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The Next Frontier | Mitchell Goldman

The Next Frontier | Mitchell Goldman

 |  Author Life

 

We are honoured to work with as many authors as we do at Pegasus Publishers – each with their own stories to tell. Their worlds are singular, their characters are relatable and their creativity truly knows no bounds.

 

This is Author Life, a feature on the Pegasus Blog, that opens the door to each of our author’s creative process and previous literary experience, offering you – the reader – an opportunity to learn a little about the mind behind the novel.

 

Meet Mitchell Goldman author of the science fiction book The Next Frontier.

 

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Could you tell us three interesting facts about yourself?


I grew up in New York City, then married my wife Sara and moved San Francisco at the age of 29.  I have lived in the Bay Area ever since.  I was a teacher, basketball coach, and athletic director for more than 40 years, teaching mostly mathematics, but also science and film.  Just before retirement, I began a blog, Miscellaneous Mitchims, and have written 2119 blogs since Inauguration Day in 2017.  The blogs can be found at: mitch993.wordpress.com or through my web-site, mitchell-goldman.com

 

 

In your own life, what influences and inspires you to write?


Writing makes me feel good.  I can express myself freely about what makes me happy, or sad, purge if necessary, and celebrate life and all its facets.

 


Which book or author has had the biggest impact on you, and why?


I first read Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s “Slaughterhouse Five” in 9th grade, far before I was ready for such a fantastical story, but it was as a freshman at Stony Brook University, still a naïve 17-years old, where I devoured every book or story I could find of his.  My favourite novel by Vonnegut is Sirens of Titan.  “I am a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all,” a quote by the lead character in the book, sits at the top of my blog.  Vonnegut taught me about Bokonism and humanism and increased my love of literature.

 


Can you tell me about the book?


I began the book during the pandemic as a short story in which two brothers were building a sandcastle from orange, crusty dirt on another planet.  However, each day led me in a new direction.  As a young child, I was enamoured by a TV show, The Adventures of Superman.  It wasn’t unusual in the early 60’s for kids to tie towels or blankets around their necks and pretend to fly.  I was particularly affected by the first episode in which Jor-El, Superman’s father, and his mother send him off as a baby in a rocket to Earth while the planet Krypton is imploding.  Could something like that happen on Earth?

 


What were your first experiences with writing?


I was intrigued by writing mysteries as a young child.  I read a lot of Encyclopedia Brown stories, Hardy Boy books, and Agatha Christie novels back then.  While teaching at Elizabeth Seeger School in lower Manhattan, I took two writing courses at the New School in 1984, one non-fiction writing, the second fiction writing.  It was then when I began the closing story from my first book, Living Among the Insanity.

 


In your opinion, what are the key ingredients for a good story or novel?

 

Interesting characters and plotlines are the key ingredients.  You want people to be concerned about the characters so they’ll want to know what happens to them.  At the same time, you want to be honest with your readers without making them mad at you.  Those ingredients can be tricky sometimes.

 


How long should an author spend on their craft each day?


You want to be as consistent as possible, but for me, some days I can’t stop writing, other days I can’t start.  I tend to write my blogs in the morning, then put a couple of hours on my book in the afternoon about three to four days per week.

 


What was the most challenging part of writing this book, and what did you learn from writing it?


The most challenging part for me were the re-writes.  Each time I went through the book, I made several changes.  I felt like I could re-write the book forever.  Also, writing a book requires tremendous patience, not always a strength of mine.  It has taken two and a half years to get to this day, but it took me thirty years to publish my first book.


 

What common pitfalls should aspiring writers avoid?


For me, it’s self-indulgence.  Sometimes I get an idea and I need to get it into the book, even if it feels forced.  Also, making excuses not to write.  It’s so easy to let life get in the way.

 


What writing advice would you offer to your younger self?

 

Be patient and never give up.

 

 

The Next Frontier is available now in paperback.


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