Check out the Work Your Passion podcast and my interview about writing, creativity, and dreams

From the Work Your Passion podcast!

“The best fantasy is written in the language of dreams. It is alive as dreams are alive, more real than real…for a moment at least…that long magic moment before we wake.”

George R.R. Martin

Dreams are a powerful thing! Our subconscious has the ability to guide us in many situations and to many destinations. Lucky for us, Mark Piggott’s dreams led him to pen his debut fantasy novel “Forever Avalon,” and he hasn’t looked back. His imagination IS a thing of dreams!

Mark carves fantasy and steampunk worlds the way woodworkers turn fallen trees into works of art.

In this episode, Mark discusses:

  • His version of creativity
  • How he went from serving 23 years in the U.S. Navy to becoming an award-winning author
  • From where he draws inspiration (it’s not just Dungeons & Dragons…but it is some)
  • His process of researching and implementing mythology
  • And much more!

Here’s a little taste of what Mark talks about:

“Creativity is that spark of imagination that stirs inside… but at the same time a lot of outside influence helps me build on that creativity and learn from it and work at it even better.”

With five books already published, Mark recently signed with Revolution Press to publish “Corsair and the Sky Pirates,” a steampunk historical fiction book, and has another deal with Curious Corvid Publishing to publish a fantasy poetry novella.

If you’re in or around National Harbor, Maryland, go meet Mark in person! He will be appearing at Katsucon 2022, February 18-20 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. For tickets and information, call (301) 965-4000 or visit https://www.katsucon.org/.

Listen to Work Your Passion Podcast: Episode 2 – The One with Mark Piggott

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Mark Piggott is an independent author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series and other fantasy/steampunk novels and short stories. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon and as an audiobook from Audible and iTunes. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers. His latest fantasy novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart is available through Lulu and other booksellers.

Get ready for the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky Pirates, coming soon from Revolutionary Press; and The River of Souls novella, coming soon from Curious Corvid PublishingThe Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series and The Last Magus: Dragonfire and Steel are future installments of my current fantasy book series, coming soon.

Tune into LIVESTREAM SUNDAY on YouTube for my interview with Books by Adrian

This Sunday, August 22, I will be kicking off Season 3 of the LIVESTREAM SUNDAY YouTube channel show, hosted by Books by Adrian, beginning at 4pm. We’ll be discussing everything from my career in the U.S. Navy to my novels in the Forever Avalon fantasy book series and my latest book, The Last Magus and other topics.

CLICK HERE to watch the show!

The host, Books by Adrian, a.k.a. Adrian Santiago, is “a husband, a father, and a writer in the midst of writing and self-publishing my debut novel. A life-long dream finally being realized, one chapter at a time.” I am thrilled to be working with another talented independent author.

The Books by Adrian YouTube Channel is a great avenue for readers to discover new authors to explore and give authors the chance to talk about their stories and the time they put into everything from writing, editing, and marketing. “On this channel you can expect to find vlogs, how to, reaction, commentary, marketing and livestream videos covering a wide range of topics. Ideally everything on this channel will document the influences of my novel, or things you’ll find inside the pages, such as drug culture, polyamory, lgbtq characters in lead roles, serial killers, mma, brazilian jiu-jitsu, nomad culture, witchcraft, and much much more.”

As an independent author, I am always looking to support my fellow authors as it gives all of us a chance to reach out to a new audience and expand our horizon. This is how we, as authors without a publisher or literary agent, work hard to get out there. I hope you will take the opportunity to join in for LIVESTREAM SUNDAY and check out Books by Adrian YouTube Channel to listen to some great vlogs.

“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”

Thomas MannEssays of Three Decades

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Mark Piggott is an independent author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series and other fantasy novels and short stories. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon and as an audiobook from Audible and iTunes. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers. His latest fantasy novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart is available through Lulu and other booksellers. Get ready for The Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series, coming soon, and the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky Pirates.

Vote for THE LAST MAGUS in allauthor.com July Cover of the Month contest and help an Indie Author

Cover art by Anna-Lena Spies, Eerilyfair Design

They say not to judge a book by its cover but I need you to do just that. If you liked the cover of my book, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart, please vote for it for the Cover of the Month contest on AllAuthor.com!

I’m getting closer to clinch the “Cover of the Month” contest on AllAuthor! I’d need as much support from you guys. Please take a short moment to vote for my book cover, beautifully designed by Anna-Lena Spies!

CLICK HERE TO VOTE!

And after you vote, pick up a copy of The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart at Lulu.com and through other online booksellers. Thanks for your continued support of this independent author.

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Mark Piggott is an independent author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series and other fantasy novels and short stories. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers. His latest fantasy novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart is available through Lulu and other booksellers. Get ready for The Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series, coming soon, and the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky Pirates.

Tune into The Confessionals podcast and get a new perspective on the world

I have to take the opportunity to give a shameless plug to a dear family member, because, well… He’s family, and you always support family. My nephew, Tony Merkel, produces his own podcast, The Confessionals. Like me, he took what started out as a dream and turned it into an enterprise. I’ll let Tony explain how his podcast came about…

“From a very young age, Tony Merkel was fascinated by all things strange and mysterious.  Growing up in rural Pennsylvania afforded him a childhood spent playing in the woods, where mysteries only tend to deepen.  From Bigfoot to extraterrestrials to the Loch Ness monster, Tony always wondered at the unexplained. 

“As an adult with the Internet at his fingertips, Tony was able to further explore his lifelong fascination with the unexplained.  With an initial focus on Bigfoot, he sought out the Bigfoot community with podcasts like the Sasquatch Chronicles and local Facebook groups to learn more about the elusive creature.  Throughout his search for truths, one thing became certain— he was not alone in his pursuit.

“In 2016, Tony originally created The Confessionals on YouTube as a video platform where people could give voice to the strange, extraordinary things they experienced. His YouTube channel attracted worldwide attention, which was followed by a phone call from a leading member of the cryptid community.  Seeing value in Tony’s endeavors, they encouraged him to take his work to the next level.  After revamping his creation with eyewitness accounts, narrated stories, and expert guests, The Confessionals was officially reborn as a podcast.”

From The Confessionals story

Tony was always a great supporter of me during my military career and in my career as an author. I was honored when he invited me on his podcast to talk about some of my own personal paranormal experiences from the Navy, both on ships and in a house I once rented in Massachusetts. We also talked about the books in the Forever Avalon fantasy books series and other personal experiences. It was a thrill to relive these moments with Tony. I can’t believe we talked as long as we did. You can listen to the entire podcast at The Confessionals or listen below!

The Confessionals “333: Ghost of the USS Forrestal” podcast

If you are into the paranormal, supernatural, and the unexplained, I encourage you to sign up and become a member of The Confessionals to get all the inside information. Believe me, you’ll learn about things you neve dreamed possible. I know I did!

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Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers. His next two fantasy novels, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart and The Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series are being released in 2021.

The “Magic 7” Fantasy Book Giveaway will set up your winter reading lineup

Looking for a great fantasy read to get you out of your house this winter? You can step into these books and journey to other worlds beyond your imagination. It’s easy!

Presenting “The Magic 7 Fantasy Giveaway” where you could win signed copies of these seven fantasy novels from a group of great independent authors. It’s a simple contest for everyone. Just follow, like, share, and tag two friends on Instagram. Make sure you use the hashtag #themagic7giveaway to get your entry recorded for a chance to win! If you run the gambit with all seven authors, that’s a maximum of seven chances to win! The contest runs December 1-14. The winner will be selected on December 15.

You already know about me (@foreveravalon.author) and The Outlander War: Book 3 of the Forever Avalon Series. Here’s a look at the authors and the novels in the giveaway:

Blood of the Stallion (The Elder Blade Chronicles Book 1) by [Rhys Snaith]

Blood of the Stallion (The Elder Blade Chronicles, Book 1) by Rhys Snaith — Years of living on the streets and having to fend for himself have made the young thief Yodrick Alton who he is. However, his world is drastically changed when he encounters the notorious pirate Daxon – Captain of the Iron Stallion. Now Yodrick will have to adapt to his new lifestyle while secrets from the past threaten to ruin everything. Lies, deceit and betrayal are all in store for this young pirate, so join him in his quest for the truth and read along as he uncovers the secrets of the Elder Blades. (Instagram @rhyswriting)

Unparalleled by Jenna Hebert — Seventeen-year-old Natalya Wells has one mission-to kill the monsters over the graffiti wall and rescue her best friend, Eve, who is held captive by Ascendants, the rulers of the fourth dimension. A dying land where children become victims of starvation and violence. When the Remnants, evil red-eyed demons, invade the fourth dimension, Natalya is transported to the next world. The fifth dimension is a place where grass shrivels, dies, and regrows all in a matter of seconds. The heat of the sun cannot be felt because the sky is encamped by a mural of glass. Natalya meets Jance, who belongs to a superhuman race called Raidens, warriors who heal with invincible scars. Jance holds a deadly secret about what the scars on his body truly mean, and why his own father is determined to kill him. Eve returns to the fifth dimension and meets Jance’s best friend, Ronan, a boy with no memory of the world he came from before. The three of them bind together to help Natalya become a Raiden. As Natalya endures this grueling transition, she discovers the secrets her friends are hiding, along with the unjust laws and dangerous manipulations that are poisoning this world. After a raging war divides the Raidens against one another, Natalya and her friends must reveal the darkness within themselves and embrace their unique gifts. Natalya’s power may not only shatter the glass world but someone she loves. (Instagram @jhebertbooks)

On The Edge (The Dwelling Hunter Series Book 1) by [MJ Glenn]

On the Edge (The Dwelling Hunter Series, Book 1) by M.J. Glenn — For two years, Ebony Wick has survived alone as an outlaw and highwaywoman in Rundlewood Forest. She doesn’t need people. She only needs to survive. But when Hunter Sparrow breaks into her camp and invites her to join his gang, the Bounty Hunters, she finds herself facing a difficult choice. With a burning desire for revenge against a powerful enemy, Ebony must choose between reason and instinct. But in doing so, she discovers a long-hidden secret that will change her world forever. (Instagram @author_mjglenn)

Bound in Darkness: The Lilith trilogy book 1 by [Kim ten Tusscher, Jos Weijmer]

Bound in Darkness (The Lilith Trilogy, Book 1) by Kim ten Tusscher — Inferno at her breath. War under her wings. With two men whispering mayhem in her ear, which way will she turn the bloody tide? Lilith has only ever lived with anger and destruction. The sole dragon shifter known to humankind, she despises her life as an instrument of terror at the hands of a prophetic sorcerer. Finally fleeing years of abuse, she’s distraught when she’s captured for stealing food and forced to answer to a bitter king for her crimes. Hiding her fiery past from the monarch’s shrewd advisor, Lilith grits her teeth and endures brutal lashings to keep her powers secret. But when her former abductor sends spies to reclaim her and threatens carnage in the name of God, she’ll have to choose for which captor she’s willing to spill more innocent blood… Can the tortured woman escape to freedom before the land beneath her burns? (Instagram @kimtentusscher)

Harpyness is Only Skin Deep (Tales of Arvia Book 1) by [D. H. Willison]

Harpyness is Only Skin Deep (Tales of Arvia, Book 1) by D.H. Willison — On a world where death lurks around every corner, is friendship the strongest survival tool of all? Darin: bored with his paper pusher existence, he accepts a questionable deal for the LARP adventure of a lifetime. A jump through a dimensional portal strands him on the mythical world of Arvia, where everything is gigantic. Except the life-expectancy of newcomers. Rinloh: a mere ten meters tall. Life in the harpy flock has never been easy for her. Determined to become full-fledged at the upcoming human-hunt, nothing is going to stand–or fly–in her way. A chance encounter between these two–what could possibly go wrong? Humans consider consorting with a harpy a capital offense. Harpies consider the human citizens a tasty part of a balanced diet. Yet the two must overcome a most monstrous conspiracy as the citizens of the city begin disappearing, with a list of suspects as big as the inhabitants of Arvia. (Instagram @d.h.willison)

The Battle for Trimera: Book 1 of the Ruling Priestess by Tanya S.M. Kennedy — It takes a heinous crime to gain control of the monsters called grinlo, but all evidence out of Trimera points to exactly that. Following the death of her parents, Pria’s biggest fear is not being able to return home to Trimera to protect her family and people. But being one of the only High Priestesses in Reia, posting her to the position faces strenuous opposition. Under intense scrutiny, Pria returns to her home terrified any misstep will precipitate her removal from the post. When she is reunited with her older brother’s best friend Mian, a childhood of memories resurfaces threatening the image of strength and calm she struggles to project. But when it becomes clear that the rogue magical being controlling the grinlo is also hunting high priestesses, Pria’s desperate fight to save Trimera quickly turns into a struggle for survival. Will Pria be able to save her home and avoid her predecessor’s fate? The Battle for Trimera is the opening installment in the fantasy adventure series of The Ruling Priestess. If you like strong female leads, brave crush-worthy knights, and epic battles, you will love Tanya SM Kennedy’s story of one woman’s fight to save her home. Buy The Battle for Trimera and join the fight to save Reia today! (Instagram @tanyasmkennedy)

This is a great holiday gift for any avid reader, the gift of fantasy and adventure! Sign up on Instagram today and enter for a chance to win! Good luck!

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Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers.

Stop Censorship now!

As an author, I am a firm believer in the First Amendment and Freedom of speech. Censorship of speech or news, political or otherwise, is not acceptable. I will not be posting on my blog or any of my social media accounts until this Orwellian censorship stops.

The First Amendment is clear:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The actions taken by Facebook and Twitter shows that they believe they are the arbiters of speech. This is wrong. It doesn’t matter what your political views or allegiances, the news is reported and people decide whether to believe it or not.

These past four years has been on false or misleading news and information. Such is the burden of a free society, but if we are free, then our thought and views should be open. It is not up to these social media giants to make those decisions for us.

I hope other authors will join me in standing up for Freedom of Speech.

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Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers.

Writers beware! Social media will not let you write!

It’s safe to say that, in this world of perpetual quarantine, we have become a society “social media” parasites. We are living vicariously through our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. Twitch, Zoom, and more. It is the only way we are communicating, coming together, and sharing ideas.

For writers, especially independent authors like me, social media is our bread and butter when it comes to marketing. I work at least 20 hours a week on social media, between designing posts and imagery to scheduling them, responding to queries, etc. When you’re working a full time job, that doesn’t leave a lot of time for eating, sleeping, or writing for that matter.

Plus, there is the draw, the allure, of social media. Between crazy cat videos, cute puppy videos, TikTok girls, creative artwork, and inspirational quotes, there is a constant draw into the world of social media. It’s part of the constant distraction of the internet, the kryptonite of authors. We want to sit and write, but the flow is interrupted. 

“If your content isn’t driving conversation, you’re doing it wrong.”Dan Roth, LinkedIn’s executive editor

Social media is a necessary tool for today’s authors. Through it, you can collaborate with other authors, find new readers, and promote your latest novel. It’s how we “IndieAuthors” find our niche in the book world. It’s the cheapest form of marketing an author can do. I can design a post and then use that same post for Facebook or Instagram as an ad. It’s an easy way to carry over from one form of advertising to another.  I can spend $100 a month in Facebook and Instagram ads that reaches nearly 30,000 people. That’s money well spent, but only if it turns into books purchased or downloaded.

“Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them. Sometimes, it’s an ad.” – Howard Gossage, real-life MadMen inspiration

The other problem is that there are so many “one-off” author support sites for independent authors like me. I belong to a couple of different sites, allauthor.com and bookbrush.com, that I pay an annual fee for tools in designing ads and social media posts, direct posts to other authors and readers, and a support network of other independent authors. They have been a great asset for me, but there are some out there that are scams who want money to send out tweets about your book to imaginary lists of people. So, beware before you buy into it.

Lastly, don’t be a social media butterfly or wallflower. You need to be aggressive in everything you do. If you aren’t paying attention, responding to comments or retweets, you might lose your audience. Don’t hesitate and be assertive, but always remember. Being a writer is the most important aspect of your job, so don’t stop writing for the sake of social media. You have to write, blog, and post, all at the same time. Multi-tasking is a bitch, but a necessary one. Remember that!

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Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at AmazonBarnes and Noble, and iUniverse Publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available from Austin Macauley Publishing.