I am thrilled to share the Booklife review of Innocence Waning Part 1. This will be published in January 2020. The full text is below and the hyperlink to their site is for your kind reference.
Mitchell’s striking debut novel—the first of two volumes set in Melbourne, Australia—dives into the psyche of a reckless gay teen. One afternoon, 16-year-old Chezdon Morrison and his mates Jayden, Bryce, and Austin get drunk and experiment with drugs. Chezdon invites James, a 25-year-old store clerk, to come over; fielding puzzled inquiries from his friends, Chezdon admits he’s gay. Austin responds by also coming out. After Chezdon rejects James, Chezdon and Austin agree to date. Drama ensues as Chezdon finds romance, cheats, has sex, consumes various intoxicants, and gets involved in both an assault and a schoolyard fight. The instalment abruptly cuts off after another episode of violence.
Mitchell gives Chezdon a strong voice and a stronger personality that take a little while to get comfortable with, but soon readers will be hooked. He does not shy away from depravity—the debauched afternoon among the boys is a virtuoso sequence—but it is the sweet relationship that develops between Chezdon and Austin that appeals most. It’s frustrating to watch Chezdon actively jeopardize that relationship while trying to get what he thinks he wants. Chezdon is highly impulsive, and the plot mostly consists of him careening from one bad decision to another.
Mitchell is best with ambiguities, such as Chezdon’s relationship with Jayden, which varies from intimate to antagonistic. The starker elements get too hectic for Chezdon (and the reader) to process. The dialogue and narration are also uneven, encompassing both accurate teen-speak and highly didactic exchanges. Some awkward word choices (“drink from the ejaculating showerhead”) and vivid descriptions of bodily functions disrupt the narrative, but one erotic sex scene proves Mitchell can write effectively. Readers will likely see where Chezdon’s downward slide is going but will be eager to see whether he can put himself back together in part two.
Takeaway: Older queer teens will enjoy living vicariously through the sex, drugs, and drama of Mitchell’s gay coming-of-age novel.
Great for fans of Scott Heim’s Mysterious Skin, Bret Easton Ellis.
Bull Shark Part 2 is coming along nicely since my last update. I am making structural updates that will remove a number of technical issues. The characters and timelines will intertwine, leaving the reader wanting more.
Below is the draft of the laminated jacket for your viewing pleasure.
But, there may be enough content to release a Part 3 of Bull Shark at the same time. We will see! Here is an alternative cover that may turn out to be the Amazon Paperback release.
I am ashamed to report that I missed the previously advertised release date for Bull Shark Part 2. I offer you my apologies.
Many readers have either tweeted me or dropped me a mail, asking when it will be released. I do hope it will be soon.
For those who have finished Bull Shark Part 1, and have digested the cliffhanger, you will probably agree that I wrote the final scene in a way that made it difficult to tell a realistic story in Bull Shark Part 2. Making it seem as real as possible has been a challenge, but I solved it by introducing an additional character, who will help bring Chezdon, Louis, and Oscar all together once again. There will be many new twists and turns, as you would expect along the way. The road trip did not come to an end at the Hard Rock Cafe. It has only just begun.
Adding this new character has required me to add an additional part to the book. This has led to me making substantial structural edits to the content. It wouldn’t be fair to simply add a Deux ex Machina moment, where everything magically resets and the problems I was facing are resolved. You need to understand the aftermath of the decisions that were made at the end of Part 1. Three lives will never be the same again after what happened at the Hard Rock Cafe.
To finish Bull Shark Part 1, last year I had to visit both the Hard Rock Cafe and Nice again whilst the pandemic caused havoc. This was so I could best visualise the activities playing out and write the words. I am attempting to do this again now, to support the structural edits of Bull Shark Part 2. I am composing this update from Biarritz, France. Tomorrow I will be in San Sebastian, Basque Country, Spain. Both locations feature in the opening chapters of Bull Shark Part 2. I am getting my head back into the minds of the characters, which is good for the book. Now just to balance my full-time job, writing and having a good time on this post-pandemic road trip along the way.
Thank you for the ongoing support and positive feedback about Bull Shark Part 1. It currently has a rating of 4.9/5.0 on Goodreads and 4.6/5.0 on Amazon.
The much-anticipated third book by Chezdon Mitchell, Bull Shark Part 1, is set for release on 31 January 2021. Chezdon Mitchell’s novel BULL SHARK is about gay relationships in the digital age. With shocking narrative and dark humour, reminiscent of what was discovered in his first book, INNOCENCE WANING, Mitchell thrusts the reader into a holiday from hell that transcends anything that Brexit can ever achieve; sweet wonderful chaos and pure bliss. Colourful characters prove that being gay isn’t just about coming out of the closet and simply existing, but living in the moment. Beware of BULL SHARK.
The Second Edition of Innocence Waning, Parts 1 and 2, are now available from all good booksellers and the usual online marketplaces. This includes the much-anticipated hardback editions of both parts which reflect the updated covers across all the assets.
Innocence Waxing, the much-anticipated follow-up to Innocence Waning is coming along nicely. I have the first 25,000 words written, making the first part of the book roughly 33% complete. The new book is darker and just as complex, which is making it a delight to write. I am looking forward to everyone reading it and will post an update on progress at the end of each month. When I am confident that it will be completed by the end of a forthcoming month, I will put it up for pre-sale on Amazon giving one month notice. How exciting is that?