Meet an Author Tuesday

L.K. Mitchell is a fifth generation Alaskan who was born and raised on a small island in Southeast Alaska. She now lives in Sitka and Kodiak, Alaska. L.K. Mitchell is from a multi-cultural family. She is of Sáami, Suomalainen, and Irish descent (among others). She is adopted into her children's Raven clan, the T'akdéintaan, a Tlingit clan from SE Alaska. Her Tlingit name is Yéilk' Tláa, Mother-of-Cute-Little-Raven. L.K. Mitchell is a mother and grandmother and she writes middle-grade and young adult novels in addition to poetry and non-fiction. She has won several awards for her writing. She's also the co-director of a non-profit called Raven's Blanket. She facilitates writers groups for teens and adults.

Kids at school call Lance names like "brainiac" or "autie." But he's just a ten-year-old kid with Asperger's Syndrome. What would they call him if they knew he could grow wings on his back?

After returning from a vacation to the Tower of London, Lance is asked to join a clan of shape-shifting Ravens. The Ravens appoint Lance as "Keeper of Directions," which means he must learn how to decipher the prophetic "Book" that keeps the natural world in balance. But when he discovers the Ravens are in the midst of war preparations, he has second thoughts. What if he messes up and the Earth tilts on its axis and goes spinning off into space?

You can order the book from Amazon or Musa Publishing.

Q) What inspired you to write this story?
I was working on a poetry collection about Raven the trickster when I discovered there were ravens kept at the Tower of London. So I asked myself “What if the ravens weren’t ordinary ravens? After I asked that question I wrote thirteen pages of Keeper of Directions and no poems.

Q) How long did it take you to write?
I wrote the rough draft pretty quickly, within weeks, and then it took a couple years to revise.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
My favorite thing about writing is the resulting surprise when my imagination comes up with a great story. I love to tell stories. I come from a family of fishermen and fishermen are natural storytellers— “The fish was THIS big!”

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
My least favorite thing is to tackle the second draft. After that, revisions get easier, but it’s the second draft that always scares me. I think to myself that maybe it’s not really a novel and that I was kidding myself. Then I shake it off and get busy revising again.

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
I would be the Ravenmaster at the Tower of London so I could hang out with the ravens.

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
The oldest thing in my fridge is probably something bottled that someone else put in my fridge that has high fructose corn syrup in it. I don’t eat anything with that in it but sometimes a visiting relative sneaks a product in my fridge and I can’t seem to toss it out. But then again, maybe the oldest thing is the limp celery in the bottom of the vegetable bin. I have good intentions when I buy celery but it never gets turned into a nice snack stuffed with peanut butter.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
I’m working on a young adult novel about mermaids set in Alaska. I know—brrrrr! I’m also working on a collection of flash fiction stories for teens set in Alaska and outlining a sequel to Keeper of Directions, which is set among the islands in SE Alaska (I think there’s a theme here). I’m always writing either poetry or prose. It makes life interesting.

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