D.J. Mitchell

Biography

I’m a wanderer. I grew up in a small town in New Hampshire, and moved to Los Angeles when I was nineteen. In 1993, I volunteered in Sri Lanka and Thailand for 18 months, and made several more trips over the years. Eventually, I joined a team that worked to end the Sri Lanka civil war, and helped bring about a cease-fire there.

In 2004, I settled in rural southern Utah, where I raised goats and made cheese for eight years. In 2014, I became a father, and there weren’t enough hours in the day for cheesemaking anymore.

In 2016, I moved with my family to Harrisonburg, VA, so I could attend Eastern Mennonite Seminary.

I’ve loved writing since I was a child. I began my first novel at age thirty, and it’s not finished yet. My first published novel, Ordinary World, came out in 2012 and received great reviews. Now that I’m otherwise unemployed, writing allows me to work while still having the flexibility to be a good father.

Smashwords Interview

When did you first start writing?
I've been writing all my life. My great-aunt loves to show me a poem I wrote for her in the third grade. Over the years, I had several articles published in magazines. For a while, I made a living writing marketing materials for salespeople.

I started my first novel in 1990, at age 30. It's still not finished, though I think I may be ready to finish it this year.

Ordinary World was my first published novel. It took me four years to write, and I was quite surprised at how popular it was.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in small towns in New Hampshire. My high school had fewer than 600 students from eight towns, one of which still had a one-room school house. Everyone had guns, mostly for hunting and pleasure, but there hadn't been a murder in decades. When I was a kid, during the winter of 1967, we got so much snow that our roof cracked, and our neighbors came over at 3 am to help my dad shovel it off. Even though most of us no longer had barns, the concept of a "barn raising" was part of our culture. Historically, no community could survive unless everyone helped each other.

Later, when I moved to Los Angeles, I learned how rare this community spirit is, and how lucky we were to live in a place where neighbors took care of each other. Many of my stories reflect this difference between rural and urban America. Yet I also try to portray the hope that community values can triumph over individual values.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find D.J. Mitchell online


Where to buy in print


Books

This Thing of Darkness (Second Edition)
Series: Sam Winslow, Peacemaker, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 34,440. Language: English. Published: August 14, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Travel, Fiction » Adventure » War & military
After an unexpected tragedy, Sam Winslow leaves his accounting job in Los Angeles to work for peace in Sri Lanka. His quest to understand the war leads him to the jungles of Sri Lanka's no man's land. But all is not as it seems, and no one wants the truth known. Sam's greatest challenge lies ahead as exploding violence threatens his life and his sanity.
Domino Theory
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 73,850. Language: American English. Published: May 2, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
Danny McCabe wakes up next to a dead man. Danny may be an addict, but he's pretty sure he's not a murderer. Now he must discover whether he's been framed and why, while avoiding the police and two hit men. And the woman helping him may not be what she seems. In this maze of drugs and violence, he trusts no one to guide him, not even his own mind!
Shadow of a Dream
Series: Sam Winslow, Peacemaker, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 82,200. Language: English. Published: August 29, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » General
Sam Winslow retired from peacemaking. Then a midnight phone call brings him back to a war-torn country. In the nation of Vedanta, a few government officials want peace, and Sam must carry a secret peace initiative to the rebel leader. But powerful enemies want to ensure his mission fails. As events spiral out of control, Sam refuses to give up. But to achieve his goals, he must first stay alive.
Conversations with the Moon
Price: Free! Words: 1,890. Language: English. Published: August 29, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Short stories
Dreams of a lost love intrude into a comfortable suburban life. Yet sometimes dream and reality are difficult to distinguish.

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