your heart and reach for your dream.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? What excites me most is being able to portray Native Americans in a way that show readers that they are no different than the reader themselves; that they are struggling with the same relationship problems that make life real. I also love that I can help bring to light things they are facing daily while letting the reader see a side to them that makes them familiar. We are all the same race of people–human. I love the Native Navajo of the American Southwest, and I try to convey that love of their culture and their lives in my novels.

Mark Edward Langley’s When Silence Screams is out now.