Nikki Mitchell is an author, freelancer for her local newspaper, and homeschooling mama of two in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. When asked what she likes to do in her spare time she explained that she loved adventure and being outside. “The county I live in has 314 lakes, 900 miles of river, 8 waterfalls, and I’m surrounded by forests,” Nikki said. “I love to kayak, go for walks, snowshoe, and just explore the fairyland world I live in.” A fun fact about Nikki is that she collects typewriters, and she has one that was used to write war bonds! Let’s welcome author Nikki Mitchell now.
Q) Thanks for being here! To start, please describe yourself in 3 words.
A) Storyteller, adventurer, daughter of the King.
Q) Describe your writing in 5 words (or less).
A) Middle-grade portal-hopping fantasies.
Q) If you had a theme song for your life, what would it be and why?
A) “Hey Girl,” by Anne Wilson. I’ve dealt with a lot of anxiety and people-pleasing issues since I was young, and this song is a great reminder for me when I’m struggling. I guess sometimes I’m a lot like Ichabod. (minus the siblings as I’m an only child).
More about Nikki
Q) What was your most recent 5-star read and why?
A) Voodoo Shack by Terri Martin. It reminded me so much of To Kill a Mockingbird. The story was so good and I read it in a few afternoons.
Q) You’re throwing a literary dinner party where you can invite 3 authors, living or not. Who is invited and why?
A) Ray Bradbury (he’s been my favorite author since I was in high school), Estelle Grace Tudor (she writes magical fairytale books as well and my daughter is obsessed), and R.L. Stine (his Master Class is what encouraged me to start writing fiction again).
Q) If you were a season dragon, which season would you be and why?
A) I’d 100% be Gran. If that wasn’t an option, then Winter for sure. Winter is my favorite season, and I could hibernate the rest of the year, haha!
Nikki Mitchell’s Writing
Season of Dragons
Q) I absolutely adore your first book in the Magic Shoebox Adventure series Season of Dragons! Readers can check out my full review of it here. What can you tell us about Season of Dragons?
A) Season of Dragons is a portal fantasy about a boy who doesn’t really fit in with his family, and often feels left out and forgotten. He has an adventurous spirit though, and on his way to the bus stop, he finds a dragon egg. It transports him into a magical land filled with dragons. It’s there that he meets Ingrid and Gran, both characters who also have trouble fitting in with their families.
The book is filled with adventure, ADHD representation, found-family, and learning that sometimes not fitting in gets you to places you’d never see if you were just like everyone else.
Q) What was the inspiration behind Season of Dragons, the first in the Magic Shoebox Adventure series?
A) After writing and publishing Eleanor’s adventures, my son (who is very much like Ichabod) said that the books were too girly (they’re not haha) and needed dragons. Season of Dragons was written very much for Everett. Gran was actually my husband’s idea and it was too fun to not throw in the book. I never expected her to be a reader favorite, but she is.
Q) In your own words, what type of reader will Ichabod’s story resonate with?
A) Ichabod’s story is very much for the kids who are often overlooked, are adventurous at heart, struggle with fitting in and may have intrusive mental thoughts. It’s for the reluctant readers, the ones who would rather be out finding pirate treasure than anything else.
Q) Can you tell us about your other works available to readers?
A) I also have another trilogy out (Eleanor Mason’s Literary Adventures) and that’s a story that follows classic fairytale vibes and teaches young readers about the true magic of books, libraries, and librarians. It’s also middle grade with short chapters for reluctant readers.
In addition to my MG books, I have a short book for encouraging moms to write their books, even with littles at home. It’s called how to write a book with a kid on your lap. It’s my only non-fiction book and gives small snippets into what my process in writing Eleanor’s books looked like.
Q) What do you hope readers of your novel, or any of your works, walk away feeling and/or thinking?
A) I hope readers walk away knowing that they are wonderful just as they are. They were handpicked to be exactly who they are, and it doesn’t matter what anyone says—nothing can take that away from them. I hope they walk away knowing the magic of stories and books in general. And I hope that they call their grandma. (and for those that read Eleanor’s books, that they thank their librarian for being the keeper of magical books).
Q) Can you tell us about your current writing projects?
A) I’m currently working on the second book in the Magic Shoebox Adventure: An Unlucky Companion. It will release on September 13, 2024. I don’t have a blurb for it yet, but Ichabod goes on an adventure with a bunch of superstitious pirates. It features a character with a life-threatening allergy and epi-pen use.
I’m also finishing a picture book called “Oscar’s Noisy Dilemma” which is about a young octopus who struggles with being overwhelmed at a birthday party.
Advice from Nikki Mitchell
Q) If you could give your younger self any advice, in terms of writing or something else, what would it be?
A) Don’t give up on the dream of publishing books. (I totally did because I didn’t think it would ever be in my future) and “you’re going to marry that boy, so you might as well just date him.”
Q) What advice can you share with other authors?
A) Don’t let the market for what’s popular right now stop you from writing the book you’re meant to write. The trends change, but the story that is inside of you is there for a reason.
Q) What advice can you share with young readers?
A) Keep reading. Read books that are silly, that make you laugh. Read books that make you want to hide under the blanket with a flashlight at midnight. Read until you find the book that lights up your world. I promise you it’s out there.
Q) Thank you so much, Nikki, for being here! Is there anything else you would like to add?
A) I just want to say thank you to anyone who has ever showed any of my books love—by reading, by sharing them, etc. This is literally a dream come true and I am so appreciative of everyone I’ve met in this adventure!
Want More From the Unicorn Writer?
Be sure to check out past blog posts and “follow” so you don’t miss out on future updates! I also have a monthly author newsletter filled with writing updates and exclusives for subscribers only. I include features like behind the scenes, writing advice, faith-based encouragement, and more. Use the form below to join!