Mitchell Bonds is an Inland Northwest author of two young adult fantasy novels, Hero Second Class and Hero in Hiding, and he's working on the final book in the trilogy. His first two books will be reviewed here soon.
Q. Were you unusually young for an author when your first book was published?
A. I was twenty when Hero Second Class came out. It surprised me that I actually found a publisher after so many rejections, but there have been other fantasy writers who published young.
Q. Do you have another book in the works?
A. Yes. Marcher-Lord Press, which published the first two, has first dibs for possible publication of my final book in the trilogy when it’s finished.
Q. What is the title of your third book?
A. I don’t know yet. Publishers usually change titles a few times, anyway. Hero Second Class was originally titled Chimera Jerky because one character, the dragon, loved jerky made of chimera.
Q. How did you learn to love reading?
A. Fantasy stories are way more interesting than math or things that dead people wrote about a long time ago. The idea of other worlds and what they would be like drew me in.
Q. What are your favorite books?
A. Speculative fiction. I read everything from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling to A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. Growing up, my absolute favorite was the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede—it’s full of snarky, clever fantasy, and Wrede’s witty writing probably helped develop my sense of humor.
Q. What’s the most important thing to keep readers interested in a story?
A. First-class stories have balanced characters—they’re fleshed out—heroes with definite good in them, but also showing their flaws.
Q. Where did you grow up?
A. I grew up in Priest River, Idaho, where I loved to run around in the woods with friends, play fighting with wooden swords.
Q. Do you have a degree in writing?
A. I majored in journalism at the University of Idaho, and I graduated a year ago. I have a day job, but I'm working on my book whenever I can.
Q. Do you hope to go into writing for a living?
A. I’d like to. I’m making plans for a detective noir story after I’m done with the last book in this series.
Q. For what audience are your books written?
A. My books are what I call “safe books.” They do contain violence, but they're safe for anyone mid-grade to young adult. My stories have no sexual innuendo. Besides fantasy, they have what I call good, clean violence, along with humor. I’m a Christian, and I like to write things that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to read out loud to anyone.