Dianne Salerni author Dianne Salerni author Dianne Salerni books Dianne Salerni blog Dianne Salerni Appearances Dianne Salerni contact Dianne Salerni teachers
Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | REVIVAL Tour: Mark Koopmans on Writing a Memoir

REVIVAL Tour: Mark Koopmans on Writing a Memoir

REVIVAL - Blog Tour Banner


The REVIVAL – The Donald Braswell Story Tour continues, and I’m very excited to be here, so thank you, Dianne! (It’s been a crazy month, and so busy that I really could use an Eighth Day 🙂

REVIVAL - Koopmans

Mark Koopmans

Dianne asked about the challenges of writing a memoir, and one thing that pops up is how nervous I felt, especially during the first draft.

At the time, I was a beat reporter in the San Antonio area, so interviewing folks and writing features was easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

But now, here I was taking on the project of writing a memoir of a person I originally only knew from his performances on America’s Got Talent. After several informal meetings to discuss specifics and present a business proposal to Donald, I must have talked a good talk because I earned Donald’s initial trust, and we were off to the races.

REVIVAL - Braswell

Donald Braswell

Now I had to deliver.

Donald had so much to share, and I soaked it all in (or at least my recorder and note books did) while I waited for the “start” and “finish” of the memoir to reveal themselves to me.

The end was easy, but the start, the “jumping-off” point was difficult, and indeed, the start of the memoir took several years (and drafts) to appear, but appear it did. Finally!

In the meantime, I learnt many of Donald’s quirks, his mannerisms, likes, dislikes and a whole lot of “normal” stuff that I utilized when needed.

REVIVAL - Front CoverAnd, over time, my own writing “voice” blended in, and was then overridden by Donald’s voice, which was the ultimate goal.

The result is REVIVAL and I’m very proud of this little book that could.

Would you ever consider working with someone on a major writing project?


Thanks again for having me over, Dianne. I really appreciate ya!

Tomorrow, it’s Crystal Collier, who’s invited me to participate in her Writerly Wednesdays, which includes the famous Truth or Lie game:)


Enter The REVIVAL Tour Giveaway to win one of these unique prizes!

● GRAND PRIZE (2 winners): Donald Braswell to sing (Happy Birthday/Anniversary) via Skype or phone call. (A unique gift idea!)
● 1ST PLACE PRIZE: Signed Donald Braswell CD/REVIVAL book combo
● 2nd, 3rd and 4th PLACE PRIZES: Signed copies of REVIVAL (by Donald and Mark)
● 5th, 6th and 7th PLACE PRIZES: Signed copies of Donald Braswell CDs
● 8th, 9th, and 10th PLACE PRIZES: Signed Donald Braswell 8×10 picture



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Visit Mark Koopmans on Twitter or  at his blog 

16 Responses to REVIVAL Tour: Mark Koopmans on Writing a Memoir

  1. You did a fine job bringing his story to life. Excellent and uplifting book!

  2. Congratulations, Mark! What an interesting project and a difficult one too. I can’t imagine what an experience it would be to write something like this. . .and get your voice to melt under his. Hats off!

    • Mark Koopmans says:

      Hi Tonja,

      Thank you very much for the very kind words! It was a wonderful project to work on and, I’ve said this before, but it’s completely true, REVIVAL definitely became a labor of love for me:)

  3. Hilary says:

    Hi Dianne and Mark … so interesting to learn how you adapted to bring Donald’s voice to life … good for you – cheers Hilary

  4. Tiana Smith says:

    Sounds like a great book!

  5. Mark Koopmans says:

    Hi Dianne!

    Just wanted to say thanks again for having me over!

    I really appreciate all your support throughout this crazy book tour month of mine!!

  6. Anna says:

    It’s amazing how some people turn lemons into lemonade, very inspiring. 🙂

    Anna from Elements of Writing

  7. I have been having a fine time stalking Mark and Revival through the blogosphere. Which all started with the A to Z this year when Mark fuelled my lust to know more of this inspirational story. Which probably makes me a long time as well as long distance stalker. For which I feel no shame. And the book lived up to all of my expectations too.

    • EC, it is now on my bucket list to come visit you in Australia (and I actually have blood relatives in Sydney, so you never know!!)

      In any event, I owe you a *huge* hug for all your support – and the last thing I’d call you is a stalker!! I’m just very grateful that REVIVAL resonates with you 🙂

  8. Voice is the most difficult thing to conquer in your own writing, I’m intrigued that you managed to write in David’s voice. Congratulations!
    You mentioned that it took several years, did David ever think it wouldn’t happen?

  9. Ella says:

    Congrats to you Mark and Donald-you both have voices to share!! Both so talented and kindhearted~

    Hello Crystal ;D

  10. Ella says:

    Hello Dianne! Crystal is tomorrow~ I am jumping and chasing Mark-it feels like Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego…