Today, we are being visited by another Canadian author for a second week in a row. Mark Gunning writes middle grade
fiction and has stopped in to share a little about himself and his books.
Welcome Mark. Can you start out by telling us about you, please?
My name is Mark Gunning and I’m from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. I began writing books back in 2017 after being inspired by meeting another Canadian author. I enjoy writing short humorous stories for the middle-grades, as I love to tell stories. I’ve been teaching the junior grades since 1996 and look forward to my new journey of writing for kids.
Kai: Humor really resonates with children that age! Tell us about your book.
My latest book, Strike Three, You’re Out, is the third book in the I Told You So series for the middle-grades. It follows the adventures of two best friends, William and Thomas. William is the mastermind of a set of unreliable plans. Thomas is his sidekick and voice of reason. Unfortunately, William never really listens to Thomas and goes ahead and attempts his plans. The best thing about this, is that they usually always fail. Kids and parents will enjoy the escapades that William and Thomas encounter. My books can be found on Amazon (https://amzn.to/37NHinJ) , Kobo
(https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/strike-three-you-re-out), and other major retailers. Links are also available on my website (www.itchygooneybooks.com).
Kai: What inspired you to put pen to paper? Or fingers to keyboard, these days.
As mentioned earlier, I was inspired to start writing after meeting another well-known Canadian author who encouraged me to write my own stories. Unfortunately, at the time I was busy with teaching and raising three kids. I finally decided to get my book published in 2017 after I made a New Year’s resolution to myself. Since then I have released three books and I am currently working on the fourth in the series. I have also started planning out a new mystery series that will likely be a year or two away from being released. Stay tuned!
Kai: Congrats on your third publication! Can’t wait to hear more about that mystery series. Now, let’s have a little fun. Help us get to know the man behind the middle grade by sharing the top 3 answers to the following:
Top 3 pieces of advice for kids and new writers today
The top three pieces of advice I can give kids are as follows. The first one is to try and write about personal experiences. Sometimes it’s tough being so young to come up with ideas. I believe the more you do, the more experiences you’ll be able to draw from. The second piece of advice is to write about what interests you. It’s so hard to write about things that you don’t like. My third and final piece of advice is simple. Just have fun! Write for yourself and there will always be someone who will appreciate your work. Can I add a fourth? Have people edit your work!
Top 3 things you learned about the business after becoming a writer
I’ve learned that it takes a lot of hard work to get your name out there. The job doesn’t just end when the book is finished. It’s the opposite, that’s when things really get interesting. It’s good to make friends with a variety of other authors for support.
Top 3 professions you wanted to be when you grew up
Believe it or not, I wanted to be a vet when I was very young. I soon changed that to a professional hockey/baseball player. I really enjoyed playing baseball and wanted to play for the Toronto Blue Jays. That never happened. However, maybe one day I can throw out a first pitch. There was also a point where I wanted to be a house painter and I actually spent many summers painting for various companies before I went to teacher’s college.
Kai: It’s been a pleasure visiting with you today. Thanks so much for spending time with us and for sharing your books with us. Where can our readers learn more about you and your work?
My readers can find me all over. If you visit my website, it will have links to all my social media accounts. Here’s a list to get you started:
When in doubt, just Google my name.
Kai, thank you so much for having me!