The Thirteenth Iron Law started to develop around 1990. The author started writing around then and says that to this day he does not understand why except that moving a pen on paper was fulfilling. Mark wrote The Thirteenth Iron Law in order of himself first, family second, the larger community third and beyond. It was not until the later stages that Mark could envision the book in such an order. Mark views The Thirteenth Iron Law as a testimony to his particular community which is the community of those who deal with mental illness as he does. He says, If life is about to swallow you grab it by the throat and never give up.