Mishael Austin Witty

Why I Started Writing:

I’ve always passionately loved stories. It’s how God wired me.

From the time I learned how to put pencil to paper and form letters into words and sentences, I was writing my own. Some were bad, some were terrible. Many were funny. But they were all full of characters that danced around in my head at all hours of the night, and they weren’t satisfied until I wrote their antics down.

When I was about seven years old, my dad got one of those fabulous old Apple IIc computers, and I was hooked. While I still filled up numerous notebooks with stories I penned, I found that I much preferred to sit in front of a computer screen and type, delete, and retype. After all, a blank screen is much more attractive than a scribbled-over notebook page.

Sometimes I don’t think so when writer’s block hits, but if I’m honest, I have to admit that blank space still looks better to me than a chaotic mess. I think that perfectly explains why I continue to write. It helps me restructure the chaos in my head and the chaos all around me into order. Not unlike what God does in each of our messy lives when we let Him.

By the way, my characters and stories still keep me up at night.

Authors Who Have Influenced Me:

I think every book I read influences me in some way. I’m always analyzing what I read—studying the plot structure, the characterization, the word choice. Reading makes me a better writer.

One specific author who has influenced me greatly is Jack Kerouac. I love how he manipulated words and phrases. He created poetry from prose. It’s something I’ve tried to emulate, but I don’t always succeed in doing it.

My senior English teacher told me once that I have a way of manipulating words, and that’s a compliment I’ve always held onto and have attempted to live by. Manipulating words is much more acceptable than manipulating people.

Books I Have Written:

I’ve self-published a few fiction books: Believe in Me (2012, second chance romance); Shadows of Things to Come (2013, romantic suspense); Sun’s Parting Ray (2014, historical fiction); and Protecting Zoe (2020, prequel to The Fireman’s Lesson in Love).

I’ve also self-published several nonfiction books: Let's Read Together!: Book Sharing Journal for Mothers and Daughters (2016); Beginner’s Guide to Making Beaded Jewelry (2017); The 411 on Vitamins (2017); How to Choose the Best Work-at-Home Fit for You (2017);  Know What You Eat and Why: 30-Day Food, Exercise, Water, and Emotional Eating Journal (2017); Her Seed: Why Jesus Had to Have Mary’s DNA (2018); Dinner Blah Busters: Seven Ways to Spice Up Leftover Chicken (2019); and Purple Flowers: 30 Devotions to Encourage, Inspire, and Empower Mothers (2020).

What I'm Working On Now:

I’m currently expanding the romantic world of Chokeberry Falls. Book 2, A Cup of Coffee for the Fireman, is already in progress. I have several other books in the series in various stages of planning.

One day I hope to branch out into a series of cozy mysteries set in Chokeberry Falls. For now, though, I’m content to help my characters find their happily-ever-afters.

I’ll work on killing them later.

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