Wednesday, February 11, 2015

CREATION OF CALM - Mark Fraley - One Free Book

Welcome, Mark. What would you like for our readers to know about you personally?
I’m so appreciative of the responses I have gotten from people who have read my book and who have taken time to say a few words about it. I am an introvert, not the most outspoken person and am happy with just being a part of things without being front and center. Having a book out that reveals a lot about me on many different levels is still a little frightening, but I am happy it inspires and brings something uplifting to others.

Things I like to do include play guitar, run around and make trouble with my three kids, watch movies with my wife for the first 10 minutes before I fall asleep (almost every time), and any kind of activity that requires some amount of creativity. I also have recently gotten into reading a lot of poetry (Christian Wiman, Mary Oliver, Billy Collins to name a few).  There are, in fact, very few things I do not like to do; I am always looking for new things to learn to do and experience. Writing a book certainly was a new experience! As a father of three kids, time for creative ventures is often on short supply.  My “best” work often happens early in the morning before everyone is up. I teach early childhood special education for a living and have done that now for almost 15 years.

Tell us about your family.
I have been married now for 14 years. I met my wife Breanne in college at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas. We moved to Seattle after I earned my Early Childhood Special Education Masters from the University of Kansas. My three kids, Xavier (9 yrs. old), Sebastian (6 yrs. old), and Greta (3 yrs. old) were all born in the same hospital on Capitol Hill in Seattle. We are now living in Colorado to be close to my wife’s family.

My parents were missionaries in France for over 30 years, and that’s where I grew up along with my two brothers. We went to French public schools, had French friends, and appreciated the diverse amount of delicious cheeses that exist there! Basically, we were French minus the times when it was just our family at home and we spoke English predominantly. My family is essentially bilingual, some trilingual, and a love of language has been present since I can remember.

Have you written other nonfiction books?
This is my first book that has been published. I have been featured in the Exceptional Children textbook that is published by Pearson and edited by William Heward, as the featured teacher in the Early Childhood Intervention chapter. I wrote a short bit about myself, strategies for new teachers, and insight into what it is like to be an early childhood special education teacher.

Do you have any other books in the works right now?
I have a project based on fatherhood that is in its beginning stages. It follows a similar format with an illustration and written portion for each entry. One day, combing through Facebook, a good number of “fatherhood” pictures were showing up through my feed. The idea to sketch them and match them with a set of interview questions from a father’s perspective seemed like a good way to put it together. It is also a subject I am immersed in on a daily basis; I feel its themes are hard to exhaust.

What kinds of hobbies and leisure activities do you enjoy?
I play the guitar and love anything music related. I also enjoy playing basketball when I get the chance, along with volleyball, backyard football with my boys, and ping pong (I have an actual ping pong trophy won with my father in a doubles tournament!). I create artwork in a variety of media, but my two favorite remain collage and charcoal. I find a wide range of activities interesting, and sometimes I try to do too many things at once.

Why did you write the featured book?
I wrote Creation of Calm for a number of reasons: first of all, to inspire and help others with their battle with cancer. Secondly, to share the story of how God works through whatever circumstance may show—his peace can be felt no matter where you find yourself. Thirdly, it was a creative challenge that fit with pushing the limits of what I thought I could accomplish or achieve. My older brother and I have a creative competition of sorts that began with the publishing of a story he wrote, titled “Uncommonly Normal.” I told him if he would publish his story, I would hold my first gallery show soon after. And that I did! And I did not stop at that. This book is a continuation of sorts, letting him know that the ball is back in his court. Finally, I wrote this book for my children to leave a legacy of sorts, something that I hope can be around after I am not.

What do you want the reader to take away from the book?
I would like them to see that there is beauty in our everyday lives. We often miss it because we are so busy with a million things. Cancer forced a drastic slowdown in just about every aspect of my life, and this slowdown pushed me to see what was directly in front of my eyes. I also want readers to see that being invested in a creative pursuit can have such a positive impact on one’s life; in my case you could say it provided a means of healing.

Is there anything you’d like to tell my readers about you or your book?
I am always interested in finding out how readers respond to my book. I like to find out which entry is their favorite and why. Also, to see how they respond to the art, what are they moved by when they see the collage series titled “Calm.”

Where on the Internet can the readers find you?
I happen to be on Facebook under Mark Fraley Art. I also have a blog, found at My current website is under construction. I hope it will be up come spring. I am reachable through email at, and I would also like to guide you to Cladach Publishing. They are terrific people and have some info up on their website (

Thank you, Mark, for sharing your new book with us.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Creation of Calm : A Cancer Survivor's Sketchbook Story

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

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The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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susanlulu said...

Sounds like a book full of inspiration!
Susan in NC

Library Lady said...

In a way we are all cancer survivors.
If we haven't had cancer we know someone who has.
Janet E.

Sm said...

My husband is dying of metastatic Cancer and I have really struggled to know what he thinks about God now that he is dying. He does not want to talk to me and that is hard. I want to know how he feels about God. Sm CA. Wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Melanie Backus said...

Mark sounds like a remarkable man and so does his book. Thank you, Lena for sharing this one.

Melanie Backus, TX

Anonymous said...

Angela in Ky would love to win.

Melissa M. said...

My dad died of cancer; thankfully he was a strong Christian, but it was hard for us all, though I know God is sovereign. Would like to read this book.

~Melissa M. in TN

Mark Fraley said...

Thank you Lena for featuring me on your blog, and for those who responded here in the comments. The opportunity to share this story with a wider audience is great as a new author, but also one that I take with diligence and care. I like to respond to those who read it and in turn share their own journey through cancer. So many people have come to me and opened up about deep questions. I don't always have an answer but I can pray and listen!

Mary Preston said...

Lovely to meet you here Mark.

Mary P


Deanna Stevens said...

I have lost family members to this, I was touched by todays review with Mark..

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway, SC.

Anonymous said...

Sounds very good! Shelia from Mississippi

Judy Cooper said...

I mam very interested in reading this book. Thank you. Judy Cooper, Louisiana.

rubynreba said...

My husband has had two kinds of cancer and I can understand how it affects every part of a person's life. He and I would both enjoy this book.
Beth from IA