In the Spotlight feature kicked off in April 2015 and is an opportunity for authors, editors and publishers (basically anyone in the book industry (yes, even bloggers!)) to connect with fans. There is an option to do an interview, guest post, feature a book sale or book release or a cover reveal. Best of all, it’s free! All you need to do is click on the image to reserve your spot!
Now on with the show!
In the Spotlight with Mitch Davies
Welcome to Second Run Reviews, Mitch! Thank you for being In the Spotlight. I appreciate you stopping by and answering a few questions. So let’s get things started.
In a tweet (140 characters or less), tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m crazy for Japan. I go often and enjoy the history, culture, food and sumo. I’ve always liked big cities so Tokyo is a real pleasure for me.
Tokyo seems like an amazing place! I would love to visit Japan. The photo bug in me wants to go to take pictures of the cherry blossoms.
Please tell a bit about your journey to becoming a published author. What’s been the best things about it and the worst?
I completed my first novel around the time that self-publishing was gaining some respect. I could see that the publishing industry needed to change but I wasn’t sure self-publishing at that time was the answer so I waited. I wrote another novel and checked in with the publishing process again and felt it was right to self-publish at that time.
The worst part was the rejection and knowing that many of the rejections were because people didn’t even read your manuscript. Now I have a publisher for all my books yet it’s not a traditional publisher. I enjoy publishing as a team yet retaining all the creative control on how my work is presented to the public.
It has been fun as a reader to watch the self-publishing and small press world grow and expand. There are so many options for authors and readers. It can be overwhelming and exciting at the same time!
Tell us a bit about your latest release. What inspired you to write it? Why should fans of Second Run Reviews consider reading it.
My latest release is Stolen Breeze. It’s based on something that happened to a man I worked with two decades ago. He lived in a landlocked province in Canada, answered a newspaper ad for sailors and signed on to crew a yacht for a year for no pay. Why did he do that? The book is a novelized version of his adventure. It has some twists and turns, it’s a little dark and it’s got a lot of fun. My goal was to make the book entertaining and readers seem to think it is.
That sounds like quite an adventure! I can’t imagine doing something like that at all. The bravery and courage…whoa!
What types of books do you enjoy reading the most? What three books to you find yourself recommending to your fans over and over?
I like character driven books. I want to see how a character reacts to a situation. If you make the reader care about your characters then they’ll likely want to stick around to the end to see what happens to them.
I’ve been recommending, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, to people lately. Great writing about people under the stress of combat but while they’re at a football game. I always recommend, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, to readers. It’s long and it deals with heavy themes but it stays with you. Also, I recently read, Purity, by Johnathan Franzen. I’ve enjoyed all of his books.
Interesting choices, Mitch. I’ll have to do some research on GoodReads to learn more!
What is your current obsession? Any secret obsessions you would like to share?
I always like to cook but right now I’m immersed in it. I’m helping my friend in his restaurant in Tokyo. He had some personnel changes and now I’m his cook. I’m cooking duck, fish, pasta and risotto, you name it. I didn’t think you could get so self-conscious over how you place food on a plate.
Sounds like a challenge and adventure similar to that of the character in your book. It sounds like you are having fun.
What is one question you wish I would have asked, that I haven’t?
Is it worth it to write a novel?
I don’t think anyone should answer this question with a ‘No’. If you wrote a book to make money and you did then it was more than worth it for you. If you didn’t make money, well at least you tried and you have something to show for it. Maybe only your mother thinks it’s great but you have something you created. At one point after completing my second novel with no hope of publishing I thought the two books would belong to me alone. I decided I was fine with that. It’s worth it to write a novel.
I’m glad to hear that writing your novels has been worth it, Mitch.
Any last thoughts or wise words you want to pass along?
There is nothing more important to a writer than a good editor. The good ones bring out the best of your writing.
Excellent point, Mitch, and I agree, editing can be the difference between a good book and a bad one.
Thank you for being In the Spotlight, Mitch. I hope you’ll come back soon and let us know more about your cooking adventures in Tokyo especially if it inspires another novel. Good luck with whatever comes next for you.
Synopsis: If you don’t know you’re committing a crime, are you innocent?
All Ben Beck wants is to start over with a new opportunity. So when a millionaire business man offers him a position as a crew member on his yacht, Ben decides to throw himself in the middle of the ocean with a confusing group of strangers. So what if he’s never sailed before, the job opportunities in his hometown didn’t offer Hawaii and Tahiti. How could he pass up an offer that did? Sailing to exotic locales as a crew member of the luxury yacht, Aurawind, and catering to rich clients willing to pay for a taste of Polynesia, sounded like a dream job, an unexpected windfall experience. The gleam of sailing to the sun of the southern seas on a shining new yacht blinds his view of what lies ahead. Not all the members of the operation carry the same glossy hope for the venture.
The captain thinks Ben is going to be too much to handle; the other sailor in the crew gives Ben the creeps. After a confusing start to the journey, loaded with misinformation, Ben can’t help but wonder if the other members of his crew are friends or enemies. Maybe it’s time Ben had second thoughts. No level of smooth sailing could prepare him for being attacked or having a gun pointed in his direction. From the idyllic life of charter sailing and Polynesian island hopping, to a life and death struggle on a tilting yacht deck at night, Ben navigates in hopes of salvaging his dream. Will the crew, the sea, or the wind shred Ben’s canvas?