Interview with JC Mitchell

What's the story behind your latest book?
The Hat Club was inspired by my interest in both the potential of 3D printing and the often scary possibilities suggested by the Internet of Things. The main settings and characters were inspired by my own experiences, first as a programmer working for a large aerospace corporation in Los Angeles and more recently as a resident of the city of Sheffield. As the world is becoming a more and more depressing place, I try to incorporate satire, escape, and new possibilities in my fiction, which I hope I've done in The Hat Club.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing as soon as I could read, which was at the age of 4. My initial efforts were all works of fiction, mostly short stories about cats, although there was one longer feline saga that I worked on for a few weeks. Needless to say I've branched out a bit.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I can't recall the name, but I know it was a story about a cat.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a brand new suburban neighbourhood in Long Beach, California. It was disconnected from the city and the real world which I spent a lot of time exploring as soon as I got my driver's licence. But as a wheel-less child I spent a lot of my time in my bedroom writing and drawing and playing instruments.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favourite author currently is Haruki Murakami, although I've also been reading Philip Roth and Charles Bukowski. My all-time favourite author is Dostoyevsky, and I'm also fond of Franz Kafka, Henry Miller, and Kobo Abe. My tastes are constantly changing, so listing my favourite this-or-that becomes rather irrelevant.
Describe your desk
My desk at this moment is the coffee table in the living room, and my main writing tablet is my laptop. My coffee table is also home to physical writing implements, sketch pads, magazines, earphones, screen wipes, and various oddments. My other desk is nonconcrete and mobile, as I do a lot of my writing on the Cloud on my iPhone while riding the bus to and from work.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Like many poor souls I have a day job. When I'm not slogging away at my day job or writing, I like to walk, listen to music, cartoon, occasionally play my mandolin, and socialise. As I write about good coffee and cask and craft ales on my website, I spend some of my free time actively researching these two subjects.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The thought of breakfast and coffee.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I like my iPhone 5c.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Getting it down, reading it back, and massaging it until it squeaks.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on a new novel with two parallel stories. One involves a woman who works in a university library five years in the future, when everything has become completely automated and apps control everything. The other story takes place during the current time when two men step onto Los Angeles's Red Line metro and pass through a wormhole.

The novel is still in the planning stages. In the meantime I continue to write my monthly web columns about coffeehouses and pubs.
Published 2018-02-08.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Hat Club
Price: $4.99 $2.50 USD. (50% off!) Words: 63,300. Language: English. Published: February 26, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » High tech
The Evolvit Smart 3D Printer/Scanner/Copier can scan and print 3-dimensional objects in a variety of materials including food and human cells, storing the resulting files on the AtomCloud. But what happens when three employees try scanning a drawing of a 4-dimensional object? The worldwide network of Evolvits start to take their revenge in unexpected ways.
A Little Chaos Between Friends
Price: $4.99 $2.50 USD. (50% off!) Words: 87,430. Language: English. Published: March 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
It’s another tropical morning in Illinois. Australia lies under glacial floodwaters, the computer work force is predominantly canine, and the nation’s first simian President has just been assassinated. So what does any of this have to do with the disheveled man Alex Martell finds sleeping under his lilac bush? Quite a bit, it seems.
It's Your Round! A Survival Guide for the American Anglophile
Price: $4.99 $2.50 USD. (50% off!) Words: 49,950. Language: English. Published: January 25, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Travel - Reference, Nonfiction » Travel » Phrasebooks
This book is a practical guide for American Anglophiles who want to spend some time in Britain understanding the natives while not provoking gales of laughter and abuse in the process. The goal is to give the reader a basic working knowledge of British language and customs from an American point of view.
Adventures in Sandwichland
Price: $4.99 $2.50 USD. (50% off!) Words: 8,800. Language: English. Published: March 22, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Methods / Cookery for One
This collection of recipes is full of suggestions for creating exciting sandwich combinations, enabling the reader to look forward to their packed lunch while saving money.