Two of our books are going to be auctioned off this Saturday to benefit the Central Noble Food Pantry, which happens to be one of my neighbors.


We donated copies of Radio Red and Hoosier Hysterical: How the West Became the Midwest Without Moving at All; they'll be auctioned along with other items at the Moose Lake Christian Craft Village, at 11330 E 500 S, LaOtto. The benefit's planned for this coming Saturday, August 12, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.


I haven't been there myself, but I hear it's a great place to visit. There's a seven dollar entry fee but that's for the whole day, including a visit from Johnny Appleseed (who I write about in Hoosier Hysterical, come to think of it). There's swimming, fishing, paddle boats, music, crafts, wagon and pony rides, and all sorts of other neat stuff, which you can probably find out more about by visiting their Facebook page.


I don't know if our books are going to be auctioned together or separately, but it would be really nice if someone would stop by and put their money down, and maybe bring a nonperishable food product for donation, too. The C.N. Food Pantry is just two doors down from me, and they do great work for the community.


Of course, the books won't be the only thing auctioned off! The list I saw includes a whole hog, tools, gift certificates, a Moose Lake family pass and weekend cabin stay, and a whole bunch of other stuff.


Call Bonnie if you have any other questions, at 260 564-8160. Check it out, have some fun and, as I always say, buy our books!




I got a bit of a weird feeling when I heard actress Erin Moran once stayed in (and got kicked out of) a Holiday Inn Express in Corydon, Indiana. A little research confirmed it was the same Holiday Inn that Emily and I stayed in while researching Hoosier Hysterical a couple of years ago. Corydon was the original state capital of Indiana, so naturally we spent some time in the area.

We weren't there at the same time as she was, of course. Well, not that I know of, although apparently she lived in the area then. I suppose it could have been the same room.

On the one hand, I was a little offended at the way the news media covered her move to Indiana, as if Moran had been banned to the seventh circle of Hell. (Apparently she and her husband moved here to take care of his mother, after her acting jobs dried up and they lost their California property.) I'd take southern Indiana over southern California any day.

the other hand, I suspect I'd choose wealthy in California over impoverished in Indiana. She'd hit on very hard times, and didn't make the move for the scenery; those of us trying to work our way up can't begin to imagine what it's like to be a TV star at fourteen, and considered a has-been by thirty. Her happy days were far behind her, and it sounds like she spent the last years of her life trying to drown her sorrows in alcohol. I remember the fresh faced kid on "Happy Days", and can't help thinking she was only two years older than me. It could have been any of us; and it's very sad any way you look at it.



Molly Daniels Says, “Happy 'Bison-Tennial’ Indiana!” 


50 Authors from 50 States highlights another Indiana author, Molly Daniels:

"I grew up in Tippecanoe County, where I survived the Blizzard of ‘78;  traveled to the Indiana Dunes once; and spent many happy hours canoeing down Sugar Creek, then exploring Turkey Run and The Shades State Parks."  Emily and I were on the way back from visiting Turkey Run and Shades State Parks when our car was totaled in an accident last year; but we don't hold it against the parks.

Oh, and I get a sidebar next to Molly's post. :-)

I didn't catch this when it first came out, but here's another review of Hoosier Hysterical ... and new reviews make this Hoosier hysterical:

It was actually posted the last day of 2016, which means I'm still waiting for the first review of this year. Remember, to authors reviews are like chocolate: Sure, in theory you could have too much--but it very rarely actually happens.

ozma914: new novel cover art by Kelly Martin (Default)
( Feb. 8th, 2017 08:00 pm)
Cheating on Indiana
I’ve had the strangest feeling lately that I’m cheating on Indiana.
As a writer, I mean—get out of the gutter. You see, my new novel is about to be published, and it’s set in Michigan. There’s nothing wrong with that. Lots of authors do this thing called using your imagination, in which their stories are set somewhere other than where they live. One of the best authors I know routinely sets her stories in California, even though she lives in Missouri. One of my favorite authors, L. Frank Baum, set most of his stories in places that don’t even exist.
But up until now, all my published works have been set in Indiana.
It wasn’t supposed to be that way. In fact, when I first started writing, none of my stories were set in Indiana. When you’re a teenager—at least, an introverted, emo teenager like I was—all you care about is getting out. Half my stories were set in space. Half were set on a fictional fire department, somewhere generally to the west. The other half either took place in other areas of this planet, or started here and then journeyed away.
(What, that’s three halves? That’s why I took up writing: I suck at math.)
But things happen and, long story short, I stayed in Indiana. Why? Because it’s an awesome place, when it’s not winter. I also moved from science fiction and action to romantic comedy—see above about things happening.
Years ago I had a literary agent for a time, and of the three novels he looked at he thought the first one I wrote, Radio Red, was the best. It was set in an area of northwest Lower Michigan where my family vacationed at the time. Why? Because my in-laws had a cottage there, and I had … debt.
Michigan is almost as beautiful as Indiana, but even colder.
 For whatever reason, Radio Red never sold. Maybe editors don’t like red—they’re always complaining about red ink. Instead the second one I wrote, Storm Chaser, sold first. It’s not only set in Indiana, but in my home county of Noble. I didn’t have to research a setting; there’s a fine line between brilliance and laziness.
I told my publisher that I was writing some short stories to help promote Storm Chaser. Showing awesome overconfidence in my ability to make them money, they said, “Great! Put them together, we’ll publish a collection.” All but two of the stories in Storm Chaser Shorts are set in Indiana.
Are you detecting a pattern? You should, because along came The No-Campfire Girls. Although inspired by a Missouri Girl Scout Camp, I set it in southern Indiana. Why? Because I stole some of the characters from another book of mine, an unpublished mystery set in, yes, southern Indiana. The rest of the characters I stole from Storm Chaser. Is it stealing when it’s from yourself? Or just another case of brilliant laziness? I’ve coined a new term.
The Storm Chaser sequel, (hey, it works for Hollywood) is The Notorious Ian Grant. Now, it’s not essential that a sequel be set in the same place as the original. But except for the main character, I didn’t have to invent new people or locations. Creating Ian Grant was exhausting all by itself; in Storm Chaser he’s mentioned in exactly one line, in which his sister calls him an “ingrate”. Great introduction, sis.
My first entry into non-fiction, Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights, can be described entirely by its subtitle: A Century or So With the Albion Fire Department. Granted, there are more than two dozen Albions in the United States; but come on—pay attention to the theme, here.
My unpublished “Slightly Off the Mark” columns were collected into the imaginatively named Slightly Off the Mark: The Unpublished Columns. See what I did, there? You can argue this one, but many of the columns are about Indiana, and by gosh they were all written in Indiana by an Indianian, so there.
(Indianian? No wonder we call ourselves Hoosiers.)
After that was what I call my picture book: Images of America: Albion and Noble County. Kidding, I never called it that, but it’s historical images and fun stuff about Albion and Noble County. Which are in Indiana. Any questions? I didn’t think so.
Last year we released Hoosier Hysterical: How the West Became the Midwest Without Moving At All, and if I have to explain how that’s about Indiana … well, I just don’t.
(I also had a short story in Strange Portals and a humor piece in My Funny Valentine. I usually don’t count them as my wholly published work, but in this case what the heck—they’re both set in Indiana.)
So that’s … how many is that? Jeez, the other day I told someone I’m about to get my tenth book published, but if you don’t count the parenthesis above, Radio Red will only be my ninth. It gives me the warm and fuzzies, to say “only” nine. I’m on track to beat Isaac Asimov’s publishing record! Only 500 more books to go.
And now … well, Radio Red, like the Storm Chaser series, is set in a real place; but that place happens to be in Michigan. It’s been bought by Torrid Books, and has an official release date on March 7, and …
And I’m cheating on Indiana.
But I feel Hoosiers will forgive me. And if they don’t … well, then I can only imagine what they’ll think of my first spaceship story.



In this photo, police block main roads and crowds begin to line up days in advance of Mark R Hunter’s author appearance at the Noble Art Gallery. The first person in line told reporters, “I’m actually just here to ask his wife Emily how she puts up with his genius eccentricities.” Several thousand people were expected …



Okay, not really; the photo is from the Albion Christmas parade. But that is where we’ll be this coming Saturday, from 1-5 p.m.—the old Black Building at 100 E. Main Street, now the Noble Art Gallery.

We’ll have all our books, including the latest one, Hoosier Hysterical: How the West Became the Midwest Without Moving At All. Also, we just finished printing out the front and back covers of our newest book, so you can get a look at it far ahead of the scheduled March 7th release date. No police line required.

I’ve done an interview about Hoosier Hysterical: How the West Became the Midwest Without Moving At All with an Indianapolis radio station, 93.1 WIBC. Just to prove it really exists:


Once I got over the mind-numbing terror, I really had a good time talking with Terri Stacy, who seemed to have a genuine interest in Hoosier history and trivia. I don’t know when (or if, because things happen) the interview ran or will run, so if anyone happens to catch it, please let me know.


Terri also said she’d send the story along to the statewide news organization that WIBC is affiliated with, Network Indiana—so if all goes well, the interview could turn up anywhere in the state.


Fort Wayne’s regional publications about what there is to do, WhatzUp, came out Thursday and … say …




Why, that’s my name on the cover! I’m actually above Mannheim Steamroller! I wonder what’s inside …



Why … it’s an interview with me! And anyone who can’t find a copy (I got mine at the Kroger’s in Auburn), can read the interview online:


Because that’s whatzup.


Traditionally I post my author appearance press releases here, and is this not a traditional time of the year? So here's what I sent out to various newspapers, radio stations, TV stations, and all the ships at sea, and it might even end up being used somewhere. If you want to use it--you're welcome to.

However, I would discourage you from starting up your own TV station for the sole purpose of displaying my press release on the screen. You'd be surprised at the initial investment, plus there's the whole part about actual programming.





December 11th will mark the 200th anniversary of the state of Indiana’s formation, and two Hoosier authors are celebrating a day early with an appearance in downtown Albion.


Mark R. Hunter’s newest book, written with his wife Emily, is all about Indiana, and created with the bicentennial in mind. Hoosier Hysterical: How the West Became the Midwest Without Moving At All, is a tongue-in-cheek look at Hoosier History, personalities, and trivia. The Hunters spent almost two years researching and touring the state, and the book is illustrated with photos they took on their travels.


The Hunters already collaborated on two local history books: Images of America: Albion and Noble County, and Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights: A Century or So With the Albion Fire Department. In addition, Mark Hunter has five other published books, four of them fictional works set in Indiana.


Mark and Emily will be appearing from 1-5 p.m. December 10th at the Noble Art Gallery, 100 E. Main Street, in Albion. The gallery holds the works of artist/owner Dan Gagen, as well as over twenty other area talents, and features items ranging from wall art to jewelry and pottery. They also have the books by the Hunters, who have visited twice before.


In addition, the event will serve to unveil Mark Hunter’s newest novel, which is scheduled to be published March 7, 2017 by Torrid books. Hunter hasn’t announced the book’s title, but its cover has been approved and will be on display at the appearance, along with all of his previous books.



Hoosier Hysterical and all the Hunters’ books can be found at, and on Amazon at



Mark R Hunter can also be found on Facebook at, and on Twitter at @MarkRHunter





In an earlier post I mentioned trying to come up with original ideas to promote author appearances; I’ve now done over 734 thousand of them, and have a new one coming up December 10th. My newest book, as all fourteen of my regular readers know, is Hoosier Hysterical, a humorous look at the history, people, and trivia of Indiana. The signing at the Noble Art Gallery will be the third since Hoosier Hysterical came out, and also the third appearance I’ve put in at Dan Gagen’s gallery in downtown Albion.
What hook could I use to get people to come? The first thing I thought of is to have the cover reveal of my new novel there, and that’s great, but I wanted something more.
Then I realized the bicentennial of Indiana’s official formation is December 11th—just one day after the book signing.
And what inspired me to write the book was the upcoming bicentennial.
Say it with me, now: “Duh.”
So, the Facebook event details are now on my FB writer’s page, along with the hooks. While you’re checking it out, please like my page!

A view from the Noble Art Gallery. Well, actually a view from the middle of the street. Boy, were the other drivers mad.

Thanks to everyone at the Noble County Public Library who made us feel at home in the main branch, in Albion. We had a great time! Some friends stopped to visit, and we sold close to two dozen books.


Now--get this--we're going to do the whole thing all over again. Yep, we'll be appearing December 10th at the Noble Art Gallery, also in Albion (at 100 E. Main Street). Details to follow, naturally, but they're the only place where you can regularly buy all of our books, so please support the gallery and all its wonderful art.


And ... we'll have something for you to see when we appear. A surprise. *evil laugh* Now, library photos:


Here's the table Emily set up. It was a great location!


Here's a look at the inside of the library. It gives you a warm feeling during the day, although when night falls it seems a little dark.
(I mean, even with the lights on.)
Plus a great view through that big window!

Here's Emily's iPad photo of how everything looked after she set it up! All I had to do was sit there and look pretty. I mean, handsome.


In all the fuss about car crashes I haven’t taken much time to sell the soap in the last few weeks, which is ironic because now we have to pay for a new car. Luckily I don’t have to pedal my own Dial this time: Just before we left on vacation Kay Kauffman did a review of Hoosier Hysterical.
I shared this review in a few places when it first came out, but you can’t blow your own horn too much, especially if you’re Muhammed Ali. (This is totally untrue—lots of people blow their own horns too much. That’s why election season now lasts three years.)
Kay lives in the midst of an Iowa cornfield that was probably just harvested; follow her blog so she has something to talk about in coming months other than walls of wind-driven snow blowing in from the north. (I’ve never been to Iowa, but I loved The Music Man.)
The only problem is, Kay suggests I write histories of the other 49 states. I spent a whole year researching Hoosier Hysterical: running all over the state, seeing parks and historic places, taking photos …
Actually, it sounds like fun.

In all the work and fuss over getting Hoosier Hysterical published, I haven’t had time to deal with the other works I sent out into the cold, cruel publishing world. Over the last several months they’ve all come back to me via rejections—except in some cases when I hauled them back in after not hearing from publishers/agents for several months.

So I’ve gotten busy again. Over the last few days I’ve sent out eight submissions—three novels and five short stories—to various magazines, publishers, and agents. I have another romantic comedy (Coming Attractions) that I’ve held back for some further editing, so that’s my next chore.
Unlike most editors, agents are usually okay with simultaneous submissions, which means I could be telling you about several dozen submissions. But a writer/agent relationship needs to be very solid, so I spend time investigating agents, looking for one that might be just right for me … shotgun submitting isn’t my style. If an enthusiastic publisher offers me a three book deal before I land an agent … well, that’s a “problem” I’ll just have to deal with, isn’t it?

This week I'm guest posting on author DM Yates' blog, where I talk about an author's confidence ... or lack of it.

"Your writing is worthless, and your feet stink. I know, I was just down there polishing my pitchfork.”
Here we are with another appeal for everyone to pick up a copy or two of Hoosier Hysterical: How the West Became the Midwest Without Moving At All, and by “pick up” I mean buy, because shoplifting’s illegal. At ten bucks for a hard copy, it’s less than a price of a large Starbucks triple latte coco-café supreme with extra cinnamon and that foam stuff, with a muffin on the side.

(I have no idea if that’s true: I don’t drink coffee, and my doctor won’t let me eat muffins.)
We need to sell a few more copies to justify the year we spent researching and writing. I know what you’re thinking: “You spent a whole year researching a humor book?”
Okay, when you put it that way, it does seem a little silly. But if not for the research, I wouldn't have discovered some neat stuff:
How would I have found out that Indiana was the site of a Revolutionary War naval battle?
How else would I have had the chance to photograph Lincoln’s well, Roseanne’s house, or a coffin in a cave?
How would I have learned about Elvis Presley’s connection to the country’s first train robbery?
How else would I know that George Washington’s (alleged) illegitimate son moved Mount Vernon to Indiana?
Most important of all, how would I have discovered the nickname for Indiana residents may be related to missing body parts?
I know what you’re thinking: “Mark, are you trying to tease us into reading the book?”
Yes. Yes, I am.
So for the funniest historical humor book ever written by someone living in my house (I can’t confirm that—I have no idea what the dog wrote before we got him), it wouldn’t kill you to read a preview here:, or get it straight from me at
Probably it wouldn’t. Do you have any preexisting conditions?
Nikki was kind enough to put the release about Hoosier Hysterical up on her blog, Nikki’s World, so I’d appreciate it if everyone would check it out and give her efforts some lovin’. (I enjoyed her photo-filled post about the Iowa State Capitol, being someone who put in some quality state capitol time last year.)
You may have seen the release, which I posted myself a few days ago. But I’d really appreciate everyone passing the word around, not to mention taking a look at my books. Remember, a desperate author is a dangerous thing. Do you really want me to turn my Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfiction into an erotic novel set in Canada: Fifty Shades of Red Green?
I didn’t think so.
I sent a news release for Hoosier Hysterical to every Indiana news organization I could find, thinking it would be an interesting bicentennial related feature for them. So far the result has been disappointing, with only a few local papers carrying it as far as I know (although a review should be coming out soon in WhatzUp, a regional Fort Wayne publication.)
I’m putting it up here in case anyone’s curious, needs an example for their own promotions (but—did I do it right?), and/or wants to pass it on … or happens to own a major TV network. Or a minor one.
Indiana Author Combines Humor and History in Hoosier Hysterical
Indiana history gets turned on its head in a new book, Hoosier Hysterical: How the West Became the Midwest Without Moving at All.
Mark R Hunter of Albion decided to celebrate Indiana’s bicentennial, and enlisted his wife, Emily, to poke some fun at Hoosier history and trivia. The result is a tongue-in-cheek romp through the state from prehistoric times on, covering everything from rotary jails, locks of Elvis hair, and even where the name “Indiana” was stolen from.
“When Emily didn’t roll her eyes at me, I knew I was on to something,” Mark says of the idea. The pair previously collaborated on two local history books: Images of America: Albion and Noble County, and Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights: A Century or So With the Albion Fire Department. They also put together a collection of Mark’s humor columns, Slightly Off the Mark.
Mark R Hunter is also the author of three novels and a short story collection. In Hoosier Hysterical, he riffs on everything from early American history:
“Some say Columbus actually got here hundreds of years before 1492, on a Viking River Cruise.”
To ancient American burial mounds:
“The purpose of those mounds remained a puzzle, until a twelve year old boy from Clarksville pointed out the natives seemed to have no outhouses. This came as a tremendous shock to archeologists of the time, who were known to be very hands-on.”
To the origins of the nickname “Hoosier”:
“Indiana flatboat crewmen … were called “hoosa men” after the Indian word for corn, “hoosa”. This theory fails to account for the fact that the Indians never called corn “hoosa”.
And even how the Indiana state flag ended up in a Batman movie:
“Some brave souls talked of sneaking into Gotham to steal our flag back, but … you know … Batman.”
Along the way, Hoosier Hysterical covers wars, economics, sports, and politics, as well as everything from weather to famous Hoosiers. But the authors are quick to point out that, despite doing a large amount of research and trying to stay true to the facts, their main emphasis was on humor. “The problem with history isn’t that it’s not interesting,” Mark points out in the book’s forward: “It’s that it’s not made interesting.”
He quickly adds, “So sit back and learn something fun about history. When you’re done, read this book.
Hoosier Hysteria and all the Hunters’ books can be found at,
Mark R Hunter can be reached by e-mail at
 He can also be found on Facebook at, and on Twitter at @MarkRHunter
I read recently that writers should occasionally take time off from writing, so when I went on vacation from my full time job I also avoided anything writing related, for almost two weeks.
It was miserable.
Apparently my wife is correct that I don’t know how to relax … more to the point, you don’t need as much time off if you love what you’re doing. So I’m going to hit the promotion again for Hoosier Hysterical, then do some revising and resubmitting, then start on a new story—not all this week, of course. Next vacation, I’ll take a laptop with me. Um, again.

 More photos from the ALL-IN Block Party
I was supposed to post these photos in June. You should be seeing the next batch around, oh, August.

An article about Hoosier Hysterical is up on the KPC News website:
It’s the result of a press release I sent out last week to several dozen news outlets—paper, radio, and TV—across Indiana. This has been the only bite so far … as far as I know! If anyone sees something elsewhere, please pass it on.
Later I’ll blog the press release myself, and probably beg people to spread the word. A successful writing career is 80% showing up, 15% actual writing, 10% promotion, and 25% begging for exposure. Yes, I know that adds up to more than 100%; that’s why it’s so hard to have a successful writing career.


ozma914: new novel cover art by Kelly Martin (Default)


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