Passion Never Retires with Mark David Gerson

What is the best thing that I love about my work?
For me, the best thing about being a writer, the thing I love most, is the opportunity to discover worlds beyond my conscious imagining and to be able to take those imagined worlds and translate them into words on a page.
What is my idea of perfect happiness?
Although perfection is impossible to achieve, in life as in writing, the closest for me would be to be installed somewhere within sight and sound of the ocean, with either a laptop or pad and pen, writing.
What is my greatest fear?
I discovered this while writing The StarQuest — my second novel and the second book in my Q’ntana fantasy trilogy — when the main character realizes that her greatest fear as a storyteller would be to lose her stories and her ability to tell them. It surprised me to learn that about her; it surprised me even more when I realized it was equally true for me.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?
“Deplore” is a strong word, and I do my imperfect best to love all parts of me, even those I’m not always thrilled about. With that disclaimer, I would have to say that fear is the trait I’m often most unhappy about because even though it no longer paralyzes me, it still slows me down more than the bolder parts of me would prefer.
What is my greatest extravagance?
Although life, to date, has not offered me as many opportunities to be wildly extravagant as I might prefer, my biggest current extravagance is probably my almost-daily visit to a café, which is where I often spend the afternoon writing. As extravagances go, it’s fairly modest — more of an indulgence, really — but were an opportunity for greater extravagance to make itself available, I would likely direct it toward a Porsche or a similarly extravagant sports car!
On what occasion would I lie?
Mostly, if it would be to protect someone I love (my daughter, for example) or to spare the feelings of someone I care about. Also, if I’m truly honest, I might also lie if I thought it would spare me from serious embarrassment…as long I was convinced that I could get away with it!
What is the influence of role models, in my work and in my life?
In the early years of my creative and spiritual awakening, which occurred pretty much hand in glove, one of the most powerful inspirations and role models for me was the author Madeleine L’Engle, not only because she persevered in the face of rejection (her now-famous Wrinkle in Time manuscript was rejected more 26 times over two years) but because for her there was never any separation between her writing and her spirituality. 
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?
I’m not sure whether “dislike” is the right word, but I sometimes experience difficulty finding the words that best express the story that’s playing out in my imagination. That’s where I feel frustrated and inadequate as a writer…which is why one of the issues I deal with in my books for writers is the futile quest for perfection.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work?
It was in 2007 in my car, parked in front of the UPS Store in Santa Fe, New Mexico, when I opened the FedEx envelope that contained an advance copy of my first book, The MoonQuest: I ripped open the envelope, held the book in my hands and burst into tears.
If I could, what would I change about myself?
I would fear judgment less (an issue I have struggled with since childhood) and I would be more outgoing in social situations not related to my work. (I can talk about writing and creativity until I bore strangers senseless, but put me in an unrelated situation and I never know what to say!)
What is my greatest achievement in work?
Although I have earned many accolades for my work, I would have to say that my greatest achievement was the completion of my first novel (The MoonQuest), which came after decades of not believing I was creative and not thinking I was a very good writer.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city?
Although there are countless inspiring locales throughout New Mexico, it’s the Sandia Mountains, which form the eastern boundary of Albuquerque, that have always spoken to me the most powerfully here. Whenever I need a dose of inspiration or meditative calm, an easy hike along one of its many foothills trails generally does the trick. 
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?
If I could find an independent café here where the coffee was fabulous, the food even better and the ambience perfectly suited to writing, that would be it. Because I have not yet found such a place, I generally hop around from one local Starbucks to another; but it’s a compromise, not a first choice.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?
I’m grateful to have a handful of close friends who have always believed in me when I couldn’t believe in myself and who always remind me, when I’m in doubt, that I’m not only a writer, but a good one.
Whom would I like to work with in the future?
Writing books is a solitary pursuit, so in one sense I’m not sure that the question applies. However, one of my secrets is that I have written stage musical adaptations of my Q’ntana Trilogy fantasy stories; my fantasy collaborator would be Andrew Lloyd Weber as composer.
What project, in the nearby future, am I looking forward to work on?
At this writing, I’m working on a sequel to Sara’s Year, my most recent novel. To my surprise, I’m now projecting a third book in what was never intended to be a series, and that Book III in what I’m now calling The Sara Stories is what I’m looking forward to next…once Book II (After Sara’s Year) is out of the way, of course.
How can you contact me?
The best ways are via the contact form on my website ( or on Twitter (@markdavidgerson) or Facebook (


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