Meet the author
Mark David Pullen is the Author of the Middle Grade Series “The Oasis Chronicles. His first book, “The Oasis King” Received 2nd Place in the PenCraft Awards and An Honorable Mention in the New York State Book Festival. Book Two will be Released in 2024!
Mark DAvid Pullen
combines his love of action and adventure with science fiction and fantasy to create fast-paced action-adventure novels for youth. His goal is that through dynamic stories, he can teach positive values that include faith, resilience, and hope. His debut novel, “The Oasis King” was released in early 2023 and his second book is headed to print within the next year. Mark is a proud member of the ACFW organization.
He lives with his wife, two children, and their crazy pup, Toby, in Upstate New York. The use of his imagination and sense of wonder as a child has proven to be the first steps on the long road to becoming a published author in the Science Fiction and Fantasy genre.
All my life, I’ve been a daydreamer. Still, to this day, I enjoy the thrill of going on small mental adventures in my mind when all is quiet around me. But this made school hard. I was constantly distracted and in my own little world. I struggled with reading, and this, coupled with my parents’ divorce, made life at school rough. But thanks to some dedicated teachers and parents, by the time I got to fourth grade, I was reading at a high-school level. That’s where things took an exciting turn. When things got rough, I sought books and daydreamed about escape, and escape is what I did. I found myself escaping more and more frequently, to the point where teachers became concerned and told my parents that there was something wrong with me and needed to be evaluated for services. Some were even more frank and rude than that and told them unless something drastic happened, I would be nothing but a waste of space and utterly useless for the rest of my life. My parents pulled my sisters and I from public school shortly after that to be homeschooled. I was in the eighth grade by this point.
I excelled at home because I was allowed to move at my own pace. I even skipped a grade. Not bad for a waste of space, if I do say so myself. When I graduated high school, I went straight into the workforce—no college for this guy. The men in my family are mostly all high school graduates, and we have made our livings doing blue-collar work. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Still, to this day, I work an everyday 9-5 job as a maintenance worker for a local school district, #everymanchampion. But I always felt like there could be more for me.
Shortly after my son was born, I can recall wanting to sit down and write him and my two nephews a story for Christmas. That was something I’d never done before. To daydream, imagine, and craft up these strange characters and faraway worlds was one thing, but to sit and write it down felt so incredibly foreign. But I did it, and it was enlightening. I remember the joy and the excitement of getting the words down. I didn’t even have a laptop at the time; I typed the whole story up on my iPhone with a Bluetooth keyboard. I also drove my wife insane. I asked her constantly, what do you think about this, or what if this happened? Her response was always the same. “Is this the same story?” Yes was always my reply. I started writing it the week of Thanksgiving, and it was done long before Christmas. A story with a whopping 50 pages that was given in a loose-leaf binder with a hand-sketched and colored picture for a cover picture. But it was finished, and there was something there—the beginning of my something more. I enjoyed the process, and an even bigger tug was placed on my heart. What if I could provide the escape that someone hurting youngster needs, just like the authors who provided the escape for me?
The following year, Springtime and Covid-19 are in full swing. For our anniversary, my wife sent me to a writer’s conference via Zoom, of course. The Colorado Christian Writer’s Conference. When she signed me up, she scheduled me with three appointments, two agents, and one acquisitions editor named Terry, and submitted only the first page of my story. It was exciting to think that maybe something could come of this, but I faced reality realistically. There are people who write for a very long time, years even before they get published, and let’s face it, I was far from an actual writer. But it was still exciting. Anyway, the appointments with the agents were almost back to back, and they were both uninterested. It’s no big shocker, but still a bummer. On top of that, I missed my appointment with Terry. It was a boneheaded mistake on my part because I misread my own handwritten schedule for the weekend. But God is good. On the last day of the conference, I got an email stating that Terry still wanted to meet with me if I had the availability.
I met with Terry, and he was interested in my story. All he got was the very first page, but he was interested. So I was flying high. I wasn’t even a writer, and I had people interested in my work. Terry asked for the rest of the story and said he’d be in touch. So, what next, other than setting up a phone conference for a few weeks after the conference? Terry called and informed me that even though he was interested, my story was way too short for the industry standard for my target audience, and it needed work. Bummer. But I take the rejection on the chin, and life goes on.
I started a new job that summer and life was happening all around me. A few months later, the Monday after Thanksgiving, I got a tug at my heartstrings to reach out to Terry. I even asked a coworker to remind me to send an email at lunchtime so I don’t forget. We both forgot. I walked through my front door that evening and got a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize. It was Terry. He checks in formally and asks how things are going, exchanging pleasantries. Then he asked how my writing was coming. I responded with, Good. I’ve been working on it here and there as time permits. That was not the answer Terry wanted to hear. Terry then informed me that when someone gives you feedback or criticism in this industry, you get to work and don’t leave them waiting—a gentle but firm hand slap. He then informed me that his publishing house, Morgan James Publishing, publishes two books in my age group, in my genre, a year and that he had hoped one of them would be mine, but the clock was ticking.
Not much happened after that besides setting the keyboard of my new laptop on fire with furious typing. But I got it done, and one month later, I got one of the best Christmas presents I’ve ever gotten- A book contract. Fourteen months after that, in February 2023, I launched my first book into the market and donned the badge of Published Author.
That’s my story of how God can take a homeschooled high school graduate, who was a C student at best in English composition, and turn him into a published author, thus proving that God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called.