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Writing-Profile of Austin Mitchell
Austin Mitchell has written more than eighty short stories. He has also written several plays, poems and
novels. He has attended several writing workshops. Several of his short stories have been published in
newspapers in Jamaica. He is a past student of St. Mary’s College, Above Rocks, St. Catherine. He is from a community, called Glengoffe, one of the largest communities in the island, which is in the north east of the island, bordering the parishes of St. Mary and St. Andrew. He presently resides in the city of Portmore, which incidentally is also in the parish of St. Catherine. Mr. Mitchell is a lover of sports, especially cricket, football and athletics. He is an avid reader of Western novels. He also enjoys watching Western & Nollywood movies.
What inspired you to write your book?
As a writer i see mn=any true to life situations. This is one of them.
Here is a short sample from the book:
When twenty three-year-old Konya Evans arrived at the offices of Standard Management Services in Cross Roads, the first man she met was Denver Tracey. She knew at once that he had affected her in some way.
“Hi, I’m Konya Evans,” she introduced herself to the tall man.
She judged his height to be about six feet, and he was about twenty six years of age. She hoped that he wasn’t married. She had to catch herself, such thoughts. He was dark in complexion, but very handsome, she had to admit. He had a low haircut and was clean shaven. It was early, about eight o’clock in the morning and the building seemed empty.
“I’m here as a senior accounting clerk and relief telephone operator.”
“I’m Denver Tracey and you’re the new employee, Peter told me about.”
She nodded. She had done the interview for this job from the middle of January and here she was just landing it in February.
“I’m going to get some breakfast at the canteen, won’t you come along?”
“I don’t think so, I hardly know anything about this place. I think it would be quite forward of me to be barging my way down to your cafeteria.”
“Maybe you’re not hungry like I am. I’ll bring back something for you.”
“No, don’t, as I said I’m not hungry.”
“I’ll give you the chance to refuse.”
He gestured at her before taking off for the cafeteria.
“Suit yourself, but I’m starving.”
She watched him go. Soon he was back. He had brought back a cup of coffee for himself, mint tea for her as well as sandwiches for both of them.
“I’ve brought back something for you and don’t bother to tell me that you don’t want it.”
She felt a little embarrassed. She was hungry and the smell of the food made her hungrier. It was a wonder he did not hear her belly growling.
“I told you that I was okay.”
“How much do I owe you?”
“Not a cent, just consider it my welcoming gift to you.”
“Thanks, you’re very kind.”
She took the food from him and ate it slowly to show that she wasn’t hungry. They were sitting on a concrete bench on the lawns of the complex.
“You must tell me about yourself, why don’t you come into my office?”
“I couldn’t possibly, what would the other staff members think of me? I hardly know you.”
“I’m one guy that you are going to know a great deal about.”
“Oh is that so and what makes you think I’ll want to know more about you?”
“Because I’m a pretty interesting person,” he said as he led her into his office.
She learned a lot about him that morning. He had a degree in Computer Science from the University of the West Indies. He only told her that he had a girlfriend, and they had a baby together. He refused to indulge any further into his personal life. His office was large and he had a huge desk. He had a laptop computer and a personal one on his desk. He had a small library full of computer books. When she was leaving his office, she saw a tall girl staring at her.
.“You must be the new girl?”
“I’m Renae Duggan and you must be Konya Evans.”
She nodded again. Renae was possibly about twenty five years of age and she was copper colored like herself. Her hair was cane-rowed, fine. She was dressed in the office uniform, she thought.
She dragged her to one side.
“You’re young, maybe I’m not much older than you. But I saw you coming out of Denver’s office. That’s how he operates. Quite a few girls like yourself have come and gone because of him.”
“I was just talking to him, seeing there was nobody else here to talk to.”
“Jovita will eat you alive. That’s one of his women. She works on the building, over at the merchant bank.”
“He told me that he wasn’t married, but had a baby mother.”
"He has broken so many girl’s hearts that we are like lookouts, warning all newcomers to beware of him.”
“I’ll still talk to him though. He’s fun and a nice guy to be around. But I’ll keep in mind all that you’ve told me.”
“Suit yourself, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
“So how do you like your new job?” Denver asked her as they sat at lunch that afternoon.
“I think I’ll learn a lot here.”
“Where did you say you’re from again?”
“I’m from Dixon district about two miles from Ocho Rios. I used to attend high school there.”
“So what are you doing in Kingston. I thought you would have found a job in the tourist industry.”
“I intend to work in the industry, but I have to study first.”
They continued eating. He saw her looking around.
“Why are you looking around so much? Are you nervous?”
“I heard that you have quite a few girlfriends. I know I’m taking a chance having lunch with you.”
“I told you that I live with a woman. Why would anybody tell you anything different?”
“Do you have a woman working at the merchant bank?”
He started laughing. He put down his knife and fork.
“Who told you that? Listen, there are a lot of rumors about me and countless women. If I give a girl a lift in my car, they say I’m along with her.”
“I’d better not be seen talking too often to you. You told me that you live with a woman with whom you have a child.”
“I’m not a wild guy. Never was and don’t want to be.”
She was tempted to ask him about Jovita, but decided against it.