Interview with Biff Mitchell

Author of The Reality Wars

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How would you describe 'The Reality Wars' to a new reader?
  • This is a sequel to The War Bug with a big jump of 2000 years ahead when everyone is born with a natural connection to a multi-galactic cyber world where software personalities are sentient and a lot of people are not happy with that.
What was the inspiration behind 'The Reality Wars' ?
  • I wondered what would happen in the online world 2000 years after The War Bug.
Which authors do you admire? How have they influenced your writing style?
  • I like the Beat writers, including my favorite (who for some reason is rarely associated with the Beat Movement and more so with the Hippie Movement). That would be Richard Brautigan. Everyone should read “In Watermelon Sugar” once a year for their entire lives. I also read Tom Robbins, Christopher Moore, Hemingway, Tim Dorsey, Dashiell Hammet, Chuck Palahniuk, Dan Simmons and any writer who breaks away from the norm in storytelling.

    I think most of these writers have given me direction in writing humor that has no interest in political correctness and stories that go beyond anything that can be termed ‘normal.’
Can you tell us a little about the locations in your book?
  • The locations are all over the universe as in distant worlds both online and in the physical universe.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
  • Don’t even think about being published. If you do, you’ll be writing for your audience and not for yourself. It’ll be similar to butt-kissing in the corporate world. Always write for yourself and write every day.

    Don’t ever think that anything you’ve written is anywhere near finished until you’ve revised and re-written at least half a dozen times.

    Don’t sleep. Ever.
What's your writing process?
  • I get an idea. I fill a hard cover notebook (that I carry everywhere along with pens) with everything I can think about the story for a few months (I called this the story dump).

    Then I create a story board on my living room wall with cards for every scene.

    This gives me a chance to see the whole picture at a glance and identify those areas that need more writing and those that can be dropped or merged with other scenes.

    I don’t write the first word of the first paragraph until I’ve completed all the character studies and have a fairly stable story board.

    When the first draft is finished, I put it away for a few months before I start the re-writing and editing.
Which character in 'The Reality Wars' has had the greatest impact on readers?
  • Abner's cyber daughter is the one most people like. She's carried over from The War Bug and has 2000 years to develop into the universes favorite to win the Reality Wars.
If 'The Reality Wars' were to be adapted for TV or film, who would you see in the lead role? Who did you have in your mind’s eye when you wrote him/her?
  • It would have to be a teenage girl.
How have readers responded to 'The Reality Wars'?
  • Most have liked it better than the first book, The War Bug.
Where next? What are you working on now?
  • I have three more novels on the go along with a weekly serialized story called 'The Existential Adventures of Crazy Man and the Dog Sidestepper.' (
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Cassie Hayes is the idol of the universe. For a thousand years, she’s been triumphant in the Reality Wars, a deadly series of real and virtual games played every 100 years and broadcast throughout the galaxies. But Cassie, a sentient software program, is tormented by the death of her virtual mother after her human father abandoned them 2000 years earlier. Now he’s back…just in time to abandon her again as he goes off to save the universe with the help of a computer virus that thinks it’s Buddha.

But to really rain on her day, the genetically supercharged warrior Clans unleash the perfect weapon, the beautiful and deadly Loac, to destroy Cassie and billions of other virtual humans. The Reality Wars pit woman against woman as they fight to the death in virtual and real worlds against the backdrop of an inter-galactic war that will change the very nature of the universe