Interview with Guest Author Mitch Lavender – Author of ‘Find My Baby’

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Who is Mitch Lavender?

Mitch Lavender is an accomplished author of short stories. He has worked for Microsoft Corporation for over 18 years, and is the father of a son, adopted from Ukraine in 2001. With this background, it makes sense that his first, published full-length novel would be a high-stakes thriller interlaced with computer espionage, set with an American couple, attempting to do an international adoption.

What’s the elevator pitch for Find My Baby?

Zachary and Lucy Foxborne have everything they want except a child. As they begin navigating the legal and bureaucratic maze of international adoption from Ukraine, they could not imagine their newly adopted child would be held for ransom by a brilliant and demented hacker, bent on revenge and even darker motives.  Finding their baby could cost them everything.

What inspired you to write Find My Baby?

In 1999-2001, my wife and I were trying to have a baby and it wasn’t working out. We eventually decided to go the adoption route, adopting our son in the Ukraine. It is the single greatest thing I have ever done. Having told the story many times to friends and relatives, I knew it had the bones for a novel.

Of course, that is only one of the storylines in Find My Baby, and while fictionalized, has many elements that are true to life.

How did you start Find My Baby? Can you tell is a little about your writing process?

In 2010, during Nanowrimo, I finally attempted to write the story, doing so without an outline. While I wrote 50,000 words in November, completing Nanowrimo, the story was completely unusable – a confusing story that meandered and explored dead-ends. In 2011, I rewrote it from scratch, using an outline this time, during the 3-Day Novel Contest. When I was done, I had 41k words and a decent first draft. I revised the story and got it professionally edited. Over the next two years, I dabbled with more revisions and partial rewrites in an attempt to please potential publishers. Now, in 2014, the story is complete and exactly what I intended.

FindMyBaby-promo2

What is your favorite part of Find My Baby?

Since part of the story is based on my own life experience, you would think that would be my favorite part, but it isn’t. I like it well enough, but my favorite part is the antagonist character, Ratmir – a tragically volatile character, and the poisoned relationship he has with his twin brother. Writing the scenes where Ratmir spins up into one of his psychotic episodes – that was my favorite part.

What is the hardest part of writing?

Editing. That’s the hardest part. Thinking up the stories I write is easy, even fun, and I love doing the first draft because I do not have any expectation of myself that it’s going to be good at that point. Making it good comes later. During the first draft, I can explore new ideas and pants-out some storylines. It’s creative and free and fun. When you are editing, it is all about restraint. It’s about cutting away the slag and reforming the scenes to tell a cohesive story. Simply, it is a lot of work.

Is there anything you wish was different about Find My Baby?

The timing. Once the release date was decided and things were in motion, the political situation in the Ukraine fell apart. Being that my story is about a couple, adopting from Ukraine, I would have liked to include the events of the current Ukrainian situation into account, but that would mean a significant rewrite, and I have no idea what other developments might occur during that time. I have to resign myself to the fact that it is a novel, not the daily news, and it can’t be completely current.

Who are your favorite authors? What are your favorite books?

Ray Bradbury, Ernest Hemingway, Chuck Palahniuk and Steven King are a few of my favorites. I also like Hugh Howey, who wrote Wool, and I have recently been reading 14 by Peter Clines. My favorite book is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

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If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Ernest Hemingway, without a doubt. I want to see if he is as intense in person as his public personae would indicate. I would love to talk with him about his life and his writing, and I think I wouldn’t have to say much – just listen.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?

I believe that it takes a lot of practice to become great at anything. Brandon Sanderson said that he wrote over a million words before his writing was the caliber that it attracted a publishing contract, so write a lot. Write every day, if you can. Read a lot and don’t be afraid to read books outside of your favorite genres. Read everything. Most of all, don’t give up. Ray Bradbury said, “You fail only if you stop writing.”

Find My Baby blurb

Zachary and Lucy Foxborne have everything they want except a child. As they begin navigating the legal and bureaucratic maze of international adoption from Ukraine, they could not imagine their newly adopted child would be held for ransom by a brilliant and demented hacker, bent on revenge and even darker motives.  Finding their baby could cost them everything.

Find My Baby follows Zachary and Lucy Foxborn’s struggle through the awkwardness and disappointment of fertility treatments and adoption becomes a more and more appealing option. Once they start down the international adoption path and are in Ukraine, things start to go enigmatically wrong for them. Zachary is an antivirus specialist and leader in his field, making him a prime target for cyber-terrorists, and one such a hacker has set his sights on Zachary, intent on manipulating him into nefarious circumstances.

And then there is this ancient manuscript that no one has been able to interpret- what secrets does it hold?

Find My Baby has twists you won’t see coming and is an adventure you won’t want to miss.

Where can interested readers find out more about Find my Baby and your other work?

My writing, projects and musings can be found at Life in Sixty-Four Square Feet. I post everything from short stories to desktop wallpapers, themed with motivational quotes from famous authors.

You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter and I will gladly follow you back.

Find me and my books at:

Barnes and Noble
Amazon:

UKUSACanadaAustralia

 

3 thoughts on “Interview with Guest Author Mitch Lavender – Author of ‘Find My Baby’

  1. Interesting premise to your book, Mitch. It makes for a more interesting story when you write about what you know. I say that about other authors’ work but not my own. Especially since my first novel is a crime/mystery/psychological thriller about a man who is a serial killer. This is not something I know about, LOL!

    I followed you on FB and Twitter. Hope you will follow back. Nice to meet you.

    Thanks for sharing, Chris. I always enjoy your posts! Hope all is well with you, my ape friend! xo

    Like

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