By AK Dale
BATON ROUGE, La. – Have just one conversation with Mark Scioneaux and it’s hard to miss is sincere desire to do right by the writing industry.
He counsels authors, offers insight into the profession, and generally believes in providing a positive force within the world of putting pen to paper, finger to keyboard, and creating images out of words.
Then you discover that this man who is an author, publisher, and editor, has an actual day job, working as an industrial hygienist and it all makes sense.
“It’s a type of engineer that focuses on worker safety and health,” Scioneaux explained.
Yes, it all makes sense now.
Scioneaux is the publisher for Nightscape Press, an up-and-coming small press in the world of horror fiction and has also written short stories under the pen name of Mark Christopher.
He also edited the recently released anthology Horror for Good.
Quite the busy man, yet he finds the time to try to make the writing world a better place.
“For me, it is easy to balance the two (his job and his work in writing),” Scioneaux said. “My job gives me a lot of personal freedom to pursue my endeavors. Also, since my job pays the bills, it allows me to write stress free. There is no ‘I need to sell this or my lights will be cut off.’ feeling when I write.”
Scioneaux has always enjoyed writing, but decided to immerse himself in it professionally, ironically enough, when he wasn’t having that much fun.
“I’d always enjoyed writing and one day, after watching a horrible zombie movie, I challenged myself to do better,” he admitted. “I wrote a short story, got it published, and then did it again to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. I received positive feedback from readers and realized I had potential to tell an entertaining story. This was about seven years ago, and I’ve been writing since.”
A graduate of Louisiana State University and a big sports fan – especially football where he swears the Southeastern Conference invented the Internet…okay maybe not – Scioneaux find his motivation in good vibes.
“I’m not a dark person, so I can be in any mood to write,” Scioneaux said. “I actually love listening to 80’s hits while writing. I find it relaxing. I also need to be comfortable in a seated position. Writing on my bed will make my back hurt or I want to fall asleep.”
Of course this attitude is not surprising from a man who lists “charity work” as one of his other hobbies along with comics, reading, movies, and staying active.
It is his relentless positive spirit that carries his days and brings him joy in the simplest of victories.
“Most rewarding is the praise from fans and readers that aren’t related to you or friends with you,” Scioneaux shared. “It validates everything I do. My goals are to raise a ton of money for amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research) through sales of Horror for Good, breathe new life into the poem Dante’s Inferno by novelizing it, and selling a bunch of books for our great authors at Nightscape Press. Winning a Stoker is high on my list as well.”
Yet, despite all his goals and positive vibes, Scioneaux is indeed human and has to deal with the occasional down aspects of the profession.
“The most unattractive aspect of writing are the times when you doubt yourself,” he said. “As a writer, you are constantly being judged and always under a microscope. Based on your personality, it’s real easy to get dragged down by self-doubt.”
A fan of Stephen King, Michael Chrichton, and Jonathan Maberry, Scioneaux, when asked if he a future Tour De Force in him, he believes he may have already worked on the crowning achievement.
“I was fortunate enough to tackle it already,” Scioneaux said. “I lost my uncle to AIDS in 2002, and started Horror for Good: A Charitable Anthology to raise money for amfAR and AIDS research. With the talents of many people, we put together a great book for an even better cause.”
No surprise coming from a man who works for the safety of others…that can only make the writing world a little bit safer with Mark Scioneaux in it.
FOR MORE INFORMATION on MARK C. SCIONEAUX and his WORKS,
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