I Am a Novelist!


When I was a kid I wanted to be everything. I practiced tight rope walking on the chain-link fence behind my buddy Jeff’s house in preparation to join the circus; explored the city sewers, preparing to become a world-class archeologist; drew up plans for a theater in my backyard and cast Debbie Reynolds in the lead role of my first production… All of this fueled by the books I’d read and the imagination that fed on them.

But when I was older and wiser (age 12), I realized there wouldn’t be enough time to become everything I wanted to be. I grieved. Deeply. But then one day I discovered a magical device that would allow me to become anything and everything!

It was called Writing.

By the time I reached 8th Grade I’d decided to become a world-famous novelist (is there any other kind?). I even had a pen name: “Jules Paris Casino.” Soon, however, other passions like acting and music pushed poor Jules into the attic.

I did become a writer. My work in theatre and music led to writing comedy sketches, songs, plays and screenplays. But Jules the novelist was still there brooding in the attic

Finally, when Disney TV asked me to write a novelization of my in-the-works animated series The Wishing Map, Jules came down from that moldy garret. Disney eventually dropped the project, but I finished the novel anyway. Why? Because I discovered I loved long-form, loved returning to the same world again each day! (The Wishing Map was offered a deal by a religious publishing house, but I let it go because their fiction sales, apart from romances about pretty Amish girls running away from farms, were weak.)

Meanwhile, opportunities arose to write and direct feature films, so it looked like The Wishing Map would remain my sole novel. Then the producer of my movie Healing River announced plans for its long-delayed release, and I jumped at the excuse to write a novelization!

Yet the moment I began writing it, I felt like a charlatan: “What am I thinking? I’ve written one young adult fantasy. This is serious fiction. I’m not a novelist.”

Do you want to be? my soul asked.

“Oui!” Jules shouted, “Weeth all my heart!”

Well, then get to it!

This week I started the third draft of the novel Healing River. My alpha readers have been wonderfully encouraging. But regardless of what happens next, I’ve finally realized…

I am a novelist!

Oh, and one quick announcement: Jules Paris Casino has decided to publish under the pen name…

“Mitch Teemley.”

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir, Story Power, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to I Am a Novelist!

  1. francisashis says:

    You are really very fortunate. I thank God from the bottom of my heart for all the blessings he has bestowed upon you.🙏🌹

    Liked by 1 person

  2. smzang says:

    You picked an absolutely splendid screen name.
    It is a synonym for success.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Would love to read the novel

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 2 people

  4. In the theater we say “Break a leg!” What do we say to novelists? Break a pen? Break a typewriter?

    No, duh, it’s 2020. “Break a computer!” : -D

    Liked by 1 person

  5. nickreeves says:

    Thank you, JP Casino! Excellent, as always.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. oh man! you get my hopes up that Jules Paris Casino is finally publishing his epic novel and then you shoot that down by saying it’s really this guy named Mitch. Dude, seriously?

    well, I’ll still buy it – send the link of where buy and I’ll still read it.

    Come on – at least a dedication or acknowledgement of Jules in the book …

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Kim Smyth says:

    It is so gratifying to get your work published, you have had quite the illustrious career! I wish you good luck and I would like to read the novel someday when I have whittled down my huge stack of books-yet-to-read! PS-I adore Mitch so much more than your pen name!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. As a wise old Louisianan once said to a wide-eyed water boy, “You can do it!”

    Liked by 2 people

  9. hannahtk says:

    Oh Mr. Casino, Mitch is a cute enough name but you really must embrace your own name, JP! We are delighted to hear your pen scratching wildly at paper and can’t wait to see the outcome.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. JOY journal says:

    I don’t know, Mitch. CASINO might give that book cover extra allure. BTW, the bonnet romances have been snare to my writing, as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Bill Sweeney says:

    Great stuff, Mitch. I’ll definitely buy your novel.
    BTW, Mitch Teemley is a great pen name, much better than Mark Twain 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  12. How exciting and encouraging, dear Jules!! Also congratulations to Mitch!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Will Jules Paris Casino be authoring the Mitch Teemley Biography? And have Disney paid for rights to the movie adaptation yet? 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Kim Maria says:

    Isn’t it true? Writing opens up a world as big as you can envision.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Awesome! Indeed, you are a writer. I love your style.
    I also like the name “Casino”. it is muy cool 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. So happy for you! Amazing, may the Lord continue to increase you.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This life is The Great Adventure. Now consider where you would be if you did not have all those desires? My two passions, The Circus and Disney.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Deb Farris says:

    Aww Mitch, so beautiful to read your story, as always. Thank you for the permission, or confirmation I should say, yes, confirmation to release ones dreams.
    With gratitude,

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I enjoyed reading the story of how you became a novelist. I have to say, I really like the pen name Jules Paris Casino. I would pick up a book with that name on the cover just to see what a person so oddly named would write!

    Liked by 2 people

  20. SHRUTI DUBEY says:

    O my god i just googled “mitchteemly” and you were all over there. I was not even aware of the fact that i am sharing this wordpress platform with such great people like you. I don’t know what to say.🥺

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Reading your articles is a highlight of my week. Thank you for sharing good works

    Liked by 2 people

  22. rahjomuelvin says:

    Wonderful and truly inspiring!
    God bless you more!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Pingback: I Am a Novelist! — Mitch Teemley | Novel Writing Festival

  24. Pingback: Now We Are Six | Mitch Teemley

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