Journey Within by J. Mitchel Baker
Journey Within by J. Mitchel Baker

Publisher: Artistic Origins (April 30, 2017)
Category: Memoir, Adventure, Inspirational
Tour dates: Oct-Nov, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-940385-05-1
Available in Print & ebook, 181 pages

The true story of a simple man who has spent his life working amidst the quiet embrace of nature and her animals. Despite the happy normalcy, his soul calls out to him through a series of visions urging him to search for the higher design in his life. His inner voice beckons him out into the wilderness, away from all that he knows and understands, to find the higher meaning of himself.

After nearly a decade of stubborn denial, he removes his self-imposed blindfolds to embark on what is to become his personal journey into the unknown.What he finds will forever change his life.

Instead of meaning, he finds a tempest. Finding courage through his animals he forges onward in search of his own truth.  Is there a greater universal design for each of us? Or is there only chaos and confusion? Your answer lies within, if only you dare to take the journey.

 A Journey Within highlights the duality between both the physical and the spiritual.  It carries a message of courage and inspiration to connect with life and the inner-self, taking the road less traveled, and living authentically.

Praise Journey Within by J. Mitchel Baker

“A good book. A REALLY good book. The author has a way with words. He has you thinking you are right there with him. I enjoyed the adventure Mr. Baker. Thank you!  It reminded me somewhat of “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. It all goes back to, or starts with, “Why do bad things happen to Good People”? I’ve been trying to figure that out myself. I’ve read so many books in an effort to find an answer that I agree with. Some ideas make sense, some do not. I truly hope Mr. Bakers’ journey (s) help him find the answer.”-Kindle Customer

Interview With J. Mitchel Baker

TR: Please tell us something about ‘The Journey Within’ that is not in the summary.  (About the book, character you particularly enjoyed writing etc.)

JB: The telling of this story is, and has been, an intensely uncomfortable moment for me. It all began easily enough with the wilderness experience practically writing itself, with the constant traumatic replay seared into my visual and emotional memory. But then my editor said “no”. “Not enough.” “Go deeper.” She wanted the reader to know me, to experience the adventure through my lens.

Therein lies my paradox – I am a quiet, introspective observer of life, yet at the same time shouting out to the universe revealing all things highly personal to me. She was right; the story could not be told well without linking the person behind the adventure. But the discomfort remains.

TR: Describe the room you are sitting in as though it was a scene in one of your books.

JB: Slow, stealthy footsteps creep silently across the tile floor. The sun barely sheds light through the windows. The only sounds to be heard in the house are the clock on the wall, the coffee brewing, and the early birds chirping outside. Morning is my alone time. A time to focus. A time to write. Slowly I pull the wooden chair from beneath the table. The long deep moan of the chair echoes loudly throughout the house. I pause with a grimace until silence again settles in. No movement is heard. Quickly sitting, I find myself uncomfortably far from the table. Yet I dare not move the chair closer for fear of waking the family. I am ready. Let the work begin.

My mind has taken me back to that moment: remembering, experiencing, re-living. My words flow freely onto the page.

“Good morning”.

Startled, I look up to find my wife peaking around the corner into my inner-sanctum – the dining room.

“Whatcha doin?”

“I’m writing” I reply.

“Oh. I’m sorry” she says. “I’ll leave you alone.”

My mind tries to go back to that place from where I came as the sounds of pots and pans clatter in the next room. With a great deal of focus, despite the background noise, I’m finally back in my mind once again: visually in the moment, feeling the pain, and again finding my words.

 “Are you gonna mow the lawn today?”

Slowly I close my laptop.

TR: Using only adverbs, describe the writing process for you.

JB: Lightly but deeply; almost always playfully, sometimes sadly, but certainly powerfully.

TR: What writers have you drawn inspiration from? What other inspirations do you draw from?

JB: Having avoided mandatory reading through school as much as possible, I began reading consistently as a young adult, drawn to stories of intrigue from writers such as Uris, Ludlum, and Clancy. They took me to foreign lands and introduced me to dangerous lives. From there, I broadened into stories of Americana from McMurtry, Hillerman, Grisham, and L’Amour. But I found the truly great writers in the classics; of Hemingway, of Steinbeck, of Emerson, of Twain, of Buck, of Tolstoy – powerful writers who seemed to break all the literary rules.

But in the end, great stories don’t need to be only from authors notable in name. As a reader, I simply want the storyteller, any storyteller, to fully take me with them into the story.

TR: How long did it take you to complete ‘The Journey Within’?

JB: 4 months. Most of which was dedicated to wrapping my head around the emotions and thought processes that needed to be shared with the readers. Because my story is based on actual events, I could move forward at a breakneck pace through simple regurgitation.

TR: Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?

JB: Sam Elliot represents the iconic American cowboy. One could only wish he might choose to play a role that is me.

TR: Tell us about your cover. Did you design it yourself?

JB: Designed by Brandon White.

Admittedly, so much marketing emphasis is placed on the cover. This is what initially draws attention to a book. But I’m a rancher first and foremost, learning as I go about the publication industry, and never having travelled this road before, I clearly understand I’m an infant in the field. What I do know is that my budget is limited. I get nervous about potential costs.

So, thinking ahead to the cover, my idea was simply to have a contemplative pose over a campfire, hoping it might appeal to the cowboy/cowgirl in all of us. I told my wife what I was looking for and she took the pictures.

When it came time for cover design, I forwarded nearly every electronic photo I had to my publisher and she chose what I had hoped for – the photo from my early idea – something already paid for.

TR: If you could be somebody else for a day who would you choose and why?

JB: Almost anybody else as long as they were outside. I love the outdoors. That is where I draw my strength. That is where I feel connected to the earth.

TR: What are you currently working on?

JB: I am working on the second book of this story. The story told by ‘A Journey Within’ only tells of the life-altering event that had the power to change the course and direction of my life. I have since then wandered farther into the wilderness to see where that direction leads me. Wouldn’t you like to know what happened?

TR: What book/s are you reading at present?

JB: ‘Spider Woman’s Daughter’ by Anne Hillerman. I miss the Navajo stories once told by Tony Hillerman. But happily his daughter carries the torch now.

About J. Mitchel BakerJourney Within by J. Mitchel Baker

Mitchel Baker is a graduate of Texas A&M University, living in San Antonio with his family. He has dedicated his life to ranching and managing natural resources, and continues to be a student of all things visceral. He is currently working on his sequel to A Journey Within as he stumbles awkwardly toward a higher consciousness.


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Giveaway Journey Within by J. Mitchel Baker

This giveaway is for the choice of print or ebook however, print is available to the U.S. Only and ebook is open worldwide.  This giveaway ends on November 30, 2017 midnight pacific time.  Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Journey Within by J. Mitchel Baker