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Interview: Mitchell Maxwell, Author of Little Did I Know

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Mitchell Maxwell is an accomplished producer, director and 35-year veteran of the entertainment industry. He is the visionary producer behind the percussive theatricality of Stomp!, the rollicking Broadway revival of Damn Yankees featuring the legendary Jerry Lewis and the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Dinner with Friends. He has produced the Broadway musicals Play On!, Bells Are Ringing (Tony nominated for Best Revival of a Musical), Blues in the Night (Tony nominated as Best Musical) and Brooklyn.

Maxwell’s productions have been honored with nominations for ten Tony Awards, six Olivier Awards, 15 Outer Critics Circle Awards, nine Drama Desk Awards and three Obie Awards and have won in each category. He directed the critically acclaimed Angry Housewives on London’s West end and later off-Broadway, and produced the motion pictures and off-Broadway performances of Jeffrey and Key Exchange.

Maxwell attended Tufts University, where he later served as an adjunct professor, and has been a guest lecturer at Columbia and New York universities. He is the president, CCO and director of MCrew Media LLC. Little DId I Know (Prospecta Press, October 5, 2011) is his first novel.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The edit. I wrote the first draft quickly and fluidly, but upon review for the edit I had to kill my babies which is a theater expression dealing with having to let go of good ideas because they slow up the storytelling.

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

As a Broadway Producer/Director I have been working with storytelling my whole life. This book gave me no choice but to write it and I was obsessed in doing so. I wrote the first draft in seven weeks from midnight to four am and when morning came I was forced to stop. I love writing this book!

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published (if any)?

I was lucky. I have worked in the theater my whole life and was able to get my book in front of people due to long standing relationships. They still had to like it — which they did — and it all happened quickly.

Have you written a book that you have not been able to get published?If so, can you share a little about it with us?

I have completed my second novel which I am thrilled with. I am toying with selling on a download basis as it might reach more folks faster, but we will see.

How did you come up with the title?

It just seemed right. The book is about launching your life, and as I wrote it I realized that I have never really known anything but that courage and guts get you up the mountain, so it seemed appropriate.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

I loved writing this book. It is full of hope and wisdom and courage. I am proud of it as I think it is a good easy read that is profound in simple ways. I know if you pursue it you will be happy you did so.

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