Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Interview w/Mike Mullin + Giveaways!

 
Today Mike Mullin, author of the Ashfall trilogy has stopped by! I'm super excited to be hosting a fellow Hoosier. *grins* He so kindly answered a few questions, entertainingly and informatively. Can't beat that, eh? Lets begin:

1. Did you ever make a 'volcano' out of baking soda and vinegar as a kid? Or did you make any as research for the Ashfall trilogy? =)

Yes, I made baking soda volcanos at least twice when I was a kid. About a year after ASHFALL came out, my wife, who teaches fourth grade, decided that since I'm allegedly some kind of volcano expert, I absolutely had to come help her students make baking soda volcanos. We did it outside, thank goodness. It was a chaotic mess! They had made more than a dozen volcanos, and they erupted each one three times using different quantities of baking soda and vinegar so they could observe and record the results. A few of the more squirrelly boys wound up wearing volcanic ejecta rather than merely observing it.

2. What past volcano eruption in history fascinates you the most?

The Lake Toba, Indonesia, super-eruption of about 73,000 years ago. It was a massive eruption- releasing at least 1,000 times as much ejecta as the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption in the United States. The eruption roughly corresponds with a genetic bottleneck in human evolution that occurred between 50,000 and 100,000 years ago. Therefore, some scientists hypothesize that the Lake Toba super-eruption nearly wiped out the human race, although this view is controversial. The eruption certainly caused a global volcanic winter that lasted between six and ten years, and may have played a role in a 1,000 year cooling episode. There's an excellent overview of the Lake Toba super-eruption on Wikipedia(link).

3. As far as secondary characters go, who is dearest to your heart out of the Ashfall trilogy?

Ed, the former flenser that rescues Alex in ASHEN WINTER. I love the idea of Ed, of a character who seeks redemption despite a vile past. Ed also plays a critical role in SUNRISE.

4. Having completed a successful trilogy in the post-apocalyptic genre, what is it that you're excited to do next in your writing career?

I'm about 30,000 words into the first draft of SURFACE TENSION, a young adult thriller. It's about a teen who sees a group of terrorists crashing an airplane from the ground. He's the only one who knows how they did it, and they want him dead. I haven't sold it yet, so I don't know when or even if it will be published. Wish me luck!

5. When writing, do you have a favorite drink or snack on hand?

Coffee. I know it's a cliche- the writer with coffee- but that's what I drink. Oceans and oceans of coffee. If you prick me, I bleed brown and smell wonderful!
 
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First off, good luck! SURFACE TENSION sounds fantastic! Secondly, here's the giveaway I'm hosting:

{Image courtesy of Banquet}

I'll admit, it was a little harder to find something that was volcano-themed. But when I saw this tongue-in-cheek card, I knew I had a winner. To be entered to win, simply leave a comment and kindly follow Mike at one or more of the following social links: Website | Twitter | Facebook. The winner will be announced 3/21.

And you can also enter this Rafflecopter to win a complete set of the Ashfall trilogy. Suh-weet!

About the author: Mike Mullin’s first job was scraping the gum off the undersides of desks at his high school. From there, things went steadily downhill. He almost got fired by the owner of a bookstore due to his poor taste in earrings. He worked at a place that showed slides of poopy diapers during lunch (it did cut down on the cafeteria budget).

The hazing process at the next company included eating live termites raised by the resident entomologist, so that didn’t last long either. For a while Mike juggled bottles at a wine shop, sometimes to disastrous effect. Oh, and then there was the job where swarms of wasps occasionally tried to chase him off ladders. So he’s really glad this writing thing seems to be working out.

Mike holds a black belt in Songahm Taekwondo. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and her three cats. Ashen Winter is his second novel. His debut, Ashfall, was named one of the top five young adult novels of 2011 by National Public Radio, a Best Teen Book of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews, and a New Voices selection by the American Booksellers Association.

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The Yellowstone supervolcano nearly wiped out the human race. Now, almost a year after the eruption, the survivors seem determined to finish the job. Communities wage war on each other, gangs of cannibals roam the countryside, and what little government survived the eruption has collapsed completely. The ham radio has gone silent. Sickness, cold, and starvation are the survivors’ constant companions.

When it becomes apparent that their home is no longer safe and adults are not facing the stark realities, Alex and Darla must create a community that can survive the ongoing disaster, an almost impossible task requiring even more guts and more smarts than ever—and unthinkable sacrifice. If they fail . . . they, their loved ones, and the few remaining survivors will perish.

This epic finale has the heart of Ashfall, the action of Ashen Winter, and a depth all its own, examining questions of responsibility and bravery, civilization and society, illuminated by the story of an unshakable love that transcends a post-apocalyptic world and even life itself.

Available at: Amazon, B&N, Book Depository, & Indiebound

Congrats to Mike and best wishes on Sunrise, the terrific completion of the Ashfall trilogy!

32 comments:

  1. Congratulations to Mike on his books! They sound very interesting. I remember seeing how life came back to Mt. St. Helens after it blew its top. Fascinating place.

    Leandra, I used to be a Boilermaker for a few months. Did a bit of postdoc work there ... until I got pregnant. And my husband's barbecue team was called Holy Smokes, so I'd love to win this card for him.

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    1. What a fun name for a barbecue team! Which sounds so good right now- getting close to supper time...

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  2. Mike's bio is hilarious! Great interview you two! Also, Toba eruption FTW--I was totally just reviewing this in my class yesterday, and how it may relate to the shift in human culture at the time :) (Random nerd alert there...)

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    1. That's funny, Meradeth! I'd never heard of it before Mike's interview, and now I've heard about it twice. When I think eruptions, the only ones that come to mind are Pompeii and Mt. Saint Helens.

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  3. Awesome interview! I'm definitely going to need to pick up Mike's books. Right up my alley!

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  4. Fabulous interview of a fabulous subject.
    My kids had a period of intense fascination with volcanos. DD kept asking and reading about Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii, and wouldn't let go. Nice to read about Mike Mullin who really didn't let go of this interest.

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    1. I learned quite a bit about volcanos while reading Ashfall. Well, some of it I already knew but had forgotten since school. That's happening more and more unfortunately! =)

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  5. What a great idea - the Yellowstone super-volcano. Wishing Mike well with 'Sunrise'.
    It sounds like a best-seller.

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  6. Congrats Mike! Great interview you two. I loved that it wasn't a typical Q&A :)

    Leandra, I'd love to learn more about these blog tours. Sounds a great way to meet other authors and learn more about their work. Do you have any insight on how one might jump in on this?

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    1. Thanks, Anna! And sure, I'm happy to share my two cent's worth. =) Mainly I just keep an eye out when I'm reading blogs. I learned of Mike's tour that way(he posted the sign-up sheet from the blog tour site he chose to go through). Other than that, some I find through writing forums(like http://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php) or just by reaching out to blogging buddies that I know who have a book coming out soon. I only do this if it's something I think I'll be interested in reading, that way I'm genuinely excited about it(and hopefully that comes through on the blog).

      But another way is to sign up for notifications from blog touring companies. Such as Elana Johnson's(who's also a YA author)- http://blogtoursbyelana.blogspot.com/. And of course, Books with Bite, who hosted Mike's: http://bookswithbite.net/

      Hope this was helpful!

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  7. Very interesting! I like the specificity of the questions you asked! And I second Anna's question.

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    1. Thanks, mirrors! I hope you get something helpful too out of what I told Anna. It's so much fun having authors stop by- everyone should try it! =D

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  8. Great interview! And that book sounds so scary!

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    1. I agree- stuff that could happen in real life always is!

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  9. Awesome interview! Good luck, Mike, selling your YA thriller. It sounds awesome.

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    1. I know, right? I wanted to read it just from his description.

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  10. Congratulations, Mike!! The blurb is great - and I love the cover :) And I had no idea that there was a Lake Toba super-eruption....this was very cool to learn about. Thank you!

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  11. "eating live termites" - Glad you're not Pinocchio! Congrats, good luck, and great interview!

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    1. Lol! I bet termites were Pinocchio's greatest fear... ;)

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  12. Ooh, I like the sound of Mike's YA thriller! I can definitely see it selling. Good luck, Mike!

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  13. Congratulations to Mike on his books. I love his bio, and cringed most especially at the wasp part. Thank you both for the interview.

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    1. Oh, yeah, wasps are mean little buggers!

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  14. Fun interview. Mike presented his program at the library I work at--great stuff!

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    1. I, too, saw him at a local library a few years go- he is a great presenter!

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  15. Thank you for being a part of the tour!

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  16. I only just read ASHFALL recently and really enjoyed it! I can't wait to read books two and three. I already have them though, so no need to enter me in the drawing.

    The interview was very fun--but then again, Mike is very fun, so I knew it would be. :)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. He sure is. He'll be at the writing conference I'll be going to in April, and I can't wait to attend his session. Sure it'll be a blast!

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