The Official Website of Author L.A. Mitchell

Category: The Lost Highway


Limping Into a New Era

31st August

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So the day has come when several things have happened: (1) my site is updated to reflect my freelancing and my writing, (2) my blog is co-located now, (3) the red phone booth is gone. This last item turned out to be a source of sadness for one reader who bought me this only a few months back:

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Adorable, no? It’s supposed to house…well, something…but I’m not sure what. No doubt it will become a chocolate receptacle. All I know is it makes me tremendously happy to have it near me when I write. Thank you, dear reader!

So why is the red phone booth gone? Well, I needed something of my own that didn’t borrow a brand from anyone or anything else. I think you get my meaning. The time had come for a change and since freelancing is such a huge part of my writing life now, I had to find the intersection where business met with Vortex fun. I hope you find it’s still a GPS location you might want to visit from time to time.

Now that this site is crossed off my to-do list, I’m happy to usher in the fall season with a gift I haven’t given myself in quite a while – permission to work on my career. As a freelancer, it’s hard to turn away a paying client. I can make money doing what I adore, or I can live in my head for free. As with all things in life, a balance, I’m learning, is best.

The last, biggest change to happen this weekend is that I must say goodbye to my laptop. It has been languishing in computer ICU for a month now. First the screen went (and no, it wasn’t my fault – this Dell has been treated with the respect and honor of David Hasselhoff’s speedo at a nude community pool in Munich), thus the external monitor. Then the fuse for the back light blew when the new screen went in. The fuse is on the motherboard, necessitating a new motherboard. I’ll spare you the rest of the story.photo(1)

My sparkly new one now sits on my kitchen table. It has no crumbs or white cat hair poking out from under its keys. It’s Windows 8 icons wink at me from across the room, beckoning me closer, but the sadness I feel over replacing my old laptop is profound. Crazy, I know. But as a writer, it is as much of an extension of myself as just about anything I can think of. On it, I wrote six novels, three novellas, countless articles and posts, the eulogy to my grandmother’s funeral, tens of synopses and a hundred queries. It made me forget the mind-to-hand connection in my creativity (not necessarily a good thing). Its keys have absorbed tears and spit-takes of laughter and the satisfying, heart-pounding rhythm of intense action scenes. And when I sat in the coffee shop and words would not come, I blurred myself into thought rubbing away fingerprints from its glossy edges.

Someday, my new laptop will sport similar wear and memories. For now, it feels like I’m pulling life support on an old friend.

I hope you’ll take some time to browse around. Readers and followers from my Vortex days at Blogger will find comfort in many of the same things in the author section of the site. Potential clients will find better access to information regarding my freelancing services. Everyone who visits will find me more accessible via social media.

To celebrate this new era, I’m offering a free download of “The Lost Highway,” a paranormal romantic short first published in the Wild Rose Press Anthology, Love, Texas Style. Send me a message at la-mitchell@la-mitchell.com and let me know how you liked it.


Removing Web Footprints

28th December

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Like my phone booth? It screamed, “Pick me! Pick me!” while seeking out the new and different. I suppose, like everyone, I’m looking more ahead than behind this time of year. We’ll see if the booth takes me where I want to go. Not sure if I’ll keep him just yet. Is it me or is there a reflection of a face on the left side?

At my request, The Wild Rose Press has returned rights to me for “The Lost Highway,” part of the Love, Texas Style anthology. To those of you who had the opportunity to read my time travel romantic short over the past two years, thank you. It was the perfect way to dip my toes into the publishing pool. To those who haven’t read it, I’ll still be giving away the final few copies from time to time. As I’m removing the cover art from my web-carbon footprints, I can’t help but wonder how many of the 665 views on YouTube might have been from outside my mother’s abysmal circle of knitting friends who can navigate cyberspace or Bon Jovi fans on a drunk-click binge. Some of them might have actually stayed for the home-grown promotion. Some day this will evolve into a 10 second prime time spot where I’ll promise to kill off my bestselling hero if you do not buy my latest, ala James Patterson, but for now, I’ll hold fast to my delusion that it was riveting. Meanwhile, seeking a place to give “The Lost Highway” new publishing life is on my 2010 to-do list.
What’s on your 2010 list?


Another Thursday, Another Celebration

27th March

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Is it possible today is Thursday again? Squee! Time for the third week of giveaways in March to celebrate the release of “The Lost Highway.” This is the last personalized one, as it is a two-pack of my favorite in time travel: The Time Traveler’s Wife and Somewhere in Time.

I could gush more, or you could just read my other post on this movie. This edition contains the Back to Somewhere in Time documentary and Jeannot Szwarc’s director’s commentary.

My favorite thing about The Time Traveler’s Wife is the bravery Audrey Niffenegger showed with her choice in structure and her lyrical, almost poetic prose.

Congratulations to the latest winner and don’t forget–there’s one grand prize to go: a $25 Visa gift card.

T minus eight hours and seventeen minutes until print release day!



The Lost Month of Giveaways

29th February

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The e-book release of the Love, Texas Style anthology is here! To get you in the mood to read The Lost Highway, enjoy an Elvis song that played a pivotal role in the story, tease your brain with the jigsaw puzzle below and gear up to enter the Lost Month of Giveaways Contest:

Every Thursday in March I’ll be selecting a winner. Check back often for updates and announcements. Good luck!

Three ways to enter:

(#1) Sign up for my e-group announcement loop powered by Yahoogroups(see sidebar). Your email address will remain secure and I’ll only pop up in your inbox when there’s fantastic news to shout about.

(#2) Mention The Lost Highway’s release on your blog with cover art and a link to The Wild Rose Press. Be sure to drop me an email at la-mitchell@la-mitchell.com or post a comment here on my blog to let me know so I can visit.

(#3) Watch The Lost Highway’s book trailer and email me (la-mitchell@la-mitchell.com) the answer to the question “What color is the ’59 Ford Thunderbird?” Please put CONTEST in the subject line.

Also, Refer a friend to participate and double your chances to win! Be sure to have your friend mention your name in his/her post or email.

Entrants will remain in the prize pool throughout the month and are eligible for all drawings.

Prizes:

–A Wild Rose Press Gift certificate valued at $10

–an Elvis Presley’s 30 #1 hits CD

–a time-travel 2 pack (my favorite time travel novel and movie)

–a basket of Texas-themed items

**One grand prize winner will receive a $25 Visa Gift card**

For more information and official rules, visit here.


The Lost Highway

30th January

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I spy…time travel.
Seriously, check out my trailer for The Lost Highway and let me know what you think:


Love, Texas Style

6th December

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Cover art is complete for Love, Texas Style, the Wild Rose Press anthology due out Spring 2008. Amongst the other highly creative and talented shorts on Southern-bred heroes and their Texas ways, you’ll find a taste of the paranormal and the nostalgic in mine, The Lost Highway.

Back Cover:
Rugged men. Spirited women. Romance as breathtaking as the Texas landscape.

From the Boot Scootin’ Bliss and Roadside Grill to the slick Dallas skyscrapers and all the highways and ranches in between, this heartwarming collection of love stories by debut and award-winning authors celebrates the heroism and passion found only in the Lone Star State.
What do you think? Did the artist capture Texas?


Art is in the Attempt

17th October

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Today marks the official day I begin revisions on my WIP, The Night Caller. At some point, even an obsessive plotter must stop and realize the writing will fill in the blanks I have yet to. But here, at the beginning yet again, it does put the entire project into perspective again. At a time when goals and daily page counts dominate my thoughts and the ending I just figured out must echo the beginning scene I am poised to write, I remember back to my other projects. The ones where the journey took me somewhere wildly off-course and the end result didn’t reflect the scope and magnitude of the novel in my head.

No where was this more evident than in my short story, The Lost Highway. In my initial vision, there was a bridge responsible for the anomaly in time, a fiery inferno the protagonists had to reach before the window of opportunity faded forever. In the final version, the bridge is still there, in the past. But somehow along the way it became enough for the hero and heroine to simply be. Not racing a ticking time bomb but to simply pause, be in the moment with all the fears and confusion of their internal conflicts, and become aware of the opportunity they’d been given. To simply be.

Would the fiery inferno have made a better story? Perhaps. But when the detoured story is good enough to sell, as The Lost Highway has, does that mean that true art, the words we paint on the imaginary canvas of the reader, is in the attempt, not in the destination? Had I not buckled in and followed the story map of my mind to the bridge, would I have found the same story? Doubtful.

As writers, I don’t think we’re ever truly satisfied with our words. We’re always finding stronger verbs or a different twist that would have taken the story in an entirely new direction. I suspect all creative people wage this battle in their own minds. What emerges is never truly what we envisioned, like something that constantly outdistances us. Who’s to say the detour we stumble upon isn’t better?

This lessens the looming expectations of the destination and allows faith to creep in. Threads that magically weave themselves into the fabric of our novel and the belief that the characters will find the path they’re meant to travel. And for the writer, the freedom to realize that true art is in the attempt.


The Lost Highway

12th October

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The Wild Rose Press has selected “The Lost Highway” to be part of a Texas-themed anthology for Spring 2008! Here’s a teaser:

On a desolate west Texas highway, a man at a crossroads in his life meets a beautiful woman, lost in more ways than any cardinal direction on a map. Her pristine 1959 Thunderbird, her matronly dress and her optimism conspire to place her firmly out of touch with reality. In a race against the clock to reconnect with an old love, he discovers the captivating stranger has driven straight out of her own time and into the abandoned shell of his heart.
Sadly, the exact ’59 Thunderbird I used for my inspiration was sold and taken off its web page, but here’s a look at the outside shape and the cherry-red and white interior that became so important in the story:

Looks like they were selling the American dream or something that closely resembled love (Unless, of course, he’s making the universal man-joke gesture).