# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
I am Carl H. Mitchell, author of two futuristic thriller novels: Sundown (Derailing Dystopia — Book 1) (First in a trilogy) Friendship City: Hanging By a Thread (Second in a trilogy)
# What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?
I constructed the plot outlines for the trilogy in 2012. The first two novels were in heavy detail: characters, world environment, and the specific areas of conflict with a leader of a murderous organization. With the third in the trilogy I was less specific, but did work up an area of conflict. It turned out that all three areas of conflict appeared in the real world between the publication of the first and second novels. These areas are a severe oil shortage in the first novel and the introduction of a man-made killer plague in the second. The third novel presents a global financial meltdown.
# What inspires/inspired your creativity?
I am attracted to science Fiction and mystery/thriller novels.
# How do you deal with creative block?
I start by establishing a broad outline, then a rough chapter-by-chapter outline. When confronted with creative block, the outlines provide super help.
# What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
Besides excessive use of adverbs and passive voice, I feel a major mistake is not hooking the reader at the end of each chapter.
# Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
Check other book covers in the same genre. Finding good sellers, check the predominate color of covers and how people or creatures are depicted. Work up your draft cover while trying to fit in but striving to have it stand out. If not experienced, contact a cover design firm for existing cover templates or have one designed. For fiction titles, they should be short and suggest some concept in the plot.
# How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
Even negative reviews and feedback can help improve writing. I check if there is a good basis for the review and, if so, jot down what not to do next time.
# How has your creation process improved over time?
In the process of writing my trilogy, I find more plot avenues open up for the story and for the characters
# What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
*Best ———— Finding a super editor *Worst ———- Zero positive responses from inquiries to 60+ agents *Surprise #1 — Reading how Vince Flynn had a similar start *Surprise #2 — Having Covenant Books contact me
# Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
I balance both. I keep in mind that the readers should be entertained and teased to continue reading. I feel it satisfying when I develop a plot or sub-plot that challenges the readers.
# What role do emotions play in creativity?
I try to understand emotion in the characters when constructing a novel. Once started, I try to be as objective as possible, paying attention to character interactions, their surroundings, and laying out the path to the story’s satisfied conclusion.
# Do you have any creativity tricks?
I used the internet to gain details of areas through which my protagonists would travel. I also used it to look inside churches and stock exchanges where I planned for confrontation and action to take place.
# What are your plans for future books?
I plan to start, within a week or two, the third book in my planned trilogy. I have already mentally planned one of the secondary characters to branch out into their own series of novels.
# Tell us some quirky facts about yourself.
I wrote my first story (2 typed pages) at the age of eight. As I grew up I continued to write the occasional piece of fiction, but my trying to maintain a creditable grade average in grade-and-high schools took precedence. Same for college. After I got married, almost 60 years ago, children soon arrived. Diaper changes and someone else’s grade school and college progress took center stage. As I mentioned earlier, I started laying out the plot for my trilogy in 2012 when there were no more diapers anywhere in the house.