Goodbye Water Cowgirls: Biff Mitchell Auctions Dream to Raise Money for Novel

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After years of dreaming about becoming both a novelist and the owner of a wilderness getaway for women, author Biff Mitchell chooses to finish his next novel and put his second love, Water Cowgirls, up for auction at eBay.

Author Biff Mitchell thought he was one step further to realizing his long-time dream of opening a wilderness Valhalla for women on the East coast of Canada when he bought the domain name, but commitment to finishing his futurist murder mystery, Murder by Burger, is forcing him to sell the domain.

“I’ve had two passions in my life: writing novels and running a wilderness getaway for women with a sense of adventure, something remote by a pristine lake close to a system of white water rivers.”

Strangely, both passions were inspired by one novel, Tom Robbins’ “Even Cowgirls Get The Blues.” It was Mitchell’s favorite. “There was something about the concept of the Rubber Rose Ranch – the largest all-girl ranch in the West – and lead character Sissy Hankshaw’s odyssey, hitchhiking across the continent with her gifted thumb, that inspired me to write,” said Mitchell. “And, of course, the idea of the all-girl ranch lay in the back of my mind for years, until I moved to the mostly wilderness province of New Brunswick on the East coast of Canada.”

“An avid canoeist friend, Nanook of the Nashwaak, got me interested in canoeing the province’s beautiful river systems,” said Mitchell. “On one of these trips, we passed a small settlement of log cottages at the top of a steep cliff with a rickety ladder leading down to the river and a flotilla of salmon canoes. It hit me like a sack of sand – I would build an adventure settlement for women deep in New Brunswick’s woodlands and it would be filled with water, water from a barely accessible lake and from the beautiful whitewater rivers that would flow from the lake. I pictured a canoe with two women tearing through a boil of splashing water with their paddles raised victoriously over their heads.”

“Like cowgirls, I thought,” said Mitchell. “And that’s when I realized what the settlement would have to be called, I would call it Water Cowgirls.”

In the meantime, Mitchell wrote his first novel, Heavy Load (the world’s first laundromance, according to the author) and followed that with two more novels and a collection of short stories. “But then I started what I knew from the first line would be my best piece of writing,” said Mitchell. “It’s a crazy satire on fast food, corporate culture, the ethics of science, and the stupidity of the average consumer.”

But in spite of glowing reviews, Mitchell’s work is a niche-oriented brand of speculative fiction published mostly in ebook and print-on-demand formats. “It’s a new publishing model that fits well with my work,” said Mitchell. “But it’s also a medium in which nobody’s getting rich overnight, yet. If it’s hard to make it as a fulltime writer in the traditional print world, then it’s doubly hard to do so in the world of epublishing, at least for the time being.”

Like most writers, Mitchell is forced to work a day job to pay the rent and stock the fridge. “It’s tough working all day and then coming home to write well into the night,” said Mitchell. “But if you don’t do that, you don’t write. Period.”

Mitchell kept working on his dream for Water Cowgirls, drawing plans for the layout of the settlement and scouting locations while he was on canoeing trips. He even bought the domain name But the demands of the novel soon stopped all work on the settlement. “It was getting to the point where I didn’t even have time for my day job,” said Mitchell. “I began using up sick time to write, and I took breaks during the day to work on a passages in the novel. I was close to losing my job. I have bills and child support payments. I had to shelve the novel. I tried working on Water Cowgirls but I couldn’t get my mind off the novel. I realized the only way to finish it would be to work on it fulltime.”

Brad Parks, a programmer friend of Mitchell’s mentioned that he had the domain name and that he expected he could sell it for a high price. “I asked him what he thought a domain name like would bring,” said Mitchell. “He told me I could probably take a year off work if I auctioned it at eBay.”

Now, Mitchell, who claims his first love is his writing, is auctioning the domain name at eBay. “Some day, I’ll come back to my dream of wilderness getaway for women,” said Mitchell. “It won’t be called Water Cowgirls, but I’m a fiction writer. I’ll come up with something.”

Mitchell posted all the details and links for the auction on his website at:

About Biff Mitchell

Biff Mitchell is the author Heavy Load (Fictionwise), the world’s first laundromance, The War Bug (Double Dragon Publishing), a cyberthrillersatire set on the Internet 200 years in the future, and Team Player (Double Dragon/ a satire on the IT industry. He has a book of short stories, Surfing in Catal Hyuk published through, and two ebook novellas Smoke Break and The Baton published by Echelon Press. He is also the author of eMarketing Tools for Writers (Fictionwise), and has four stories in the upcoming J. Richard Jacobs anthology, Twisted Tails. Mitchell’s website is at


Thom Glen, Publicity Manager


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