With more than a quarter century of experience, I have been involved in bookselling as it evolved from strictly bricks and mortar operations and into online and digital venues and have continually been at the forefront of applying digital solutions to publishing and book selling.
I have been President of the Canadian Booksellers Association, have sat on the Board of Directors for BookNet Canada and was part of the advisory committee in the creation of Sheridan College in their creation of Sheridan College's Honours Bachelor of Creative Writing & Publishing program.
I also spent six years as the Director of Self-Publishing and Author Relations at Kobo, where I created and launched their hugely successful Kobo Writing Life self-publishing platform and team.
I share, in a weekly podcast called Stark Reflections on Writing & Publishing, my reflections as a writer and industry professional where authors can find free inspiration and tips on the writing life.
The role was created in 2011 as a way to provide a solution for self-published writers and small publishers to get their work's into Kobo's global catalog.
I worked internally with a team of dedicated developers to drive the creation of Kobo Writing Life, which was launched at Book Expo America in 2012. Kobo Writing Life ( is a free, easy to use direct publishing platform that led the industry in terms of enhanced near-real-time dashboard analytics, internal promotional opportunities with an author-centric approach.
As the platform grew, I curated internal support for the indie author community and built a world-class team of Kobo Writing Life employees who now care for, support and promote a global community that stood at more than 70,000 authors from around the world near the end of 2017.
By the end of 2016, less than five years after it was launched, Kobo Writing Life established itself as the #1 single source of weekly global unit sales for Kobo and, in primarily English language territories, responsible for 1 in every 4 eBooks sold.
Accountable for the viable financial management and daily operation of all Book departments within the store including: Text, Trade, Custom Publishing and Health Sciences bookshop location. These departments are responsible for sourcing and reselling course materials, reference titles and general books to the McMaster Community.
Since November 2008, responsibility included managing the operations related to the Espresso Book Machine and the various businesses being built around having POD capabilities at the bookstore level, from publisher negotiations to custom book requests and archive retrieval.
Stark Publishing was initiated in 2004 in order to self-publish my very first collection of story stories. I have since continued to use the imprint both for publishing as well as for offering insights, consulting, coaching and marketing advice for writers and publishers.
Support Indigo's Master Data team in their use of SAP R/3 system to import metadata from publishers. Manage the in house designed SQL database environments, HighJump Warehouse Management System and WebSphere Product Center
Responsible for managing the teams responsible for importing data from various publisher and author sources to support the retail business (Chapters, Coles and Indigo) and the online website ( and in store kiosks.
Responsible for managing staff and book inventory of a 6 million dollar per annum retail Chapters store in Ancaster, Ontario. Included ordering and stocking book inventory, managing special promotional author events and community relations.
Worked as a bookseller, assistant manager and manager of multiple bookstore locations that included Coles and Prospero The Book Company in Ottawa and Nepean, Ontario.
A lifelong storyteller and a writer of fiction and non-fiction since 1986.
First published short story in 1992.
First horror story published in 1993 - Honorable Mention in The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror
First book published in 2004 (self-published) - One Hand Screaming
First traditionally published book in 2006 - North of Infinity II (editor)
First novel published in 2014 (I, Death)
First non-fiction book published in 2012 (Haunted Hamilton)
Editorial experience (mostly in acquisition editing) since 1992.
Assistant editor of NORTHWORDS magazine (1992-1994)
Co-editor of NORTHERN FUSION magazine (1995-1999)
Editor of NORTH OF INFINITY II (Mosaic Press - 2006)
Editor & Publisher of CAMPUS CHILLS (October 2009)
Editor of TESSERACTS SIXTEEN (Edge Publishing - 2014)
Editor of FICTION RIVER: EDITOR'S CHOICE (WMG Publishing - 2017)
Editor of FICTION RIVER: FEEL THE FEAR (WMG Publishing - 2017)
Editor of FICTION RIVER: FEEL THE LOVE (WMG Publishing, Forthcoming - 2018)
Editor of FICTION RIVER: SUPERSTITIOUS (WMG Publishing, Forthcoming - 2019)
For the past four years I have coached and worked with Sean Costello, overseeing and managing his digital publishing strategy, which includes new self-published titles and re-releases of back-list titles, enhancing his author brand, growing global sales, building his author newsletter list, and scheduling and running promotions related to his titles, including a perma-free reader acquisition title, and optimizing the metadata for his target reading audience.
You should never fall in love with a flyer. You should only be in love with flight.That’s the rule that Roxy Loewen – aviatrix, and protégé of the great Amelia Earhart – always lives by. Until she falls hard for fellow pilot Jocco Zomack and he leads her into a whole heap of trouble. From African skies to a hot cellar in Madrid, from the Berlin Olympics to the last flight of the Hindenburg, fr... read more
This book is RATED-R FOR LANGUAGE by the publisher.Bush pilot and family man Tom Stokes is about to face the worst day of his life. On a clear winter morning, he sets out to do some repairs on a remote hunt camp, leaving his five-year-old son and very pregnant wife snug in their beds.On the return trip, a squall forces him into an emergency landing and he winds up—quite literally—in the lap of... read more
Experimental psychologist Jim Marchuk has developed a flawless technique for identifying the previously undetected psychopaths lurking everywhere in society. But while being cross-examined about his breakthrough in court, Jim is shocked to discover that he has lost his memories of six months of his life from twenty years previously — a dark time during which he himself committed heinous acts.J... read more
A look inside the hospitals, asylums, and sanatoriums in which formal spectral residents refuse to move on. Hospitals are supposed to be places of healing, places of birth, and places of hope. But with all of the varying highs and lows that are experienced in these buildings, is it any wonder when echoes linger indefinitely? How about asylums, which house some of society’s worst offenders and ... read more
Writer. Werewolf. Canadian.Michael Andrews seems to have it all. He's a successful author and a minor celebrity living in Manhattan. It's a pretty big step up from his humble Canadian upbringing. Of course, his lycanthropy poses a bit of a challenge. After waking up from his latest night on the town, he's naked, he's got a bullet hole in his leg, and he has a sneaking suspicion he ran into ano... read more
Editing an anthology can prove tricky business. Wonderful stories sometimes find themselves on the rejection pile simply because they do not fit in the editor’s vision of that anthology. So, editor Mark Leslie decided to save some of those amazing stories for this latest volume of Fiction River: Editor’s Choice. These tales run the gamut from YA fantasy to cozy crime to slipstream to horror. A... read more
2013 Hamilton Arts Council Literary Award — Shortlisted, Nonfiction Hamilton, Ontario, may seem just like any other city, but a haunted past is hidden beneath it. From the Hermitage ruins to Dundurn Castle, from the Customs House to Stoney Creek Battlefield Park, the city of Hamilton, Ontario, is steeped in a rich history and culture. But beneath the surface of the Steel City there dwells a da... read more
The magnetic aura surrounding Sudbury, for both the living as well as the once-alive, is the backdrop for tales of mystery, wonder, and outright horror. "I tried to leave" is a common theme for those from the Sudbury region. People often vow to move away, but something about the Nickel City keeps luring them back. Whether it’s the taste of fresh air – or just the sulphur in the air – it’s hard... read more
Fear. The word alone evokes a powerful response. And in Feel the Fear, editor Mark Leslie takes readers on a haunting tour of the many ways fear presents itself. From genuine horror stories filled with frightening monsters to the real-life horror of losing a loved one to the terrifying idea of losing one’s own mind, these tales run not only the genre gamut but also the emotional gamut. With ea... read more
A supernatural tour of bookstores and libraries around the world, focusing on the ghost stories from haunted locations. Throughout history, books have inspired, informed, entertained, and enriched us. They have also kept us up through the night, thrilled us, and lured into their endless depths. Tomes of Terror is a celebration and an eerie look at the siren call of literature and the unexplain... read more
ACTIVE READER collects three stories which explore the darker side of the world of books. In a style reminiscent of the old "Twilight Zone" television show, these three tales will take the book loving reader to a place that is somewhat familiar yet frighteningly surreal and disturbing.- Active Reader -Loyalty programs that track a reader's every preference are handy, save time and offer great ... read more
There's nowhere to hide when everybody you know or meet is trying to kill you. Scotty Desmond's day begins like any other until his boss calls him into the office, pulls out a gun and starts shooting at him. Scott manages to escape the surprise assassination attempt, but everyone else he meets, colleagues, friends and strangers alike are all similarly obsessed with killing him. Will Scott surv... read more
A supernatural tour of the Ottawa region with ghostwatcher Mark Leslie as your guide.Come along with paranormal raconteur Mark Leslie as he uncovers first-person accounts of ghostly happenings throughout Ottawa and the surrounding towns — the whole region is rife with ghostly encounters and creepy locales.Discover the doomed financier who may be haunting the Château Laurier. Experience the eer... read more
Chilling tales born from the dark shadows of campuses across Canada. Edited by Mark Leslie and introduced by Robert J. Sawyer, Campus Chills features thirteen all original tales of terror by Kelley Armstrong, Julie E. Czerneda, Kimberly Foottit, James Alan Gardner, Sephera Giron, Michael Kelly, Nancy Kilpatrick, Susie Moloney, Douglas Smith, Brit Trogen, Edo van Belkom, Steve Vernon and Carol ... read more
Experience the cultural side of Canadian speculative fiction...Tesseracts Sixteen: Parnassus Unbound is a speculative fiction anthology inspired by literature, music, art and culture.Featuring short stories and poems by: Neil Peart & Kevin J. Anderson, Robert J. Sawyer, Ryan Oakley, Steve Vernon, Hugh A. D. Spencer, Sandra Kasturi, Michael Kelly, Rebecca Senese, Randy McCharles, Chadwick Ginth... read more
A bookstore that keeps more than dusty old tomes on its shelves. . . a phantom limb that can reach into the next world . . . a comic that colors people's lives with terror . . . graves unable to hold their wares . . . a collector of haunted artifacts who gets more than he bargains for . . . a deserted northern highway that brings back a man's worst childhood fears . . . an encounter with the b... read more
It’s not “boy meets girl, boy loses girl,” but rather “Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy’s friends begin dropping like flies.” - Peter O’Mallick isn’t just having a bad day; he’s having a bad life.It’s bad enough when your girlfriend suddenly casts you a cold shoulder, your grades are slipping and those around you no longer understand what it’s like to walk in your shoes; but walking around ... read more
Screams echo through the thick darkness of night in this collection of three short horror tales from the dark mind of Mark Leslie.TASTE OF DARKNESS: Sensory deprivation takes on a new meaning when you let the darkness completely consume your senses of sight, sound, touch and smell, leaving you with the bitter taste of the encroaching darkness. And you'll be surprised what you find lurking ther... read more
A collection of ghost stories, eerie encounters, and gruesome and ghastly true stories from the second most populous city in Canada. Montreal is a city steeped in history and culture, but just beneath the pristine surface of this world-class city lie unsettling stories. Tales shared mostly in whispered tones about eerie phenomena, dark deeds, and disturbing legends that take place in haunted b... read more
Imagine a malign force dismantling your mind by insidious degrees, stripping away a lifetime of knowledge, cherished memories, and human connections. Now imagine being intimately aware of the process, but helpless to arrest it. Would you be afraid?For retired physician Ben Hunter, that malign force is Alzheimer’s disease—and he is terrified.Now a resident in a major geriatric center, Ben strad... read more
THIS BOOK is RATED-R FOR LANGUAGE by the publisher.In the space of a single day, twenty-year-old Trish West purchases her first car, gets accepted into veterinary college, and finds her rockstar father, Jim Gamble, a man who vanished into the streets before she was born and now clings to life in a Toronto intensive care unit.Eager to establish a relationship with Mr. Gamble, Trish heads out fr... read more
GREED. DECEPTION. MURDER.Ever dreamed of winning the lottery? One of those massive, life-altering purses? Join Keith Whipple and his daughter Kate as they do just that, netting ten million dollars in a single-winner draw. Share in their excitement, the dreams that leap into their lives fully-formed.But that kind of money, the heady sense of power it brings...do we control it? Or does it contro... read more
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