Mitchell Charles’ love of the ocean and its miraculous creatures began at the age of 12 when his father taught him to SCUBA dive. From his first adventure 50 feet (15 meters) beneath the Caribbean Sea he was hooked. He has been involved in the Oceanic Society, America’s first non-profit organization dedicated to ocean conservation, established in 1969.
Mitchell’s inspiration for The Kingdom of Oceana was born of exploring the spectacular coastline, lush valleys, and vibrant coral reefs of the Hawaiian Islands. On these excursions, he imagined what Hawaii was like hundreds of years ago. Before Captain Cook arrived from England. Before the golf courses and hotels. Before the ukulele and the Mai Tai became icons of Hawaiian culture. He dreamed of a time when the islands were an undiscovered magical paradise.
These days, Mitchell divides his time between Southern California and Hawaii. He has two teenage children and a dog named Magic.
Mitchell is currently working on the second book in the Kingdom of Oceana series, The Legend of the Nine Sacred Pearls.
What inspires you to write?
I was inspired to write The Kingdom of Oceana by spending prolonged periods of time in Hawaii. The natural scenic beauty, friendly people, and exotic traditional culture were great catalysts for my creativity.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m definitely an outliner, but I allow myself to drift from my outline. I use a simple Word document staring with the broad strokes of a three-act structure and fill in the details as I go. I also create one-page character profiles for all my characters. These profiles allow me to better understand my characters and give them each a unique voice. My writing process is to write early in the morning. I usually awaken between 5:00 and 6:00 am. I find that I’m most creative and the ideas flow freely at this time.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I listen to my characters so that what I write is true to their nature.
Who are your favorite authors?
I’m a big fan of young-adult fiction and I especially like books with complex and flawed protagonists. Some of books I’ve enjoyed recently include All the Bright Places, by Jennifer Niven; Best Boy, by Eli Gottlieb; The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt; Fates and Furies, by Lauren Groff, Eleanor & Park and Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I decided to self-publish my book on Amazon, Kindle, and Audible. I have a lot of marketing experience, so I enjoyed created my own website and book trailers. I worked closely on the cover design with renowned surfing artist, Jay Alders. I just completed the audiobook version of The Kingdom of Oceana with Hawaiian native Rayton Lamay doing the voiceover. Authenticity was very important to me, so I insisted on using a native Hawaiian. Ray did an amazing job acting out all the characters and his pidgin (Hawaiian dialect) is very melodic.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think self-publishing will continue to flourish. I’m working on the next book in The Kingdom of Oceana series which I intend to self-publish as well.
What genres do you write?
Middle Grade, Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure
What formats are your books in?
eBook, Print, Audiobook