Four Interview Questions with Author Todd Mitchell

November 13, 2021

Todd Mitchell is coming to The Wandering Jellyfish Bookshop Author Signing Fair from 12-1 on November 27th! He is the author of numerous books including The Traitor King, The Last Panther, and The Namer of Spirits, released on October 5th from Owl Hollow Press. Get to know him with these fun interview questions, check out his website, and stop by the store to say hi and snag a copy of his books!

‍1. What got you into writing and what genres inspired you in your early writing career?

As a kid, I struggled with dyslexia and fell way behind my peers in learning to read and write. It wasn't until my 4th and 5th grade teachers started to read aloud complex middle grade books to us, like Tuck Everlasting and A Bridge to Terabithia, that I started to get interested in doing the hard work of learning to read. Since middle grade books changed my life, I suppose it makes sense that decades later I felt called to write middle grade fiction.

2. What was the greatest challenge you dealt with while writing your book and what advice would you give to young writers?

In my experience, writing is one of the most rewarding activities a person can do. But it's also one of the most challenging. It's no secret that the creative path is full of difficulties and setbacks. One thing I've learned, though, is that perseverance matters more than talent. And the best way to persevere is to focus on loving the process, even the hard stuff. Loving the process is easy advice to give, but it's a challenging thing to do. Fortunately, if you're interested in learning about enhancing your relationship with creativity while enjoying the creative process more, I wrote a book on the subject (and it just came out with Owl Hollow Press this month). It's called Breakthrough: How to Overcome Doubt, Fear, and Resistance to Be Your Ultimate Creative Self.

3. What purpose do you find in your writing? In other words, why do you write?

Stories keep knocking on my door. Sometimes I let them in and they like to stay for a while, until I give them a book to inhabit so that they can go out into the world on their own.  

4. What is the question you wish people would ask during interviews?"

How do you deal with failure?" Also, "Why is that sketchy looking unicorn following you around?"


Favorite procrastination snack and/or activity?

Pullups and dark chocolate. In that order.

Would you rather write in a secluded lighthouse or in a cabin in the woods?

Lighthouse. 100%. I'm in love with the ocean. (And yet, I live in Colorado. We keep trying to make the long-distance thing work. I write her letters. She rarely writes back, but she haunts my dreams).

Book or movie you could read or watch repeatedly?

Book: The Name of the Wind

Movie/Show: Donnie Darko. Avatar the Last Airbender (the series, not the movie). Or any episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Pen, pencil, typewriter, or computer?

Learning to write using a keyboard helped me overcome my dyslexia. So, computer. I can't even read my own handwriting.

What’s your favorite One-True-Pairing (favorite fictional romantic relationship)?

In The Golden Compass there's a brief story that gets mentioned about a sailor who loved the ocean so much that when his daemon took on a permanent form, it became a dolphin. Which meant that he could never take more than a dozen steps from the ocean, because to be apart from one's daemon causes immense pain. I've often thought about that character, and how his soul inhabits a different realm from his body.