It has been such an adventure reaching out into the writing world, meeting wonderful people. Authors, both mainstream, and indie, have proven to be among the kindest group of kindred souls that I have had the pleasure of connecting with.
I’m Mark Bordner, an avid reader, and newly published writer getting my feet wet in this community. At 42, I’m a veteran of the U.S. Navy, husband, and proud father of 3. My introduction into the passion of books was given to me many years ago, as a teen. I opened the book Ender’s Game, and Orson Scott Card whisked me away into the cosmos of the written word. Stephen King’s work got me after that, and I’ve been devouring books ever since.
Creative writing class in high school sparked my interest in writing sci-fi. I must have started several dozen short stories that progressed no further than a chapter or two, before the next idea made me shelve it in favor of that delicious sensation of beginning a new story. The years ticked by, and life’s events took the steering wheel. My writing faded into the background.
About two years ago, I had a stroke. Compounded by other health issues, I found myself homebound, and bored out of my skull. After a couple of months of wallowing in self-pity, and enduring the therapies to regain some semblance of my old self, my wife set me straight. Minerva is a woman who is as infinitely patient as she is wise, but she was not about to allow me to wither away on the couch. She sat me down one day, and made it clear that all of the time I had on my hands could be used to pursue my old passion. Why not try to write again, this time more seriously?
So, out came the box of old starts, a pack of pens, and an endless supply of coffee.
It took me about four months to put together the first draft of my book. It was the first time in my life that I had actually finished a manuscript. It had been the best therapy that I could have asked for, and as far as I was concerned, finishing that draft was the end of some well-spent time. My wife had other ideas. That woman took it upon herself to take my hand-written scribbles, and type them on her computer. She edited a lot of my mistakes, as the stroke had left me with some aspects of grammar and punctuation that were either turned around, or lost altogether. Minerva then got on the internet, and shopped that thing around to agents and publishing houses. I had little hope for it, because we all know how immensely difficult it is to break into the traditional publishing world. The big houses no longer accept cold submissions.
You can imagine my surprise when the phone call came. A publisher on the phone, offering me my first contract. It was a whirlwind from there. The editor wanted to make it a series, rather than a stand-alone, and target the young adult market. Many creative changes were made, and the editing team was incredibly patient with my struggle to keep up. Just under a year later, The Mighty First, Episode 1 released to the market. I was holding my own book in my hands, a book that I had written. The author copy arrived just before my father passed away, so he had been able to share in that moment with my wife and I.
I opted to self-publish the second installment on my own, to avoid waiting another full year for the next release. So far, both have been doing fairly well.
Okay, about the series. The Mighty First is in reference to the 1st Global Marine Division. The story follows a 17 year old girl by the name of Minerva, (named after my wife), as she transitions from an adventurous small-town girl into a leadership position in this military unit. While she is in basic training, Earth is invaded by a superior alien race. The teenage recruit graduates find themselves tasked with liberating our planet in this WWII-style war drama. There is war violence, but no gore, explicit profanity, or sex. I wrote this with my own children in mind. It is young adult entertainment that a parent would feel comfortable with their teen reading.
Icing on the cake…I have recently had the honor of having Paramount Pictures secure a two-year option for movie rights on the pilot episode. There is no guarantee that it will happen. That depends on some producer finding it interesting enough to invest in. Honestly, though, just being considered is thrilling beyond words for me. Two years ago, I thought my life was spiraling toward a dark hole. Now, through a series of entirely unexpected turns, thanks to the shining efforts of my wife, I’ve at least found myself within shouting distance of a lifelong dream.
I owe so much to this woman who has stood by my side for 19 cherished years. Thank you, Minerva, and thank you to all of the readers who have invested a few bucks and some time from their day to read my books.
Mark Bordner, author of The Mighty First series