To begin, please introduce yourself to our audience. What is your name? Who are you? What books have you written? Etc.
My name is Briar Lee Mitchell. I am the author of the following books:
Big Ass Shark
The Pharaoh of Phoenix
No Further (screenplay optioned by Jeff Apple)
Game Design Essentials
The Whistlebrass Mysteries (with Jack Keely)
The Whistlebrass Horror
The Whistlebrass Viking
Next Train to Whistlebrass
Box of Bones
Darling Star Rider
Guardian at the Gate
The Tides were High
Frozen (with 37 sequel shorts)
The Princess and the Angel
The King of Ink (animated short, along with screenplay)
What first inspired you to become a writer? And what compels you to continue your career as an author?
I started to write ideas down for stories when I was a little kid, and enjoyed rearranging the sentences to make them sound more interesting. When I discovered my little ramblings at a later date, I liked the way they read, so I felt like I could take on a whole novel. I made the decision to write my first novel while I was sitting on a boat out in the middle of a bay in New Zealand. I was with an Air Force crew whom I had been flying with down to Antarctica with (we based in New Zealand between flights) and writer/director James Cameron.
He joined us on the trip to travel to Antarctica. I knew I had him as a captive audience while we crossed the bay, and told him I always wanted to write. He stopped me, told me to write something, send it to him and he would have someone at Lightstorm (his production company) read it and provide notes. So, I did, I wrote Apparitions based on a creepy hotel we visited while in New Zealand. I sent the book to Jim, and he was true to his word. One of his producers read the whole thing, cover to cover, sent back notes, and encouraged me to keep writing. So that is my story.
Jim also made arrangements for me to, not once, but twice, visit Digital Domain, where I sat behind VFX supervisor Kevin Mack and learned how to paint digitally. Kevin was working on the shots for Apollo 13 at the time, and I learned so much, it changed how I painted from then on. Kevin and I are still friends to this day, and I still admire his work a great deal. Kevin and Jim put me on different paths with my painting and my writing. I’m grateful to both of them.
What is the first book you read that made you fall in love with literature?
The Hunt for Red October. I read a lot, and have, since I was a young child. I have read thousands of stories and books. My dad gave me a copy of the book one day. He had just returned from a long trip, and was done with it, but as he handed it to me, he said it was a good story. There was something about the writing that so pulled me in, I felt like I was there. Remarkable story. Remarkable writer – Tom Clancy!
What do you think is the most difficult part of being a writer? What is the most rewarding part?
The difficult part is having to work through complex scenarios containing multiple characters and have the threads weave together at the end. The most rewarding part is when I write sometimes and I don’t know where it is coming from.
What is your most recent work? What can audiences expect from this book or series?
Big Ass Shark is not my most recent work, however, it is the most recently published and therefore, available to all. I originally titled it Ghostie. The story is about a supposedly extinct shark called a Megalodon (about 60 feet long) that appears off the coast and begins to tear things up. She is an odd, pale color and one scientist who is trying to catch up with her nicknames her Ghostie. The story is a fast paced, fun adventure that combines action with humor. I think any reader would enjoy it.
What do you think are the most common misconceptions about writers?
About writers? That we are interesting people…
Why did you decide to join Permuted Press?
They gave me a chance, and, it was how they did it. I was treated professionally from the start regarding payments, paperwork…all of it. And since that day I signed, in 2013, I feel like I am part of a family and that my primary contact, Michael, is some sort of long lost cousin I wish I had known a lot sooner.
What are your dreams for the future as a writer?
My hopes and dreams, are that, people like my writing enough to buy my books, and that, I never run out of ideas. I do love to write…it is a wonderful high.
Is there anything else that you would like for people to know about yourself and your work?
That people, who read my books, enjoy them as much as I like writing them.
Do you have any events coming up such as conventions or book signings?
In Bartow, Florida, there is a monthly SciFi night. My friend Trish is on the city council there and will be the host for it in February. I will be there with hopefully other Permuted authors who also live in Florida.
Where can people find more information about you?
Blurb: Millions of years ago, the deadly Megalodon shark, 3 times larger than our modern Great White Shark, roamed our seas, killing everything and anything in its path. Convinced it was extinct, scientists agreed the seas were safe from such a massive predator, until one surfaced off the coast of California, and our safety in or on the water was no long such a sure thing.
Bio: For the past 40 years I have been an illustrator and a writer. Being creative is in my blood. As an artist, I have exhibited in The Smithsonian, worked for Warner Bros. and Disney and been able to travel the world with the Air Force creating works of art for the National Archives. With them, I even went as far as McMurdo Base in the Antarctic.
I live in Florida now where I teach college (Game Art Design for the Art Institute) and do K-9 Search & Rescue with my amazing partners Bardy (blonde Lab) and Thor. My dogs show me every day the meaning of love and loyalty. They are the best people!
My goals are to continue to bring you intriguing and exciting stories to read, and, continue to help find the lost with my boys.