Episode 18: No Time For Kings with Mark Petruska

Our podcast guest this week is Mark Petruska of the Mark My Words blog. If there is someone that hasn’t yet had the pleasure of reading Mark’s delightfully clever and witty blog, we can’t recommend it highly enough. In fact, you can read below for Mark’s guest post about the podcasting experience and see for yourself why Mark is a successful writer. And then listen to the podcast for more great fun with Mark.

In this episode we talk about Mark’s ability to manifest just about anything, optimism as the foundation, his eco-terror novel, No Time for Kings and the fun of writing dark characters even when you are not – dark, that is.

Search (and subscribe!) for Sharing the Heart of the Matter on Apple, Amazon, Spotify or Pocket Casts or click here to listen on Anchor: Episode 18: No Time For Kings with Mark Petruska

And now for Mark’s guest post on HoTM…

Flattery, not King Charles III, got me on their podcast.

If I had a list of things I never thought I’d do in life, it would include the following:

  1. Use a chainsaw.
  2. Own a John Deere.
  3. Go skydiving.
  4. Appear on air as a podcast guest.

In the span of a single week, I was able to cross three of these items off my bucket list. I’m sorry, but I will never willingly jump out of an airplane. Unless it’s going down in flames, and even then, I’m waiting ‘til the very last second. I’ve seen the effects of gravity and they ain’t pretty.

When Wynne and Victoria reached out to me about being a guest on their The Heart of the Matter podcast a couple of weeks ago, I was caught off guard. They picked Coronation Day to blindside me with their request, as if the crowning of His Majesty the King might somehow persuade me to say yes. Because I am not British and my sole experience with England consists of National Lampoon’s European Vacation (“Look, kids! Big Ben! Parliament!”), this really had no impact on my decision. 

But their flattery did. What can I say? Throw me a compliment or two and you’ll have me eating out of your hand. 

Also, I was impressed with their professionalism. Their proposal included an outline complete with half a dozen well thought out discussion prompts. The conversation would center around three main topics: my novel, No Time for Kings; manifesting; and optimism. 

I couldn’t very well say no to that. These women are masters of coercion! 

I prepared for the recording by meticulously writing out my answers to each prompt. As a professional writer, I’m pretty confident in my skill at stringing words together in a coherent fashion. Written words, that is. What I am not confident in is my public speaking abilities. I’m the type of guy for whom cue cards were invented; speaking off the cuff is not my strong suit, unless stumbling over words is considered a strong suit — in which case, it’s totally my strong suit. I believed writing everything out ahead of time would make the actual recording a breeze.

I thought wrong.

The problem with reading words off a screen and trying to sound natural is that it’s basically impossible to read words off a screen and sound natural. Especially when you’re aiming for a blend of witty and charming. I’d start out fine, but after a sentence or two grow paranoid that I was sounding too rehearsed, so I’d veer from the script and try to wing it. But that would cause me to lose my train of thought, so on the next question, I’d go back to my script.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.  

Guys, podcasting is hard! In the end, all thoughts of being witty and charming went out the door. My only goal was to not sound like a freakin’ dweeb. Still not sure I accomplished that, but it is what it is. 

Can I just say what a great job Wynne and Vicki did producing this episode? As seamless and professional as the whole thing sounds, there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes banter that doesn’t make the final cut. Like the original introduction, where Wynne butchered my name. I don’t blame her in the least; Mark is terribly difficult to pronounce. 

Oh, wait. It was my last name she got wrong. Hardly a surprise; most people mispronounce it the way she did — so many, in fact, that I’m shocked whenever anyone actually gets it right, and I tend to remember those rare moments. Like the front desk clerk at a Motel 6 I checked into in rural Sidney, Nebraska back in 2011. 

I really should have warned Wynne in advance.

No big deal; we did a second take and she aced it that time. And then, once we were finished and the recording portion was over, I told her I’d left out a really fun anecdote about manifesting because that was one of the moments I’d veered off script, but she was like, “No problem; let’s just record it now and I’ll splice it in later.”

So we did, and she did. Huzzah. 

In the end, it was a pretty good experience — humbling, really — and I am grateful to Wynne and Vicki for twisting my arm asking me to be a guest. And I am thankful for each and every person in the blogging community who has supported me over the years, whether by reading my posts, buying my book, or transferring cash to my secret offshore bank account in the Bahamas. 

What?! This kitchen remodel in my new home isn’t going to pay for itself, you know…

Show Notes

Episode 18 Links:

Search (and subscribe!) for Sharing the Heart of the Matter on Apple, Amazon, Spotify or Pocket Casts OR

Listen to Episode 18 on Anchor: Episode 18: No Time For Kings with Mark Petruska

Mark’s Blog: Mark My Words

No Time for Kings by Mark Petruska

18 thoughts on “Episode 18: No Time For Kings with Mark Petruska

  1. What a treat this episode was! And…here’s another hearty endorsement of “No Time for Kings”…anyone who hasn’t read it yet needs to be like me — get a copy and catch up!
    Thanks, Mark! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love that you portray us as masters of coercion, Mark! It’s a new look for me but I’ll wear it proudly!

    You were fantastic and it was so much fun to talk with you. No Time For Kings is such a great book, you are such a fun writer, and to add to that with a podcast – all goodness!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great episode (and I’m not just saying that because I got a mention).
    For the record:
    1. I’ve been mispronouncing your name this whole time, too, as in “puh-TROO-skuh.” Oh, and “mork.”
    2. You sound just like my brother-in-law (my American BIL, not my British BILs, naturally). That was unexpected.
    3. Should you ever tire of the name Mark My Words, I maintain that Insane But Admirable is a great replacement. (But as I often say: you’ll always be Swinged Cat to me.)
    The good ‘ol Travel Architect 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I love “insane but admirable!” Such a delightful description!

      I’m glad that I’m not the only one that has been pronouncing Mark’s name wrong – and sorry I stumbled over your screen name, Travel Architect.

      Thank you so much for listening!

      Liked by 3 people

  4. I listened! That was lots of fun. Always intriguing to hear the voice of someone you’ve known for a long time. Mark’s was pretty much how I expected it. The first time I heard Wynne’s, I was a little thrown. Also, I learned I’d been pronouncing her name wrong all this time. D’oh! So fun to listen to this. Well done to all three of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Okay, I realize it’s unlikely you’ll believe me NOW, but I went back to listen to be sure. When I heard Wynne say your name, I thought nothing of it. That’s how I’ve always said your name. You could ask my hubby to prove it. Honest!

    Liked by 1 person

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