About

The Accidental Novelist is a meeting place for (novel) writers.  As a member of that wretched and long-suffering species, I’ve decided that the years and decades of research and learning I’ve done need to be summarized in a place where others of our ilk can read, reflect and (maybe, just maybe) benefit. (Readers are welcome too; heck even authors. What’s the difference between a writer and an author, you ask? Authors are published, of course.)

About Lazarus (Your Host)

So Very Like Me It's Scary

The Young Mitch White

Hi, I’m Mitch White, a.k.a.Lazarus (other aliases redacted to protect the innocent – Ed.), and with the help of my trusty valet, Blevins, I manage this site. I’ve always read books; novels for the most part. I need lines in a row to get to sleep, in fact, and I’ve been known to read soup can labels to accomplish that objective. (Exception: Large doses of anesthetics do the job, but not as pleasurably.) I was a terrible student in English class, though; I never thought of myself as a writer.

Fast forward to the last two years of graduate school, when it became abundantly clear that I was a functional illiterate. Oh, I could read well enough; I had practice there. Writing was a totally different, and increasingly scary, prospect. Public speaking? The thought made me break out in hives, cold sweats and catatonia. At this point it had finally sunk in through my thick skull that I was going to have to write about, and more horrifying, defend my ideas to a skeptical audience who could easily reject my application to join their exclusive club. The possibilities didn’t help me sleep better at night.

What to do, what to do? I took a multi-pronged approach to the solution. I attended undergraduate English classes in analyzing and editing. I took creative writing classes at night, taught by Orson Scott Card before he was famous. (Lucky me!) I found speaking and lecturing opportunities around campus to break me of the podium willies.

It worked. I wrote a large dissertation and defended it adequately, if not brilliantly. Finally I could consider myself educated. Additionally, I caught the writing bug. I’ve got over four million words of fiction in the can, and one work (nonfiction) published. I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo since 2005, winning every year but one. (Trust me, I’ve got a doozie of an excuse for that slight slip.)

I live in central Texas with the beauteous Paula Jo, a mellow Golden (Sonia the Red), and three barmy aliens in cat suits: Spookums, who drinks all my coffee creamer; Suzie Q, who wants to play ring-toss all day; and Archibald Roscoe Peabody, who lies on his back and pretends he’s one of those worm guys from Men in Black. (No points for guessing how he got his last name.) I enjoy lots of hobbies and interests, when work isn’t interfering:  Training and rehabilitating abandoned Golden Retrievers, photography, travel, cooking and trying out new recipes, and more. Reading, of course; and writing, always with the writing…

I’m trained as a mathematician and chemist, and my consulting takes me around the world.  When last I checked I’ve been to something like thirty-five countries on five continents, none of which has ever extradited me.  (Successfully, I mean.) I help manufacturing companies all over the globe improve their productivity and quality, and it’s a wonderful way to meet new friends and learn about their cultures and cuisines.  I always find time to sample the local fare extensively and repeatedly; I AM a statistician, after all!  Sample and test, sample and test; it’s a hard life, so I don’t ask anybody else to suffer with me.  Except when my family can come along, of course.

I maintain some ties to academia, and I’ve taught standard and short courses on everything from physical chemistry to industrial careers.  Whenever I teach others I learn more than they do!  And as Jessica’s Mom says, it keeps me out from under foot.

Someday I’ll score my breakthrough and become a true author. (Don’t laugh; it could happen.) With a name like Lazarus, I can afford to be patient a while longer. And when I do finally score big, I’ll give this site to some other poor sucker, uhh, promising candidate so they can waste their time provide ongoing service to the struggling writers’ community…

(I realize the picture doesn’t do me justice, but it’s the best I could locate on short notice. Besides, Sean and I are this tight; I’ve got (nearly) every one of his movies, after all.  I’ll put one of me up here as soon as I can find an example that won’t take the server down permanently…)