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Letter From The Future You

Dear Mark the Past,

The people around me and the fans have consistently asked me on how I have managed to be so successful in being an author. Today’s Mark is the celebrity of the day when it comes to writing. I am now very different from the Mark you were since I have managed to publish various books and series in the last twenty years. Lately, a fan, that is, our fan asked me the key reasons for our success. I have reflected on this for some time and I have found it vital to analyze success from the time I first wrote ‘The Phoenix Factor’. Well, for all that effort, it got very little attention both in the media and in the readers. That, however, did not serve to break my dreams as an author. After a deep self-assessment, I have identified various reasons that kept me going.

When I wrote ‘The Phoenix Factor’, the legend in the fiction book, Long John Carraghan, was a character that I now feel was not clearly brought out. Back then, I felt that it was my best effort and that it would be a bestseller. It never did. That strong faith, the urge to better the unbreakable endurance and myself are just some of the key factors that kept me going. The Review, a Massachusetts journal, commented that I was emotionally detached not only from this leading character but also from other key figures. I decided that I had to fight rather than quit. I resolved to write on issues that I deeply cared about. That, I believe, as an author, was my first lesson in the world of writing.

Lesson two was all about taking risks. The Mark Doughty known today is for his slightly larger than life characters in the fiction series ‘The Lighthouse’. It is funny how the idea all began. Old Mark, do you still remember it? Sue, this lady I have proclaimed my love for and spent my life with since the 70’s, and I, were exiting from the cinema where the Second Chance series was screening at the height of its fame. At that time, I had almost a non-existent fan-base. At the exit, a young high school kid with a girl at his elbow roughly pushed me aside. Instantly, my temper flared and I demanded an apology from the lad. Before the kid apologized, the girl was excitedly bubbling on how she loved The Phoenix and whether there would be a follow-up on it. I was dumb-founded and mumbled about expecting a lot more to come. Needless to say, I hurriedly left, Sue in hand. All night long, I thought about it and I could not help but think that I had to take a leap of faith and start on my new series. Well Mark, you know that was the onset of the success story. You took the risk and you in turn became me.

I cannot ignore the fact that J.K. Rowling spent 5 years planning the entire Harry Potter series before putting pen on paper in order to write this famous series. Planning, Mark, was something you never ignored. You did not spend five years but rather three, but that was in the spirit of The Lighthouse. When you finally wrote it down, the ideas were so fluent and the image so clear that success was almost guaranteed. Planning was something you instilled in me and is a weapon that I have learnt to use in the upcoming series ‘The Love Nest’, a series I intend to finally turn into a movie. I do not plan to end the success story any time soon; you worked too hard for this old Mark: The long nights sketching and visualizing on the Series. There was minimal success to show for it at all and it almost broke our marriage. Planning, old Mark was the key. Those early sacrifices are what turned you into me.

Finally, I cannot afford to ignore the virtues of hard work and persistence. My experiences have taught me as much. Key role models such as Joyce Carol Oates who said, “I would write, even when her soul felt as thin as a playing card” have taught me that determination and pure persistence have been vital in shaping me as a celebrity and a success legend. I have had my manuscripts rejected repeatedly, work that I wrote down in over a year, but I never said enough was enough until success came my way. Mark, we made it; let us live the dream!

Yours sincerely,





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