Date to be Published: August 11th
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Of all the groups to emerge during the folk era of the 1960’s, first the Chad Mitchell Trio and later The Mitchell Trio were unequivocally the best. Their complex harmonies, sense of comedic timing and stage presence were unique to the folk movement. They didn’t enjoy the commercial success of other groups because their material made political and social statements that radio and television refused to play. They were wildly popular, though, on college campuses throughout the country during this turbulent time and fostered political and social awareness among thousands of young men and women as they faced the challenging era ahead.
But as Mike, Chad and Joe Frazier raced along a frantic treadmill of rehearsals, recording sessions, nightclubs and concerts, Mike and Chad began to realize the demand for musical perfection was the only thing they had in common. Their personalities were and remain polar opposites. When Chad left in 1965, neither mourned the parting. John Denver replaced Chad. Two years later, Joe’s demons caught up to him forcing Mike and John to fire Joe.
When folk reunions became popular, fans and folk historians agreed that The Trio was the one group that would never take the stage again. Their schism was just too great.
Mike and Chad and Joe hadn’t spoken in twenty years. Then came a call. I will if he will. Their mentor and music director Milt Okun worried they were making a mistake. They couldn’t possibly be as good as their fans remembered.
They were. Mike and Chad kept their day jobs, and their distance. But once again, they shared the music.
Can you tell us a little about the process of getting this book published? How did you come up with the idea and how did you start?
I was a huge fan of the Chad Mitchell Trio as a kid in a conservative little New Mexico town. Their music inspired me to learn the guitar and form folk groups of my own. Their songs also raised my political and social awareness and made me look at the world in a different way. When I went to work as a reporter in Spokane, Washington in 1982, I learned that Mike Kobluk lived in Spokane and was the director of entertainment facilities for the city. I got to know him through my job. When I turned 60, long after my newspaper career was over, I decided to see if I could write a novel. Following publication of my first three novels I was looking for a new project and though of the Chad Mitchell Trio. Mike and Chad both agreed. We met three times a week during the summer of 2019. I interviewed them together, then each separately.
What surprised you most about getting your book published?
I was surprised when I got my first novel published because it had been rejected so many times. Now that I have a track record of six books, I am pretty familiar with the publishing process.
Tell us a little about what you do when you aren’t writing
I have partnership in an adult-related baseball business. I play old-man baseball. I have a woodshop and build furniture.
As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?
Attending The Writers Hotel writing conference in New York with my first novel. I’d poured everything I had into that book, which was humongously long. He suggested I make two books out of it, and that prospect seemed completely daunting to me. I told him I wasn’t sure I could approach that project with much enthusiasm. He said, “Take a break.” “From writing?” I asked. “No,” he said, “write something different.” That’s where my novel “Section Roads,” came from, which I will always regard as the best thing I’ve written.” And now the book he suggested I split in half has grown to four books.
Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?
I have no idea where these ideas come from. Things just occur to me. Writing non-fiction is much like my job as a reporter was. With fiction, when I come to know my characters well, they lead me where they go.
What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
If criticism is valid and helpful, I don’t regard it as tough. One of the most difficult things in producing any art form is that its quality is defined by eye of the beholder. One person’s “funny” is someone else’s “dumb.” With time and experience though, any writer or artist or actor must develop an inner confidence in the quality of their work. Once you have that, criticism becomes a whole different animal.
What has been your best accomplishment as a writer?
My books have won numerous awards, and that’s a very nice form of validation. But drawing on the inner confidence I just mentioned, I know that my best book is Section Roads. It’s a book about the small town where I grew up and is fairly biographical.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I have two right now.
About The Author
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