Allow me to kick this off by saying I kinda loathe writing about myself.
I mean, what am I gonna say that isn’t either pompous or overly modest? And why should anyone even give a [insert expletive]?
Bah. I’m at least going to stick to writing this in first person, lest I drift away in a sea of meta-ness.
So anyways… Hi! I’m Luke Mitchell.
If the existence of this site didn't give it away, I'm super into stories. I love them. Particularly in the forms of books, movies, shows, and video games. I also really like beer. And powerlifting. Oh, and my girlfriend... I guess she's pretty cool too. I mean, look how happy we are together:
Wait. Let me try that again...
Ah, better. Anyways!
If someone felt the need to place me in a particularly convenient box (we’re talking three words or less), I guess I’d tell them, “I write books.” There may be a few extra facets and nuances to my existence buried in there somewhere, but those three words could serve in a pinch, and they’re probably the most important words in the context of this site.
So yes, I write books. For the most part, the work that I’ve either written or plan to write in the foreseeable future falls under the oh-so-broad umbrellas of science fiction and fantasy, which I suppose stands to reason, as these have been the genres that have captivated my heart and mind since I was a wee little lad.
Like plenty of other nerdy folk, I grew up on a hearty diet of Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Lord of the Rings (my brother and I used to affectionately refer to those three simply as “The Trilogy”) as well as a gargantuan mixed bag of comic book heroes, video games, trading card games, anime, and so on. I read through books like Harry Potter and Eragon with a kind of desperate fervor. I practiced sword-work with my brother almost daily for years. I may have even tried to conjure up a kamehameha wave once or twice, but who can remember?
Anyways, you get the point: I pretty much packed in the whole nerdy kit and caboodle (and frankly I don’t know why I’m saying this all in past tense, either).
My friends will tell you that I embarked on my journey to study engineering at Penn State with every intention of following in Tony Stark’s footsteps and designing an Iron Man suit. They’re still waiting. Somewhere along the way, though, I decided that a good Iron-Man-esque suit should be able to freely communicate with the user’s brain, translating their thoughts and will into action.
This idea led me into the world of neuroengineering and brain-machine interfaces, and my undergraduate thesis work in that field in turn led me to my graduate studies in neuroscience at Drexel in Philadelphia.
It was during my time at Drexel (and, really, because of my time at Drexel) that I began to seriously pick up my writing. I’d always enjoyed writing, and I’d always kinda thought I’d like to write books, but I’d never churned out much more than a few (very) short stories, and the thought of putting together an entire novel—while awesome—was pretty daunting. I had plenty of ideas, but I never found the time (read: never made the time) to explore them.
If I’d been totally happy with my academic work, I probably would have stayed the course. But (luckily?) I wasn’t totally happy. I wasn’t miserable by any means, but despite my undying love for science and learning, I just couldn’t seem to get into the world of academic research. At least, not in the way that I could effortlessly immerse myself into the fantastical worlds of those like Star Wars or Harry Potter.
Finally, one day (and I don’t even know what the particular impetus was), I just decided to sit down and start writing one of the stories that had been bouncing around in my mind for a while. I didn’t feel ready or adequately prepared, but I knew that I wanted to make something, and the more I wrote, the better it felt.
On top of that, the more I wrote, the more I realized that it was exactly what I wanted to be doing. In the mornings when I’d wake up to write before starting the rest of my day, I’d actually be smiling. I was excited. It was weird.
So, in a very mature, responsible manner, I decided to pull a hard one-eighty and transition from studying brains to writing fiction. Although now that I think about some of the things I’ve seen, maybe the two aren’t necessarily so different…
At any rate,
I’m pretty friggin’ excited to stick my head into those fantastical clouds and keep pumping out more stories, and I’m even more excited that you’re here, potentially sharing in the experience with me.
Is this all just a frantic, lifelong binge of escapism? Maybe. But boy, do I love visiting the places my mind takes me when I’m sussing out a new story.
So, for now, I’m gonna hang on and see where my mind drags me off to next, but first, I’ll extend an open invitation to you: the next time you feel like stepping out of your own life adventure for a breath of fresh air, grab a book and come escape with me.
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