G Mitchell Baker

Published on: July 2013
G Mitchell Baker is an author from Chicago. He loves supporting other authors and he is always encouraging. One of the most energetic and humble authors ever.
mitchell baker,author
How many books have you authored so far?

Hi there! Books I have authored and published include five novels, with two now under contract and either placed on to-be-published lists or are now scheduled for release. The five novels represent published works in the genre of contemporary fiction, paranormal mystery, young adult and science fiction.

Brilliant. What made you choose "writing" as your profession?

In the midst of practicing law, I had an urge to follow my father's steps. He wanted to write, but didn't have the opportunity to fulfill his dream. I started writing to produce a novel in his memory when on sabbatical, loved it and never stopped. I wrote for about fifteen years in private, mornings, evenings... and it wasn't until a few years ago I decided to explore the public domain and the prospects of publishing the works developed over the years. I guess writing came to me as a gift, and my passion for creating and storytelling has only grown and flourished. Now that I no longer practice, I am really enjoying the pleasure of writing and the demands of working with publishers and their teams to bring my work to the public, for the enjoyment of the public.

Inspiring indeed! What are the problems a professional writer faces?

Participating in the life of "writing" is like life itself ... naturally. There are great experiences and there are 'problems' as one would experience in any station of living life to its fullest. I am fortunate in that I seem to have a great resource for creating original and interesting ideas, concepts and stories. I am also fortunate to have wonderful, accomplished and very professional teams to work with and who are encouraging as well. However, this was not always the case. As a professional writer I now know about, and appreciate how incredibly important it is to work with good people and how good things come from that. If there is a 'problem' it usually emanates from either myself, or someone around me on a project who is not committed to the best results possible...which is why I appreciate the super people I work with, and the incredible context for producing novels... I also have to add that I am so fortunate to be a peer for others, and to have peers who are the most outstanding friends and professional cohorts. I am truly fortunate and the problems seem to fade away when all this comes together and continues in positive directions.

Lovely. How important it is to have a mentor? Do you have one?

I'd have to say I do not have a 'mentor' per se. In fact, I participate in writing groups and socialize with other writers who are starting out, not published etc. I often try offering myself up in the role of a 'mentor' to encourage- given my experience, perhaps unique- in some respects. However, where I may be somewhat established in the publishing world, I don't look at it like a responsibility, but I really enjoy sharing insight. For example, last night I met two writers, one of whom was 'stuck' and depressed, while the other continues to struggle with a difficult chapter. After a couple of beers and a wonderful conversation, I was glad to see them enjoying the idea of writing again - thinking of things in new ways, moving forward in their desire to write and, willing to take on the craft and move onto completion and perhaps better writing as well. For me that is a big source of my enthusiasm for writing. Getting out of the (writer's) cave once-in-a-while and sharing, interviewing other authors and friends (for my Blog) and interacting. All boats rise with a strong tide. If I can be part of a strong tide in the writing community I, and hopefully others, can be better for it. I guess to answer your question, I believe in mentorship, that it is important, and for all to recognize the importance of the role in the writing community indeed allows for a strong writing community to evolve and maintain.

Splendid.. You have interviewed so many authors so far. What is that one quality that you found common in all the authors?

I know this is a generalization, and there will definitely be exceptions to this, but when I compare my experience of working in the legal profession to that of working with those in the profession of writing and publishing, I find the latter of them to be more relaxed and with mutual respect to the others in writing/publishing community, that I believed had long since been lost, given my experience in the legal profession. I guess the attractive quality I found in most authors is a willingness to be judged by anyone on the merit of their stories shared with the Public - An incredibly courageous act in this day and age when anyone and everyone can say whatever they please, regardless of courtesy/ respect. A courage to produce their stories, and a courage to let those stories stand before the public is a quality I have found common in the authors I have interviewed, which I really admire.

mitchell baker,author
Which was the most difficult decision of your life? The toughest call that you had to take?

Being honest, being ethical consistently, regardless of the circumstances presented without consideration for convenience; Always giving it the best shot knowing that it is not a perfect world in which we live. Walking away from corruption at great personal sacrifice - fortunately, and in a lot of ways it may be considered unfortunate, this was an easy question to answer for me. I might add, I believe this is a question I will thank you for asking. I don't believe I've been asked this question in interview before.

This question is on behalf of the aspiring authors. What are the things or practices that need to be adopted by a budding writer, in order to enhance the efficiency of his/her writing?

Another great question. Thank you for asking! When I work with budding writers in groups, or while having coffee with them, this question always seems to sneak into the conversation more often than not. Indirectly, because I believe aspiring writers are most timid, when there is a prospect of actually receiving answers. The first practice I mention to a writer that he must learn to anticipate the amount of work they will have. That is whether on their own writing, working with publishing teams, or outright promoting/marketing of their work. I've seen a lot of writers make critical choices at this level. That is, when they hear how much work is involved, there are those who will not see a cost-benefit that makes sense to them. And, in a lot of ways they are correct. However, this is also the difference between writing because you love it, having a passion for sharing stories, or simply wanting to take a chance to be the next 'Big Thing'.

A second mention I tend to make in response is to consider the publishing industry as a "people business". It is not always neat and tidy and there are often times when things make a lot of sense, or, when they simply do not. A writer is a creator, and then there is the business side of things. It all must come together if there is to be a successful book/publishing project. I believe aspiring writers need to be prepared to be more flexible than not, to navigate successfully in the publishing world. I've seen a lot of talent not find their way through the publishing world because they chose to be arbitrary, not negotiate and hesitate to find balance, a middle-ground along with others. There may be talent, but publishers can fill their lists with anyone given their accessibility to global pools of talent.

Finally, budding writers must have 'courage', and confidence, but there is little, if any, tolerance for arrogance. A writer new to the business, as creative as they are enough to be recognized with potential, must know and understand that if they are indeed confident, this does not mean they have a license to be arrogant and unyielding. I guess in short, don't become a part of, or responsible for the creative tension in your own life-story. There is always enough 'tension' when things are running along smooth. It can be a tense, demanding enough profession as it is. A new writer need not make things more difficult for everyone when indeed there is enough challenge competing successfully in today's incredibly competitive publishing markets. In sum, the work, the flexibility, the denial of arrogance is actually being prepared to make choices that lead to less distraction away from your writing. And, when you decide to find ways to reduce or eliminate distraction from your writing (because you are a hard-worker, flexible and not arbitrary) one's writing can remain efficient, or certainly has a better opportunity to become more efficient. One's choices regarding approach to balancing the creative with the business, one's consistent, positive attitude, really does have a direct effect on the state of one's writing. The sooner an aspiring writer makes these connections, the more likely they will be, and continue to be successful writers who publish and who publishers want to continue working with as long as there is viable, marketable content written and waiting to be produced.
This is brilliant.. Define "Inspiration" in your words.

'Inspiration' in my perspective 'inspiration' is the culmination of experience, being in a certain 'place' to receive and process a lot of information, and, while knowing the information being constantly filtered, processed and considered. I guess for me it's a lot of having confidence knowing that seemingly unrelated notions, research, experience tends to meld into something original and interesting.

I tend to feel inspired, or having the experience of 'inspiration' after this rather predictable/unpredictable process manifests and produces unique ideas that I may continue to work with and, that in and of themselves may lead to further interest and hence 'inspiration'. It sounds circular, but I believe there can be a momentum: a good-begets-good aspect to 'inspiration', if one does not succumb to pressure, is prepared to be still at times, and to let it happen once you have prepared yourself with knowledge and experience and research that your creative mind can play around with a little bit here and there. I believe it would be rare for me to experience 'inspiration' out-of-the-blue, but I do admit there are gifts of 'inspiration' that I cannot explain and remain truly grateful for . 'Inspiration' can be the subject of my rationalization, or is simply a gift that can only be described from well outside the bounds of any rationalization I may offer up. For a writer it is one of the truly rare abilities, the true gifts to be experienced and always recognized as such. Perhaps another suggestion for aspiring writers: Tend not to take inspiration for granted, it can mean the difference between being creative, or merely a writer struggling to be creative. Allow for inspiration to flow freely through your life and there will be stories to tell!
On a scale of 1-10, how inspiring did you find this article?