Feature Friday: Nikki Mitchell

Today I am excited to feature middle-grade author Nikki Mitchell, author of Nightshade Forest! Her book releases TOMORROW, June 20th. You can read my ARC review here! Definitely worth the read…and kids will love it!

Meet Nikki. She is a stay-at-home homeschooling mama of Evelyn (6) and Everett (4) and married to her college sweetheart. She is from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (a yooper, born and raised!). She has freelanced for my local weekly newspaper for the last 7 years, and is a Northern Michigan University alum with a degree in English Writing and journalism. She is a theater nerd, and loves musicals. She even used to owned a used-bookstore. She collects copies of Fahrenheit 451, and her most treasured book is the copy of the 4th Harry Potter book that she received in 8th grade.

Why did you choose indie publishing?

Honestly, I wanted complete control over my books, especially the cover and the illustrations. And I wanted to get my book into the hands of children as soon as possible.

What inspired you to write?

When I was a kid, I was bullied a lot and didn’t have a whole lot of friends. When I discovered Harry Potter in middle school, reading was a game-changer for me. I realized that I could disappear into books and the kids didn’t bother with me too much anymore because I always had my face in a book. I want to offer that escape to other middle-grade readers, and if I can reach just one, it will be worth it. Eleanor is much like I was, and so she disappears into this magical fairytale books and finds friendship and adventure.

Are you working on any projects at the moment?

Yes! I am currently editing book 2 of the series and writing book 3!

Who is your favorite author and/or book?

I have three. Harry Potter because those are the books that started everything for me. Fahrenheit 451 because Ray Bradbury taught me that writing books make you live forever and that they are key for the society to thrive. To Kill a Mockingbird because it is a lovely read.

If you could apologize to one of your characters, what would you say?

Sorry about the gargoyles.

What is your writing routine like?

Haha. I have two kids at my heels every day. I try to have one, but it is hard.

Can you give us an out of context spoiler?

Ooh this is a tough one! A strong force of magic that had been banished from the kingdom for years comes back to aid the thief.

Who do you hope to inspire with your writing, if anyone?

I really hope to show kids that books can take you on magical adventures just by opening and reading that first line.

If you could give one piece of advise to your past-self about writing, what would it be?

Self-publishing does not mean your book won’t be loved or successful.

Any shout outs?

Yes! My editor, Jennifer Navarre was absolutely amazing and she really brought Nightshade Forest into it’s best version. And everyone else that has helped it come alive. It really takes a village to publish a book!

Follow Nikki Mitchell


When eleven-year-old Eleanor receives a gift from her father, she never imagines it will open a portal to a fairytale world. Upon reading the first sentence of chapter one, she finds herself standing in the middle of Nightshade Forest—a dark woods with glowing blue and purple trees. She soon learns that the magic in the kingdom is out of control, and it is up to Eleanor to restore what has gone missing.

Join Eleanor and her newfound friends, Elfie and Milo in a search for a magic crystal as they fight off creatures Eleanor has only dreamed about. Can she make it to the happily-ever-after and rejoin her family, or will she be stuck in the Nightshade Forest forever?

Currently, I am not accepting any more applications for Feature Friday. Follow me for updates regarding when I will be reopening the application. Until then, signing off.

E.S. Barrison

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