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Aug. 28, 2023

EP 215: Interview with Author James Mitchell

EP 215: Interview with Author James Mitchell

Host Imelda Wei Ding Lo (Fortunus Games) interviews author James Mitchell about his upcoming book, which will hit retail on September 19, 2023. His book is called “Musical Chairs: A 76-year-old’s quest to learn every instrument in the orchestra.” Find out more about his book on his website: https://jamesmitchellbooks.com/

James Mitchell was born in New York City, which nurtured his love of classical music from an early age. Professing little to no talent, however, he left the playing of music mostly to others until the writing of Musical Chairs.

For the 67 years that elapsed between music lessons, Mr. Mitchell was an actor, a Sales Manager for a ski company, President of a national advertising agency, a cowboy and wilderness outfitter, an educator, and co-founder of an NGO aiding women in Afghanistan.

Mr. Mitchell is working on two new books, and otherwise occupies his time going to concerts, playing music, tennis, cycling, and riding and driving horses. He lives in the country near Longmont, Colorado with his wife, some zebra finches, an old cat, and a few equines.

He is immensely proud and fond of his two grown offspring and has one very young grandson.

Imelda asks James the following questions (and more):

  1. What prompted you to write this book? 

  2. In your bio, you said you always loved classical music. Growing up, how were you exposed to this genre of music and what did you particularly like about it?

  3. Which instruments do you enjoy the most and why?

  4. You mentioned you were an actor. Since acting is a form of art, did it influence how you saw music? Did it also influence your interest in writing?

  5. Why did you have five careers before writing “Musical Chairs?” Sounds like a drifter to me.

  6. Not many people start on a three year project when they are 76. Especially when they know next to nothing about it. Were you trying to prove something? To yourself? To others?

  7. How many times did you think of bagging the whole thing during those three plus years?

  8. You could have tackled something else, like taking just 12 lessons in 11 different languages and then be able to order a meal in each language at an ethnic restaurant. Why music?

  9. The subject is serious, but the book has a lot of humor in it, much of it self-deprecating. Why did you do that?

  10. Playing a classical music excerpt in just 12 lessons is quite a challenge, made more so by the week after week, month after month nature of the book. How much pressure did you feel to do well?

James’ upcoming site: https://jamesmitchellbooks.com/  

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