Mark A. Marchand: The Answer From Surveyor 3

Surveyor 3

Surveyor 3

Mark A. Marchand
Independently published, September 27, 2021
Paperback, $13.95, ebook, $2.99
ISBN-13: 979-84651262, ASIN: B09H92BXTL

Marchand reports:

My fascination with NASA and the six successful Apollo landings on the Moon sparked a lifelong love of astronomy and space exploration. The landings also taught me an early lesson: the importance of having a concrete objective (JFK's challenge in the early 60s) and allowing no stumbling block, however difficult, to get in the way.

As I wound my way through a long career as a daily newspaper journalist and then as a senior manager in corporate communications at Verizon, I continued to study the Apollo missions. I eventually conceived a story idea related to part of the Apollo 12 mission and another significant event in the 60s: JFK's assassination. I stitched them together in a mystery novel that attempts to answer the question: What if one or more people were present when Lee Harvey Oswald fired those shots, and what did they do with evidence they accidentally collected?

Mark Marchand, photo by April Newman

Mark Marchand, photo by April Newman

I developed my primary plot over a decade ago and never lost sight of working to bring it to light. I worked on other writing projects since then, including my first book, U.S. Route 1: Rediscovering the New World, but I continued to write draft narratives. The COVID lockdowns removed a lot of distractions and forced me to sit down and complete a 100,000-word draft.

I hired a copy editor at the university where I teach. I felt that whether I self-published the manuscript or found an agent/publisher, I needed a professional, clean manuscript. I chose to self-publish after trying to find agents and small publishers for half a year.

My sister-in-law, a graphic designer in NYC, produced a book cover that I feel speaks well to the plot. I wish I knew more about the process of finding agents or better mining my national network of contacts for agent/publisher leads. That process requires a lot of patience.

My advice to aspiring authors? If you feel the book you’re writing is one you'd buy, explore all opportunities to get it out there.

Contact info:

Mark Marchand, 518-928-8597,, @MaMarchand

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Hero image by AlexLeigh7 from Pixabay.

November 3, 2021

Advance Copy

The path from idea to book may take myriad routes. The Advance Copy column, started in 2000 by NASW volunteer book editor Lynne Lamberg, features NASW authors telling the stories behind their books. Authors are asked to report how they got their idea, honed it into a proposal, found an agent and a publisher, funded and conducted their research, and organized their writing process. They also are asked to share what they wish they’d known when they started or would do differently next time, and what advice they can offer aspiring authors. Lamberg edits the authors’ answers to produce the Advance Copy reports.

NASW members: Will your book be published soon? Visit for information on submitting your report.

Publication of NASW author reports in Advance Copy does not constitute NASW's endorsement of any publication or the ideas, values, or material contained within or espoused by authors or their books. We hope this column stimulates productive discussions on important topics now and in the future as both science and societies progress. We welcome your discussion in the comments section below.