Friday, August 8, 2014

In Depth Interview with author Briar Lee Mitchell

Good evening Followers!

I am here tonight because just recently I had done an interview with the author of Permuted Press release "Big Ass Shark!" If you all are wondering on my stance on shark horror, I believe there just isn't enough of it to fulfill my craving and "Deep Blue Sea" can only take care of so much on its own, and you can only watch "Jaws" so many times. Anyone who really wants some great shark horror needs, and I mean NEEDS to check out this book. Here is a brief glimpse into her work:

MISTY WITLOW, an aspiring actress, heads to the beach near Los Angeles to enjoy the sun and videotape a greeting to send home to her mother. An enormous shark, pale white in color, surfaces in a deep channel near her. The massive beast, larger than a schoolbus, glides past and rams the rocky outcropping she is standing on.
 Tossed to the ground, she stares directly into a widening maw big enough to swallow a car.
 Terrorized, she scrambles back, away from the exposed jaws containing rows and rows of teeth bigger than her hand. Her camera continued to roll, recording the fish, as its jaws clamped down hard enough on the rocks to shake the ground under her, and, knock one of its teeth loose.
 She is the sole witness to a killing machine thought to have been extinct for millions of years - the Charcarocles Megalodon. Misty has proof of the encounter though, in her camera, and a tooth the shark lost when it hit the rock.
 Misty raises the alarm, however, getting people to believe her is a tough call. The shark has taken to deeper waters again, however, sticks close enough to the shore that it sinks ships and causes a number of deaths. So far, she is the only one who has seen it – the only one living that is.
 She finally convinces Park Ranger BARRY FITZSIMMONS who takes her to his friend, DR. LAWRENCE MC GILL, a marine biologist who nicknames the shark 'Ghostie' because of her odd pale coloring. He believes her and decides he must go in search of this amazing, living fossil from the past.
 The hunt for Ghostie is on - a race between the well-meaning, but under equipped scientists, an unscrupulous reporter, and big game hunters determined to bag the biggest prize of all.

Here is the interview below. I learned so much about her from what I was given and the information she shared about herself. I hope you guys learn just as much, and keep up the good work Briar!

Where are you from?

St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
My family and I moved to the US in the 60’s, and, I became an American citizen in 95, however, I have lived in 4 countries (certainly call the US home). Canada, United States, Bahamas, Mexico. I have been an artist and writer for 40 years, and have worked for Warner Bros., Johns Hopkins (I have a Master’s Degree in Medical and Biological Illustration).

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Loved making up stories when I was a kid. It was not until I was in my 30’s that I really wanted to explore actually writing novels and screenplays.

What inspired you to write your first book?
I was in New Zealand, with the Air Force. We were stationed there flying missions back and forth to McMurdo in Antarctica.  I am a civilian, and, travel with the Air Force to do research for paintings I create for the National Archives (I embedded a copy of the painting I did for this trip in the doc). James Cameron was also with us (this was just a couple of months before he made his dives on the Titanic). He and I were the only civilians traveling with this crew to McMurdo. We were on a boat in the middle of Cook Strait sailing from the south to the north island to go horseback riding for the day. I cornered Jim (LOL!!) and told him I always wanted to write. He cut me off, told me to write something then, and he would have someone read it. When we landed on the other side of the Strait, we stayed for a short time at this really odd looking hotel, high up on a bluff overlooking the strait. It was creepy/weird/fascinating and had been added on to many times over the 100 plus years it had been there. Some of the rooms were lower than others, and connected by these weird little hallways that only one person could travel through. Anyone with claustrophobia would steer clear of it. Anyway, the hotel seemed so gothic/weird that I used it as the backdrop for a novel I wrote called “Apparitions”, about a haunted hotel. Permuted Press recently purchased that from me, along with the sequel (Graymont), and those will be coming out later. However, to finish out my story, yes, Jim was true to his word. I wrote the novel in 3 weeks, sent it to him, and he had one of his producers read it. She wrote notes all over the pages, and clearly had read the entire book. On the final page she encouraged me to keep writing. So, I did!

How did you come up with the title?
The book I currently have out with Permuted Press is called “Big Ass Shark”. The original title of the book was “Ghostie” which is the nickname given to the HUGE shark in the story because she is a very pale color. The publishers at Permuted thought my title was a bit too paranormal and asked me to send over some other ideas. I sent a list of 10 new titles, including the Big Ass one. That one I thought was more of a joke, however, they liked the tongue-in-cheek quality, especially since they planned to release it 6 weeks before Sharknado 2 and Shark Week come out. Wacky title, however, I like it.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
The main character is confronted with having seen this HUGE shark, and then, having to go through some extraordinary steps to convince others she saw it, and, to help save people from becoming it’s lunch.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
No message…just a fast paced, fun romp in the ocean with SHARKS!!

What genre are your books?
Action/adventure/horror and some have paranormal aspects to them

What draws you to this genre?
Always loved to be scared and drawn into stories when I was a kid. I love the rollercoaster ride.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Two writers:  Stephen King and Chelsea Cain

What are your current projects?
These have all been acquired by Permuted:  The Whistlebrass Mysteries  -, Dead Life -, Frozen -, Spires (and it’s sequels) -, Apparitions and it’s sequel Graymont (both ghost stories).

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Yes. I would have made it longer.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Just the usual things that plague authors…getting stuck here and there, and, sometimes getting tired out after going through bursts of writing.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Stephen King – He can write about multiple characters, and, I can keep track of all of them without needing notes or reminders. He has a wonderful talent for carving out unique, memorable characters.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Do not pine away, WANTING to write. If you want to write, then get busy.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I love to hear from my readers!!

How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Visit my site, please!  
Here is my twitter handle:  @pinkyblee