Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mark Koopmans: Knight of the Cosmic Table!

Aloha, friends and fellow knights. It's time to pull up a chair to the Cosmic Table! For this month, our selection heralds from the inviting tropics of Hawaii, a fellow who is well known throughout the Blogosphere for his generous spirit, unfailing humor, and capacity to make every day a story in its own right. And he's also the one responsible for introducing me to my first can of SPAM. Ever! Tis a feat which no one had ever thought possible in this realm. Based on these many merited virtues, I hereby dub thee, Sir Mark Koopmans - Knight of the Cosmic Table!

MK: Well, good morning, your Royal Knightness, it is such a pleasure to join the esteemed ranks of the Cosmic Table!

I am still acclimating to my new suit of armored coconut skins I received in the last mail call, but I'm sure the itching will stop soon.

Originally, I sought to discover and bring forward to you the wonders of potatoes, the printing press and the Internet - but some heathens beat me to it - therefore, I'm glad to have introduced SPAM to your mighty palate.

(Looks at small horse, who's interrupting the knightly train of thought...)

Quiet, foal, I'm talking.

DPK: It was a mighty can of tasty SPAM, I can assure you! A prize from your Got Green Blog O'Hop, if I'm not mistake'n. Give a starving writer food and he will remember you for life, right?

And yes, the itching will stop soon.

If not, we'll send you a salve, or something ...

Now, you are a resident of the isles of Hawaii, but I understand you weren't always from there. Where in the cosmos did you come from and what inspired you to live on a rock in the middle of the ocean?

MK: Aye m'lord, I come not from these here parts, but from the Isle of the Irish.

Originally part of the ancient side order of the McKoopmans's's clan, I left no fair maid behind when I made my maiden voyage to new lands nearly twenty-five years ago.

(Takes off flower lei helmet... wow, now I feel old, cheers, mate :)

My early adventures brought me to the kingdoms of Holland, Spain, France and of course, England. There I lived with the serfs of York, Leeds and Nottingham. I also enjoyed an evening of camping in the Sherwood Forest, but alas, was hood-winked by that Robin fellow.

One day I heard of the voyage of Christopher Columbus and knew I had to see this place, this America, with its fine cities of New Amsterdam and Bah-stan.

I arrived in 1996 and the rest, as they say, is medieval history.

DPK: So basically, you traded one island for another? Fair enough!

You're more traveled than I thought. I would love to hit Europe one of these days, but it will have to be on a soft patch of Europe - I don't want to hurt my fist. Actually, those gauntlets should be coming in any day now, so it ought not to matter!

Tell us a little about your writing journey. When did it start? I understand you have a biography that is dying to be read, but what other projects have you in that handy-dandy satchel of yours?  

MK: Ye gads!

I've not mentioned my handy-dandy satchel to anyone.

Your reach knows no ends, sire!

I am like many who thought they could possibly write, but never followed up. I remember writing many small stories as a kid, but never entered them for competitions, etc.

In 2003, I was given the opportunity to write a feature for a new "green" magazine in Orange County, Calif.

That one "clip" (and apparently "the best cover letter" the recruiter had "ever read") allowed my left foot through the door of a weekly newspaper in Florida.

Years later, I followed that up working as a beat reporter with a daily near San Antonio.

I would *highly* recommend any "young" writer - regardless of age to work for their local newspaper - should the opportunity present itself. I learnt so much about my craft.

PS: The man with the Witness In Protection (WIP :) program said it was OK to mention the above.

My first book, a memoir about opera singer, Donald Braswell, heads to a professional editor next week.

Then I jump into WIP#2 (a 20th century historical romance à la a certain Mr. Sparks - I hope!:)

DPK: That is quite the impressive resume! It sure beats working for a tavern and an asylum *looks about with shifty eyes* Here's to this professional editor getting blown away so we can read about Donald!

Let's get to blogging - when and why did you start, and how has it influenced you as a writer?

MK: Blogging has been the "other piece" of the puzzle for me.

My first post was Sept. 11, 2011.

I knew I wanted a social media imprint of some kind and Blogger was (and is) perfect for me.

It's been such a pleasure "meeting" so many awesome writers here in the Blogisfear. Trust and relationships have blossomed over the last three years, and friends such as your good self have helped me become a better writer - that's for darn sure.

DPK: It's been a pleasure, for certain, and there's more where that came from! Blogger was the same for me as well - it worked for me. That's pretty much how things work. If it works for you, it works, and you'll find a way to work it. Have I said "work" enough?

As to your knighting, I'd like to know what a knight means to you?

MK: I know there are many you could choose from, and it is an honor, as I have mentioned.

I shall, therefore, strive to uphold all health codes of conduct while at the Cosmic Table and will Pay It Forward to new bloggers who wander the forest seeking guidance and support.

DPK: That's the spirit! Navigating through that forest is tricky business - what with all those dwarfs throwing burning pine cones and Varmints-Of-Unusual-Size. I honestly don't believe the latter exists *slays one as it flings itself at me* I stand corrected!

Final question: I am told that you are laden with super powers. What are they, and tell us an adventure about your exploits?

MK: Now that I am a father of three boys, I have the superhuman abilities of losing my hair at a moment's notice. I'm also excellent at recreating the fetal position and weeping upon command.

Folks, *please* don't try these at home. (Be like me - I normally go to the mall.)

Thank you, Sir David, for allowing me a covered spot at the Cosmic Table - and much success in *your* upcoming adventures later this year:)

DPK: Thank you, sire! I will certainly keep you posted on how the chips fly as the year goes on. Now that you have proven your valor and wit, I present to you this badge, proving your awesome knighthood. Please copy and paste it however you see fit, and be sure to bring your own utensils for the next little while. We're having them polished. 

MK: Cheers, Dave :)

You are too kind and a true gentleman and scholar :)

*     *     *

I beseech my crew to visit Mark's blog here. Lend your patronage. Mark is one in a billion, and you won't find another gent like him!

In other news, I'm glad to say that I'll be back to blogging on July 1st. I was able to take a large portion off my plate, and while I'm still munching on vegetables, I can add a healthy serving of blogging on the side. We're one member away - ONE member - from a benchmark that I plan on celebrating with a giveaway. Let's make it happen!

I'm David, and who ordered these suits of armored coconut skins?


  1. Sir Mark!
    A clone will be there soon with salve.
    Like to hear more about the Witness Protection Plan.
    And no one pays it forward like you do!
    Glad you'll be back with us, David.

  2. Mark, you had me busting up laughing! I declare this the best knighting ever!

  3. Mark IS really well-traveled. I read about all the countries he's been to. Makes my head spin.

  4. Two great people together in one blog post-- it's better than a Reeses, wait, that's a mighty big compliment... yes, I stick with that assessment. :) Fun interview.

  5. Congrats Mark and glad David had you over. Mark is a true gem and comedian.

  6. Congrats to both Mark and David! I really hope I can be there if you two are ever in the same room!

  7. Mark is one in a billion! The pair of you are SO entertaining. There are too many things I laughed at that I wanted to mention! I feel like I was transported to another time with all the old world language and accents... seriously SO FUN. You guys could have your own radio show!

  8. Huzzah for Sir Mark!!! Congrats to a wonderful, and well-deserved knighthood! I hope the coconut skins stop itching. :)

  9. @Alex: Cheers, and yes, it's exciting to have DPK back in the fold :)

    @DPK - Speaking of which, thanks again for making this happen. It was a lot of fun :)

    @J.A.: Your Ladyship :) You are too kind, but I follow in your dainty footsteps, methinks :)

    @Michael: Trust me, my head has spun a few times, too :)

    @Julie: Cheers much. That was a very sweet compliment (*cymbals crash*). Thank you. Thank you. You're a great crowd. I'll be here all week.

    @Sheena-kay: Ahh, thanks:) Appreciate the kind words :)

    @S.P.: Oh, now *that* would be hilarious, I agree:)

    @Morgan: Gosh, I wouldn't say a billion - a gajillion is enough for me :)~ Glad you liked our ye olde interview (even if it is quite new:)

  10. Congrats Mark! Well deserved. Haha. Also, it's looking like Spam for dinner tonight...

  11. Oh well this was just fantastic. But I kind of hate you both for making me laugh so hard that my sides hurt. The worst.

    Also, the phrase "shifty eyes" brings up a really funny mental picture for some reason. I must need more coffee.

    Can't wait to have you back David! Congrats Mar- SIR Mark :)

  12. "Now that I am a father of three boys, I have the superhuman abilities of losing my hair at a moment's notice. I'm also excellent at recreating the fetal position and weeping upon command." --LOL!!!

    Whew! Don't I know how that one goes. My superpower is eating cheese when things get stressful.

  13. Awesome addition to the Cosmic table!
    You guys are great. (:
    But wait....knights eat SPAM? :P

  14. @Tyrean: Yes methinks the itching will stop, but coconut armour may not make it into the 17th Century:)

    @Ilima: SPAM is good - unless it's on your computer :)

    @Sam: Why thank you, dear maiden. Glad we made ye chuckle :)

    @Crystal: Ahh, yes cheese. Always a good fallback plan :)

    @Elise: And this one drinks fine Yeoman's Ale, too :)

  15. Sir Mark and Sir David,

    Yes, tis' I, a wandering minstrel who doth cometh this way to see thine knighted and now you be a Knight of the Comic Table! Um, Cosmic Table. Arise, Sir Mark. Keep it clean.

    Sir Mark, I am truly enlightened to have partaken on reading thine tale of your life. You have been a traveller and known of such fair isles and now you are on other fair isles of magic and enchantment.

    Has been a wondrous delight to have a vision of wonder cast upon my eyes.

    Thank you for bestowing this honour upon the now, Sir Mark. You seem a good chap, David.

    And with that, I bid thee, good knight.

    Your humble peasant,

    Gary :)

  16. Amazing interview. Thank goodness I wasn't drinking anything. I would have destroyed my brand new laptop! :D Mark, you never cease to amaze me, and David, you have just gained a new and loyal follower.

  17. Not going to lie, Mark has always been a favorite blogger friend! You choose your knights well David!

  18. YAY for a new Knight! The world could use more of those ;)

  19. Gentle Sirs and Ladies of the Cosmic table...

    WELCOME, Sir Mark! You are certainly a shining knight in our blogosphere!

    What a fascinating story... Never knew your humble beginnings began across the GREAT POND! And now on the others side of another great pond.... amazing.

    CONGRATS on you book. That is so awesome!

    Sir David,

    Happy to see this month's choice, especially considering I had already thought Sir Mark was a knight when I was knighted. LOL.

  20. Mark, you are so funny. And much more traveled than I though also. I love your super powers. Well wishes on the upcoming publication of your biography.

    Congrats on your own publishing adventure David.

    Farewell Knights; have an itch-free weekend.


  21. Hoorah for Sir Mark! :) You are a very well traveled knight and I'm sure many followers of the Cosmic Table will benefit from hearing the advice you have to give.

    Hope the itch goes away soon!

  22. @ Lord Khalanie: You, sire, are a true scholar and gentleman. Thanks for the kind words :)

    @Lily: Thanks and congrats on being David's 900th member :)

    @Mel: MEL!!! How are ye doing? :) Great to see you here and thanks for keepin' it true:)

    @Trisha: Ah ye shucks... why thank you, kind Lady.

    @Mark: oh...

    @Michael: Sir Michael, what a pleasure:) Hope the hunting is fine in Chicago and the woods are filled with rascally Cubs, White Sox deer and Da Bears :)

    @Donna: Cheers and I forgot to mention, I am also NocturnMan as I can't write during the day - it is too quiet and peaceful... not :)

    @Bonnee: Cheers and pass me some shrimp on the Barbie, will you please. It won't help the itch, but my manly beer belly will feel better :)

  23. From writing a memoir to writing a historical romance - that is quite the change in genre.

  24. Every writer that spent some time working for their local paper has cherished that time

  25. Awesome interview, guys! Mark, a tip of the hat to thine knighthood.

  26. I love Mark Koopman! His humor makes my day. Welcome to Knighthood! *bows to Mark and HUGS*