Author Interview & Ebook Giveaway: Keeper of Directions by L.K. Mitchell

Welcome to Author L.K. Mitchell

L.K. Mitchell is a whale watcher, a shooting star locator, a rock tosser, and a northern lights gazer. She was born and raised on an island in Alaska that’s 35 miles long and 8 miles wide, with only one town located on the island, Wrangell. Her ancestors are People of the Sun and Wind, the Sáami. She’s adopted into a Tlingit (Alaska Native) clan and her children are Tlingit, Ravens from the T’akdeintaan clan. The Tlingit are the Native peoples of Southeastern Alaska. Her Tlingit name is Yéilk’ Tlaa which means Mother-of-Cute-Little-Raven. She facilitates writers’ groups for teens and adults.


If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
If I could travel in a time machine I’d go back to the past to my ancestors, the Sáami in Scandinavia. I’d learn about my ancestral language and traditional knowledge.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
Read Keeper of Directions because it’s a great adventure story with an unlikely hero, a boy with Asperger’s Syndrome.

What inspired you to want to become a writer?
I come from a multicultural family and have lived among the Tlingit of SE Alaska my whole life. So the oral traditions of the Scandinavian peoples and the Tlingit made me want to become a storyteller. I started with poetry and short stories first.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
My most rewarding experience is receiving feedback from readers. One reader, who is an Aspie (as is the main character in my novel) said that she’s reading Keeper of Directions  every night on the phone to her young nephew. Her nephew also has Asperger’s Syndrome. While she’s reading, she substitutes my character’s name “Lance” with her nephew’s name. Her nephew thinks that Keeper of Directions is his book. I love that.

What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
I read a lot of comic books as a child and a set of encyclopedias we had on the shelf. We didn’t go to the library much but my older sister did. She’d bring home books from the library and I’d read whatever she brought home. I read children’s classics: Black Beauty, Little Women, Swiss Family Robinson. Later, I loved Ray Bradbury.  

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Keep a journal. Write down everything, your ideas, your thoughts. Write poetry, write prose, doodle. Then go out and seek out learning experiences. Participate in life, read. Apprentice to other writers through university classes, community workshops, online resources, and books

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I live in Alaska. There is no other place as beautiful.

What is your favorite Quote?
You may have tangible wealth untold, caskets of jewels and coffers of gold but richer than I you can never be because I had a mother who read to me.—Strickland Gillilan

When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
When I was young I wanted to be a police officer who flew a helicopter and had a pet lion; and I wanted to be a writer.

If you were a bird, which one would you be?
I’d be a raven. Actually, I am a raven. I was adopted into my children’s clan. We are from a Raven clan, the T’akdeintaan, Snail House (Tlingit). My Tlingit name is Y’eilk’ Tlaa, Mother-of-Cute-Little-Raven.

Which authors have influence you most how?
My biggest influence is Sherman Alexie. His writings changed my worldview. Also Yup’ik author Oscar Angayukak Kawagley, Vine DeLoria, and poet Joy Harjo. Also a big influence in my life is Tlingit author Nora Marks Dauenhauer and her husband Richard who are scholars of the Tlingit language and culture.
What do you do in your free time?
I like to go fishing for halibut and salmon and go walking and hiking. Plus, I work with teen writers. That’s a kick!

What’s your favorite season/weather?
My favorite season is summer: berry picking, fishing, hiking, camping, and traveling on the ferries (Alaska Marine Highway).

Favorite smell?
The ocean. And tacos. Though not at the same time.

What is your favorite way to spend a rainy day?
It rains just about every day where I live. It’s a rainforest; the Tongass National Forest. So on a rainy day I’ll go out in the rain or I’ll stay indoors when it’s raining. Fishing is always good when it’s raining. 

Keeper of Directions

One for the blood,
two for the tower,
three for the trouble,
and four for the power.

While on a vacation from the U.S., ten-year-old Lance learns that one of the ravens kept at the Tower of London has been stolen. However, the Tower’s ravens aren’t merely birds, but a clan of shape-shifting ravens entrusted with keeping the natural world in order. The missing raven, Rose, was the Keeper of Directions.

Lance and his teenage sister, Vivi, are unintentionally drawn into the search for Rose and an adventure for which they’re unprepared. In the Raven’s strange world, there’re rumors of impending war. The Ravens enlist Lance and Vivi’s help, choosing Lance as the next Keeper of Directions. But have the Ravens made a wise choice? Lance has Asperger’s Syndrome.

How can an Aspie and his smart-mouth sister help set the natural world in order?

Giveaway Details
1 ebook of Keeper of Directions
Open Internationally
Ends 3/4/12

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