Friday 20 November 2015

Mark Koopmans' Revival Book Tour

As part of my occasional series of How-To guest posts, and as part of his blog tour for his new book Revival, I've asked Mark Koopmans "How the heck do you write a memoir?"

I flew over the pond to hang with Annalisa, who’s been jolly good (wot wot) in letting me park the REVIVAL – The Donald Braswell story Tour bus in her front yard. (The damage to the fence looks mainly cosmetic, don’t you think?)

Apart from the damage to her property, Annalisa wondered about how do you even start writing a memoir?

With the power of hindsight, it’s easy to see (at the beginning) I wouldn’t have been able to answer that question!

First thing I did know, in this case, was to get Donald on board. The poor man was naturally hesitant to commit, and I don’t blame him. I was a stranger on the phone with a weird Irish accent who wanted to write his life story for free. (I’m sure he was waiting for a punch line, or an offer to buy a really nice bridge in Brooklyn.)

I had tons of journalistic experience, written hundreds of articles, reports and stories, and I was passionate about REVIVAL from the get go. However, once the project was on, I totally worked on a wing and a paragraph until Donald and I had a full set of interviews recorded/written down.

My wonderful OCD could then see the “big picture.”

I later found a beginning (which took a long time) and “the end,” which allowed me to tighten things up. (Later, I added a lot more to the earlier part of the story, but beta readers said the story was slow-moving. I listened, cut 10,000 words (cried, went into the fetal position for a while), but the eventual finished manuscript was (and is) one that makes me very proud.

When I conceived the idea, I had no idea how REVIVAL would become a labor of love, and I’m so glad to announce my “baby” was born earlier this month!


Thanks Annalisa for hosting me and Happy Friday everyone!

On Monday, I’ll be back stateside with Carrie Butler who looking for tips on interviewing guests.

Five years removed from his 1990 Juilliard graduation, Donald Braswell is set to be “the next Pavarotti.” Braswell’s successful career ends, however, not with a standing ovation at Carnegie Hall, but alone, lying in a dirty ditch.

Following the hit-and-run accident that steals his voice and future, the “Texas Tenor” struggles with depression and despair—until the night his daughter, Aria, is born. Understanding this new and immediate life change, Braswell fights to relearn how to speak, sing—and share this gift of second chances with others.

Working as a plasterer, a car salesman, and many jobs in-between, it takes thirteen years—and a musical miracle—for Braswell to battle back and sing on a professional stage. His dreams and ambitions collide with a tired and angry crowd when he auditions for America’s Got Talent. For his family, his faith and his entire future, can the Rocky Balboa of the operatic world find the courage and strength to win just one more fight?

Show your love for Revival on Goodreads. And buy it on Amazon and B&

Mark Koopmans is originally from Ireland. After working in Holland, Spain, France and England, he won his U.S. “Green Card” in 1994, and is an American by choice since 2003. Koopmans began his writing career with a feature for a regional magazine in California. Since then, he’s worked as a staff writer for newspapers in Florida and Texas. Koopmans is also a proficient blogger and is working on his next book, a novel. Koopmans lives in Virginia and is a married, stay-at-home dad to three active boys under the age of nine. He writes at night.

Mark blogs here and Tweets here.

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  1. Glad you were able to convince Donald you weren't a crazy Irish bridge salesman.
    I think the damage to the fence adds to the place!

    1. I'm thinking of becoming an Irish bridge salesman as a new part time niche career :)

  2. fun tour stop. You are a good hostess. No doubt he offered some chocolate for busting your fence.

    1. Chocolate and a couple of six-packs can ease the heartburn of many a hostess:)

      Thanks for stopping by, Joanne!

  3. I'd be waiting for the bridge offer too! :) Awesome that Donald agreed to it. Have a terrific weekend!

    1. Ha-ha! Yeah I'm also very, very happy Donald said yes!

      Have a great weekend yourself, Christine:)

  4. Thanks again, Annalisa, for letting me bring down the professional reputation of your blog for a day:)

    PS: Here's to Euro16... "See" you in France!!

  5. Hi Annalisa - it's good to see Mark's humour appearing here ... "Let's start at the beginning shall we?" - for the Memoir ... it must have been exceedingly daunting writing someone else's Memoir ... and I admire your tenacity and subsequent achievement in doing this ... have happy weekends - cheers Hilary

  6. It was definitely a challenge and I'm really happy it's finished :-)

  7. How I love that Donald's story grabbed you, and refused to let go. OCD can sometimes be a wonderful thing...

    1. HAHA!! Yes, OCD definitely has its place in my life :)

  8. David's story is amazing and you were the perfect person to help him tell it! It was meant to be. Good stuff, Mark. Good stuff.

  9. Hi Annalisa and what's his name, ah yes, Sir Mazza!

    Jolly good to see Mark's tour on your delightful blog, Annalisa. This means, like the dedicated number one groupie of Mark, I shall duly take the liberty of sharing this post.

    A good rest of the weekend to all.

    Gary :)

    1. Thanks, Sir Gazza, and yes, Annalisa, did you know that Gary is now the un-term limited President of my fan club, the "Koopies Groupies."

      Yes, it's weird and wonderful, but then what could be more wonderful than England playing Ireland in the Euro '16 Final :)

  10. Thanks for visiting and supporting Mark on his tour. I hope you've all entered the draw!


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