Overcoming fears and conquering dreams – Coach Mark Teague on resilience, determination and ambition
American high school football coach Mark Teague offers inspiring advice to young authors and shares what he’s learned through his author journey.
Mark Teague the author, speaker, double-cancer survivor, and now a name that is known throughout the world.
Mark Teague is a nationally recognized American football coach. His debut book, The Conquering Dreamer: Using Your Dreams to Conquer the Obstacles of Life with Passion and Purpose, chronicles the significant challenges he faced throughout his life and how he overcame them. Mark’s inspiring resilience can help readers learn to overcome their own obstacles.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a high school football coach currently residing in Louisiana. I’m a husband and father of two adult sons. Raised in the state of Alabama, I have coached in various states throughout the southeastern portion of the United States. I have been blessed with invitations to speak as both a public motivational speaker and a football clinic speaker throughout the United States this past spring and summer. I’m a graduate of Troy University (Troy, AL) with a B.S. in Secondary Education Social Science.
What inspired you to write The Conquering Dreamer?
I was diagnosed with and defeated two different forms of cancer (throat & prostate) in 2019. My cancer journey, along with a challenging trek through childhood that continued into adulthood, and my ability to chase my dreams and conquer all challenges that came my way in pursuit of my dreams, was the impetus behind authoring my autobiography. After some coaxing, I was convinced that I had a story the world needed to read. The catharsis it offered me could be well served as catharsis to someone needing the motivation to continue onward in this often difficult and unfair journey we call life.
Your book is full of inspiration. You faced significant challenges in your journey. Is there one story in your book you are most excited to share with readers?
The story of what I feel is my ultimate redemption is the trip to Maui where I finally felt I achieved the spirit of discernment, and could feel God talking to me, only this time I could hear him. I had been through so much in my life and overcome so many challenges to stand on the beaches of Maui in the early 3–4 a.m. morning hours and take in the fact that my life had come full circle. From losing every tangible and intangible thing I ever valued personally in my life to taking a deep breath and looking around, realizing that God is real and rewards us for our faithfulness and courage despite what life throws at us.
What did you learn from writing and publishing a book?
It is not easy to encapsulate the depth of your entire life into 87K words! Lol. I learned that there are very talented team members within a publishing company like Tellwell whose sole purpose is to take your words, your written feelings and emotions, and guide you on a path that will allow the finished product to be genuinely felt by your readers. I learned that writing can be the best therapy to heal old wounds and also serve as a literary vision of a hopeful perspective in life. I learned that writing challenges your creative juices and allows you to tap into gifts you never knew you had.
What advice do you have for young authors considering self-publishing a book?
Trust the publishing process. It is not a 100-metre dash, it’s a marathon. It’s your legacy that will sustain long after your life here is over, no matter the genre (fiction/non-fiction). Invest in it and do not cut corners. The finished product will be well worth the time and investment. The feeling of seeing my work for the first time with an online retailer was surreal. To see unknown individuals around the world commenting on my book is a special feeling of accomplishment to the investment I made in the self-publishing process.
Do you have a favourite appearance or event that took place during your promotional tour so far? Is there any appearance or event coming up that we should watch for?
I actually have two favourites. In late June 2022, I did a small book signing in Virginia that extended into a tour of our nation’s capital in Washington, DC.
On August 13 I was extremely humbled to be invited back to my hometown of Dothan, AL, for a big book signing event that featured live television news interviews as well as local radio interviews on both sports and news radio stations. In December, I have been invited to be the keynote discussion speaker for a large book club that will feature my book. This is a unique event for me as I will have the opportunity to sit with a large group of my readers to answer in-depth questions that will be derived from sections in my book. Plans are in the works for a book-signing event in the Miami area in early ’23 or late spring. The plan is for the event to be a HUGE one, so months of planning are needed for it. I’m extremely excited for this, as it will be by far the largest signing I have done thus far.
Who would play you if your book was turned into a movie?
Oh, wow! After giving it some serious thought, Omari Hardwick would play me if my book was turned into a movie. His role in the Starz original series Power was of a person much like myself: very confident, doesn’t hesitate to bet on himself, and will die trying to prove you wrong when told that something is too big of a challenge for him to overcome.
Tell us about the success you’ve been having with your book, and don’t be shy.
Within the first week of release, I was alerted by someone that Amazon had listed my book as one of the top new releases.
Book clubs have reached out to me to let me know that my book has been chosen as their book of the month in states as far away as Fayetteville, AR, and Clemson University in South Carolina.
Doctors have asked if my book could be featured on their practices’ websites.
A college professor as well as a high school teacher have shown interest in using my book as required reading for their class.
What’s next for you?
More publicity for my book to try to reach a wider audience. I want to focus on that as the holidays approach in the next few months. I plan to begin work on my next project that will challenge my creative merit by writing a fictional romance thriller.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I want to sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, thank Tellwell Publishing for helping me self-publish my first book. I have always had a passion for writing, but never thought I would create my own book that is available worldwide. For my entire life, I viewed myself as simply Mark Teague from Dothan, AL, just a hard-working guy who loves coaching football. Since defeating cancer, I’m no longer that guy. I’m Mark Teague the author, speaker, double-cancer survivor, and now a name that is known throughout the world. I never imagined this in a million years. Thank you, Tellwell!