Complementing my daily blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the one hundred and twenty-seventh, is of multi-genre novelist J Griffith Mitchell.
After retiring from a twenty-five year career in designing award-winning custom lighting fixtures and light sculptures J. Griffith Mitchell moved to the Sonoma County wine country in Northern California, and turned to writing. His first novel, a sci-fi endeavor titled THE GENES CONSPIRACY, will never be published, since in the intervening years most of what he had proposed in the book has become reality.
He is not a “genre” writer, but instead follows his feelings as to what needs to be said. He formulates the beginning, middle, and end of a general theme and then lets his strong characters take over from there.
His currently published e-books are THE HOUSE OF INDISCRETIONS (a woman determined to keep her home, whatever the cost, through blackmail, prostitution, and converting it to a Prohibition-era speakeasy);
THE ROYLE BLUE BLOODS (a four-generation dysfunctional family empire which eventually destroys itself through greed, blackmail, and murder);
JEREMIAH BASCOMB – A HEART DIVIDED (runaway orphan at fifteen, business mogul by forty, and a secret kept);
DEATH IN EDENVILLE (a heinous crime, its unforeseen ripple effect, and retribution through another unspeakable crime);
and POLA—A BIOGRAPHICAL NOVEL (based on the life of Pola Negri—from poverty to ballerina to stage actress to movie superstar and princess, with a backdrop of two world wars).
And now from the author himself:
Never having written before retirement, I decided to put on paper some thoughts I had for a science fiction novel. When completed it was a short, not particularly well-written novel, and as stated in my biography, most of what it contained by now has actually transpired.
My next effort was THE HOUSE OF INDISCRETIONS, probably best described as a sort of family saga, with a very devious principal character who completely disregards convention and morality in her efforts to retain her mansion. Next to be published was another dysfunctional family saga, THE ROYLE BLUE BLOODS, where greed, among other despicable things, brings down four generations of a very wealthy family. This was followed by JEREMIAH BASCOMB—A HEART DIVIDED, again in the nature of a family saga, but concentrating most heavily on .the principal character, Jeremiah, and his adventures and accomplishments from runaway orphan at age fifteen to business mogul by age forty.
When I wrote DEATH IN EDENVILLE school violence was beginning to escalate, though there had as yet been no reported shootings, and, much as I didn’t want to write the book, I felt I had to–that the subject needed to be addressed and the book hopefully read. It was copyrighted in January 1999, though not yet published. The Columbine incident occurred the following April.
To take a break from more serious writing I did HOW WELL DID YOU KNOW STANLEY? with a lighthearted, rather zany, plot, and it was fun to write. My most recent publication is POLA—A BIOGRAPHICAL NOVEL, based on the fascinating life of Pola Negri—from poverty to ballerina to stage actress to movie superstar and princess, with a backdrop of two world wars. That also was a very enjoyable experience.
My next endeavor, now ready for publication, is THE HERITAGE TREE, an historical novel and extensive family saga. The currently completed novel covers America’s evolution and history from 1671 to the very beginning of World War I as perceived through the eyes of the generations of the women of the family, always questioning why their men have to go off to war.
Generally speaking, I most enjoy writing “family sagas,” allowing the characters to develop themselves as I go along. Usually I “write” chapters in my mind so that the concept for a chapter is nearly complete before I write the actual words. Although I have a general visualization of my main characters when I begin a project, as the book progresses they often go off on tangents I hadn’t planned on. Similarly, very often a presumed supporting or minor figure develops characteristics I hadn’t anticipated and assumes a much more important role in the novel. A number of people who have read my books have commented that they would make excellent movies or mini-series, but I have yet to convince any filmmakers of this.
Like all writers I occasionally have writer’s block, but overall, writing for me is very fluid and actually the most enjoyable thing I’ve ever done.
You can find more about Mr Griffith Mitchell and his writing via… http://jgriffithmitchellnovels.blogspot.co.uk, Facebook author page and Facebook novel page and his books can be found on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, Kobo Books, Google editions and iBooks.
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with poet John Lavan – the five hundred and twentieth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.
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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.