The Staff of Rahgorra – author interview- Mark Oetjens

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About Mark Oetjens

Mark Oetjens was born in 1971. He grew up in suburban Chicago. As a child he was diagnosed with Dystonia, a debilitating neuromuscular disorder. Though there is no cure for Dystonia, surgeries and rehabilitation allowed him to walk with only a slight limp by the time he started high school. He received a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Anthropology, both from Northern Illinois University. As an adult a brain tumor, completely unrelated to his Dystonia, threatened to disable him a second time. Thanks to radiation therapy the tumor has disappeared. Mark currently lives in Phoenix, AZ.
Mark’s latest book is the science fiction novel, The Staff of Rahgorra.
You can visit his website at

About The Staff of Rahgorra

Another time, another galaxy. The mysterious crime lord Thrull has aspirations beyond controlling the underworld in a single corner of the galaxy. Thrull wants to bring the galaxy under one rule and build a legitimate Galactic Empire. For years he has been training an army of his followers and building his own private Armada. But he knows he must also find the Staff of Rahgorra, a weapon of mythic power. To keep Thrull from finding the Staff the Galactic Security Bureau, peacekeepers of the galaxy, has pressed back into service a banished agent. Chameleon Del Rey was expelled from the GSB for avenging the death of a friend and for practicing the forbidden art of Jai Kin. Now he must train a young apprentice to use Jai Kin and find the Staff of Rahgorra before Thrull does in order to avoid a war that will stretch across the galaxy

Hi Mark,

Welcome to Paperback Writer
Thank you for having me.

Q: Will you share with us how you came up with the idea for this book?
The original idea for The Staff of Rahgorra came to me one day while I was walking to high school. That was over 20 years ago. Of course the story has changed and matured since then.

Q: Do you plan your stories first with an outline or does it come to you as write it?
I rarely outline a story or even a scene. That being said, if I’m working on a given scene I always have certain things I want to accomplish in that scene. But I don’t usually know exactly how I’m going to accomplish those things until I start writing.

Q: Do you know the end of the story at the beginning?
Always. As a writer I think if you don’t know how a story is going to end, then you’re just writing in circles.

Q: Do you have a process for developing your characters?
Not that I know of. The main characters developed as the story did. The supporting characters are mostly aliens. For them it was a matter of coming up with the right physical design for their species given how they were going to be used. Their personalities usually came later.

Q: It is said that authors write themselves into their characters. Is there any part of you in your characters and what they would be?
I’m the one telling the story, so of course there are parts of me in all the characters. What parts? Well, I think you’d need a psychiatrist to untangle that mess. Lol.

Q: What is your most favorite part about this book?
My favorite part of The Staff of Rahgorra is on the planet Tinoor II when Cam is trying to teach Kayo the art of Jai Kin.

Q: When in the process of writing your book did you begin to look for a publisher?
I always intended The Staff of Rahgorra to be self-published. I never sent out a manuscript. I never even looked for an agent. Instead, I started Conquer Publishing.

Q: What struggles have you had on the road to being published?
Without a doubt marketing and promotion. Letting people know that The Staff of Rahgorra is even available is a full time job by itself. Which is why I decided to go with Pump Up Your Book Promotion.

Q: What has been the best part about being published?
Holding my book in my hands and being able to say, “I’m a published author.”

Q: What do you want readers to remember and carry with them after reading your novel?
The Staff of Rahgorra is science fiction, not rocket science. I only want readers to have a good time reading a fun, enjoyable and entertaining story.

Q: Do you have plans to write another book?
I’m working on (or trying to work on) a sequel to The Staff of Rahgorra right now. I’m also researching a post-apocalyptic story.

Q: Would you care to share with us how the virtual book tour experience with Pump Up Your Book Promotion has been for you?
A lot of work but I’m having a blast.

Where can readers find a copy of your book?

Do you have a website for readers to go to?

Thank you, Mark for sharing your book and characters with us today. It has been a pleasure. .

Thank you very much.

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