Author Biff Mitchell Enters Olympic Level Triathlon to Research Novel

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Biff Mitchell swims, bikes and runs to research the sequel to his novel Â?The War BugÂ?.

“If I survive the training, then I just might finish the triathlon,” said author Biff Mitchell, who hopes to complete an Olympic level triathlon to research a chapter in the sequel to his best selling ebook “The War Bug”, which is hitting bookstores in paperback this October.

The event Mitchell entered is the Duncan Hadley Triathlon to be held at Killarney Lake in New Brunswick, Canada, on July 10, one month after his fifty-eighth birthday. “It’s a 1500 meter swim,” said Mitchell. “Followed by a 40 kilometer bike ride and a 10 kilometer run. I don’t plan to break any records. I’ll be happy to finish, alive.”

Mitchell has been training daily for the event. “I usually swim 2 to 3 kilometers a couple times a week,” he said. “But I only started running and biking again a few weeks ago. My legs are just beginning to get used to the training, so I suppose my chances of living through this are improving every day.”

Mitchell’s novel “The War Bug” (ISBN: 1-55404-248-8), originally scheduled for release in June, has been postponed at the author’s request till October 2005 after research revealed that the summer months are the worst of the year for book sales. “I had visions of sitting in an empty bookstore ready to sign books while everyone was at the beach,” said Mitchell.

Set 200 years in the future, the “The War Bug” revolves around Abner Hayes, who has just hours to save his virtual family from death at the hands of a ruthless kidnapper. His only ally is a deadly computer virus responsible for a virtual war that's killed millions and threatens to destroy the Internet from Earth to Jupiter.

“The sequel takes place 100 years after the first novel,” said Mitchell. “And it’s a reversal of the original plot. Hayes daughter, Cassie, has to save her father with help from the same computer virus that aided her father.”

One of the key scenes in the novel is an online triathlon that pits humans against virtual athletes. “I plan to develop the themes of humanness and intelligent programs that I touched on in ‘The War Bug’,” said Mitchell. “And what better way to do it than with an event that tests your mind, body and spirit.”

“I want this scene to be as realistic as possible,” said Mitchell. “And the best way to do that is experience an actual triathlon, training and all.”

Mitchell’s training regimen begins at 7:00 AM each morning with various combinations of running, swimming, biking, stretching and strength-building exercises. “Last Saturday, I biked 40 kilometers and ran five,” said Mitchell. “The next day, I was going to run 10 kilometers, but my legs had other ideas. I ran five.”

Deron Douglas from Double Dragon Publishing – Mitchell’s publisher – said, “We don’t normally ask our writers to risk their lives selling their books, but after looking at Biff’s sales figures for this month, we’ve given him the green light.”

“I love publishers with a sense of humor,” said Mitchell. “I think that’s why I prefer the independents.”

Mitchell is guarded about the name of his sequel. “It’s the perfect name for this particular novel and I’m afraid that if I even say it out loud, some other writer will pick up on it and use it.”

This October, the trade paperback version of "The War Bug" will premiere throughout North America. In the United States, bookstores and libraries can order the title from Ingram or Baker & Taylor, or in Canada from Double Dragon Publishing. Mitchell plans to finish the sequel sometime in 2006.

Details on the triathlon, along with pictures of the route, will be posted at over the next few weeks. He’s also begun posting daily training entries on his blog at

About Biff Mitchell

Biff Mitchell is the author of the world’s first laundromance, "Heavy Load" ( His second novel, "Team Player" (coming from Double Dragon Publishing in 2006), is a spoof on the IT industry, based largely on his own work experience. He has two novellas, "The Baton" and "Smoke Break," published as Dollar Downloads by Echelon Press.

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