Interview with C T Mitchell, author of “Breaking Point”

A common misconception entwined with authors is that they are socially inept, how true is that?

Maybe for some but not for me. I love to mingle with people, discover their stories. Socializing provides great fiction fodder.

Do all authors have to be grammar Nazis?

Grammar is important and a good knowledge of it is handy but having an editor is even better.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

Anything Agatha Christie, especially if I could be Hercule Poirot

What makes this particular genre you are involved in so special?

Love creating gruesome crimes – they allow me to escape. I can enact horrible doings to people I dislike and put them into my books. Breaking Point is very much about my neighbours!

How important is research to you when writing a book?

My books are too technical. I write about the Tweed Coast in northern New South Wales Australia; an area I’ve visited for over 20 years. I know the area well.

When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?

When I saw a few country estates of writers. I could see myself living the lifestyle and I began to dream. I would say that consciously occurred about 20 years ago although I only started publishing my work in March 2015.

What inspires you to write?

Telling a good story that entertains my readers, knowing that I just mat affect the lives of others in a positive way. And receiving emails from readers keeps me going.

Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired?

I’ve tried writing at various times in a day but I find late afternoon (4.30pm+) works best for me. I’m awake then.

How hard was it to sit down and actually start writing something?

It’s difficult but when I stand up after 1000 words, it’s great! A plan helps though.

Do you aim to complete a set number of pages or words each day?

1000 is my daily goal. Sometimes I go over. I’m looking to increase that to 1250 or even 1500. As a part time writer I’d be happy with that.

Writers are often associated with loner tendencies;is there any truth to that?

Yep. I spend a lot of time on my own. I like the solitude. I love to be around people also but not always in their direct company. People watching provides great fiction fodder.

Do you think writers have a normal life like others?

What’s normal? Doing your writing while juggling family, possibly a full time job and balancing the finances seems pretty normal to me. Even James Patterson has some normality in his life albeit on a larger scale.

What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing?

Being consistent and believing you are good enough to publish. Shutting the mind demons out is a necessity

Have you ever experienced “Writer’s Block”? How long do they usually last?

No not really. I usually have the story set into my mind and on paper. If the words aren’t flowing I change my scenery, go for a walk, have a coffee, read a magazine or watch television. But I never try to become consciously unblocked. I give myself a rest.

Over the years, what would you say has improved significantly in your writing?

I’ve only been writing since March 2015. I started with short story novellas. My latest book Breaking Point is five times larger than my shorts and I’d say my best work so far. Yes I can see improvement ( but maybe my editor disagrees)

Do you proofread and edit your work on your own or pay someone to do it for you?

I pay somebody. I can’t see the errors myself. It’s all ‘perfect’ to me. I have 2 editors who look at each books. But this is only since Breaking Point.

If you had the choice to rewrite any of your books, which one would it be and why?

My first, Rejection. It’s my permafree and it showcases me to the world. You’ll either love it and read more of my books or bin me forever. I need to re-edit that book!

What is your take on the importance of a good cover and title?

Extremely important. Readers buy with their eyes….first. Like most things in life we are attracted visually eg a vista, a flower in a garden, a guy/girl across the room who becomes your lifelong partner.

How would you feel if no one showed up at your book signing?

It wouldn’t overly bother me. I don’t see book signings as my best opportunity to sell books. I leave that up to Amazon.

Any advice you would like to give to your younger self?

Start early and take action today. Time is the greatest asset and the one we abuse the most. Use it wisely.

Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?

Have a vision of where you want to be. Keep that vision in front of you at all times. Have a vision board in your office with reminders around your house. Refer to it often and keep telling yourself that you will get there. Do it daily!

What did you want to become when you were a kid?

An accountant. My Dad was an accountant and I wanted to be just like him. I never did become an accountant but my Dad was still proud of me.

How much of yourself do you put into your books?

Secretly – a fair bit. Detective Jack Creed the 50 something, good looking, Italian loafer wearing detective………I’m looking in the mirror…..

How realistic are your books?

They are fictional but I do make references to places that are real. I describe certain areas that would be familiar to local readers.

Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?

My books are light and simple. They have followed the ‘whodunit’ style to some degree. My latest is more of a thriller. The current book I’m writing will centre around the murder of a social media star and I’ll try to weave that world into my book.

It is often believed that almost all writers have had their hearts broken at some point in time, does that remain true for you as well?

I think most people have had their hearts broken especially in love. But I try not to dwell on the past but live in the present and look forward to the future.

Who is the most supportive of your writing in your family?

My wife and my kids. My daughter recently expressed her proudness of my writing on her social media page. Her followers loved it.

Do you have a day job other than being a writer? And do you like it?

I have been in the real estate industry for 30 years plus. I used to really love it but I’ve become more cynical about the industry and its participants. I’m moving forward now.

People believe that being a published author is glamorous, is that true?

It’s an accomplishment, that’s true. Glamour….hmmmm…. I guess sitting at the Oscars accepting a gong for providing the book that was adapted into a movie blockbuster…..yes that would be glamourous!

What is your view on co-authoring books; have you done any?

I haven’t done any to date but I would consider it. My biggest concern is getting involved in a partnership. I believe most end in tragedy. (marriage excluded)

What is the secret to becoming a bestselling author?

Writing AND marketing. You need to write a book first then market the hell out of it. Good writers are not always found and there’s plenty of poor writers who are filthy rich.

What is your motivation for writing more?

It’s my legacy to my family. Something that I hope will make them proud and will be a life long memory.