Social Impact Heroes: Why & How Mark M Bello Is Helping To Change Our World

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Set a good example for others by being a good citizen yourself. Love is the enemy of hate. Turn away from bigotry and prejudice. Try to be tolerant and inclusive. “Justice, Justice, Shalt Thou Pursue” and “Teach them diligently onto thy children” can be more than just Old Testament phrases; they can be a way of life, a way forward.

As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mark M. Bello.

Mark M. Bello is an attorney and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Series novels, featuring super-trial lawyer Zachary Blake handling “ripped from the headlines” legal and political issues of the day. In addition to his 8-book legal thriller series, Mark is a 45 year veteran of the legal wars, the host of the Justice Counts podcast, and a feature writer for numerous online newspapers. His latest novel, “The Final Steps, a Harbor Springs Cozy Legal Mystery is scheduled for a Spring 2023 release.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path and point in your life?

Absolutely. When I was a young lawyer, a client referred a clergy child abuse case. Two teenaged boys had been sexually abused by their parish priest. I thought the hierarchy would do the right thing. Was I wrong! They denied knowing that this priest was a sexual predator and covered up his past indiscretions. They hid documents and witnesses and lied about prior incidents. After I exposed the lies and won the David v Goliath battle, I promised myself I would one day write a book about the experience. Life got in the way, but over 30 years later, I wrote my first novel, Betrayal of Faith.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?

I believe I just did. While I had many interesting cases and lots of success in my career, that case against the church was the highlight.

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I can’t recall a funny mistake, but I certainly made my share. And, yes, I learned from every one of them. Showing up for court on the wrong day, at the wrong time, or for the wrong case, come to mind.

Can you describe how you or your organization is making a significant social impact?

I write social justice novels. Most of them are based on actual events that happened here in America. My books shine a bright light on injustice and how the legal system, both criminal and civil, might deal with those issues, right wrongs, punish the perpetrators, and compensate the victims.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

I’ve told the story of the clergy sexual abuse case, perhaps my greatest accomplishment. I’ve represented many “Davids” against a host of “Goliaths.” Getting justice for individuals in the civil justice system is very rewarding — while financial issues tend to cause an imbalance, at the end of the day, a single trial lawyer can sometimes take down some of the largest institutional defendants, regardless of how much money it spends to avoid consequences.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

  1. Education: My father used to say that education was the ticket to success. Social justice isn’t easy. Everyone is seeking a leg up, competing with each other. But we can pay attention, study the issues, learn about the plight of others, and do what we can do to help.
  2. Get involved: Become an advocate for change. Whether that involves writing letters or op eds, giving speeches, demonstrating, writing blogs, organizing protests, running for office, hosting or guesting on a podcast, radio, or television show, we can make a difference if we make the effort.
  3. Set a good example for others by being a good citizen yourself. Love is the enemy of hate. Turn away from bigotry and prejudice. Try to be tolerant and inclusive. “Justice, Justice, Shalt Thou Pursue” and “Teach them diligently onto thy children” can be more than just Old Testament phrases; they can be a way of life, a way forward.

Are you working on any new or exciting projects now? How do you think this might help people?

I am working on a new Zachary Blake novel that deals with the scourge of anti-Semitism in America. I am also finishing my second children’s book about the dangers of distracted driving, the objective being to educate kids before they become addicted to cell phones and other devices. I’m about to release my first cozy mystery. There is a lot going on.

What you are doing is not easy. What inspires you to keep moving forward?

These are my so-called golden years. I might have ridden off into the sunset, relaxed at the pool, hit the golf course, but I discovered writing social justice and I am enjoying myself. The case of my life inspired my first novel. The 2016 election inspired my second, Betrayal of Justice. Once I realized I could write compelling fiction based on real-life events, I discovered that there was no shortage of real-life events to write about. I have no intention of stopping. Hopefully, people will find my work, enjoy my work, and forge their own paths toward making this a better world.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Take school more seriously
  2. Find a comfortable mix between work and leisure time. “All work and no play” is a real thing — it’s dangerous; find balance in your life.
  3. Infants and toddlers will one day become teenagers. Parents beware!
  4. Buy Amazon stock in 1997 (the stock price was .0802 on 6/12/97) or Buy Apple in 2003 (the stock price was $.1997 on 4/17/2003)
  5. Mind your money — save for retirement when your young, don’t wait until your older

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Remember those old Coexist bumper stickers? I’d like to see a movement where Americans from all walks of life, all races, creeds, colors, and religions took bold steps to learn more about each other, learn that we are in this together, stronger together, and a more perfect union when we all get along. I’d like to live to see the day where we celebrate our differences rather than fight over them.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Justice, Justice Shalt thou Pursue.” A painting with these words has hung in my office for over 40 years. It defines my life’s work as a lawyer before and as an author today.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

President Joe Biden. He is the POTUS, yet he seems like someone any citizen could sit down with, have a beer or a Coke, and shoot the breeze. (Honorable mention: President Barak Obama — Michelle would be a wonderful substitute)

How can our readers further follow your work online?

My books may be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple and/or any online bookseller. You may also find them on my website at When you go there, be sure to register for my social justice newsletter and grab a free download of my Holocaust era novella, the prequel to the Zachary Blake legal thriller series.

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

Social Impact Heroes: Why & How Mark M Bello Is Helping To Change Our World was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.