Hello everyone!!Today I am thrilled to be taking part in the 2nd Annual Authors Are Rockstars. I have the honor of hosting Author Mike Mullin. I love his book Ashfall and Ashen Winter. Why do I think Mike is a rockstar? That is easy. He has create a series that is very believable and enjoyable. Once I started Ashfall I didn't want to put it down until I finished it. Once I finished it I could not wait to read Ashen Winter. Now I am sitting so patiently ok maybe not so patiently waiting for Sunrise. Almost everyone knows what Yellowstone is and that scientist say it will erupt in the future. Mike's books take you into the fascinating world of what would happen if it did erupt It's not just the fact it seems so real that make him a rockstar writer it's how he is with his fans. He visits libraries, schools and mores to show how much he loves his fans. Plus just reading his bio will make you see he is a down to earth guy who doesn't think he is a rockstar.. I think he needs to add that to his bio. Another reason he is a rockstar in a world were some boys won't pick a book up and read it, he has written a series even teen boys will love. I could keep rambling but I am sure you see Mike is a rockstar to me. I had the pleasure of asking him a few questions and that is below his bio.
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.
Interview with Mike Mullin
PR:You created a realist world in Ashfall that seems like something that could happen. Do you believe if this really happened there would be more good or bad people left?
MM:Something similar to what I portray in ASHFALL will happen. There are at least a dozen active supervolcanoes on earth—active meaning they’re going to erupt again. There’s no technology that can stop them, and it’s doubtful that we’d be capable of preparing adequately even if we did have advance notice of an eruption. The good news is that geological timescales are so long compared to human timescales that you and I will likely be long dead and gone before it happens.
I research nearly everything I write about, and there’s a rich body of psychological research on the question you pose. Something like 10% of the population is altruistic—they’ll behave with other people’s interests at heart regardless of their own interest. These are folks like Rita Mae, the librarian in Worthington, or Edna Barslow, the farmer’s wife Alex meets in ASHFALL. Something on the order of 2% of the population is sociopathic or psychopathic. They’ll behave in their own interests regardless of who it hurts. Like Target.
For the rest, the majority of us, our behavior is variable and controlled by the circumstance. We’ll put on our “good person” face during Sunday morning services and then flip off the jerk who cuts us of on the highway on the way home. Almost everyone in my books, including Alex and Darla, fit this description.
Will we hear more about what is going on outside the US in the 3rd book?
No. SUNRISE is written in Alex’s perspective like ASHFALL and ASHEN WINTER. I can only show you what Alex sees, and it seems to me highly unlikely that he’d know much about what’s going on in the world at large. I’m highly skeptical that large-scale technological or political systems anywhere would survive the four-year global winter that I portray in my trilogy.
Can you let us know what you will be working on after Sunrise is finished?
I have an idea of for a thriller that came to me after I thought of a really devious way to crash an airplane from the ground. (I told my brother the idea; he said, “Don’t write that book. I don’t want to quit flying.” But I think I will.)
Anyway, so what if the only person who saw a group of terrorists crashing a plane was a teenager? And what if they saw him seeing them? That’s the book I’m working on now. I’ve planned it as a stand-along novel.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I read, ride my bicycle, train in taekwondo, play computer games, hike, canoe, cook, drink wine, and travel around talking to junior high and high school students, librarians, teachers, and other writers.
How long does it take you to do the first draft of one of your books?
The first draft of ASHFALL took six months. ASHEN WINTER’s first draft took about nine months, and SUNRISE almost a year.
Is Ashfall what you believe will happen one day or will something else change the way we live?
I’ve spoken with many geologists both before and after ASHFALL was published. I always ask: “Will Yellowstone erupt again?” The answer is always, “Yes.” Then I ask, “When?” The answer is always, “We don’t know.”
If you must worry about an apocalypse, worry about global warming a la Ship Breaker. That disaster is happening now, and will continue throughout our lifetime. A super-volcano eruption, while certain to occur in the long run, is extremely unlikely to happen during your lifetime. The other reason to worry about global warming? You can do something about it. There’s no action any of us can take to prevent or reverse volcanic activity of any kind.
What five items would you want with you if something happened like in the Ashfall series?
My plan for a supervolcano eruption like the one in ASHFALL? I’d die. So I don’t worry much about items I’d need. I’d want to be with my wife, Margaret. That’s enough.
What is the first book you remember reading?
Where the Wild Things Are by Sendak. My brother and I would wait eagerly for the words “Let the wild rumpus begin!” and then we’d dance while my mother showed us the double page spreads that followed.
What do you want readers to take away from your series?
I’d like to give my readers the gift that Heinlein, Asimov, Cormier, Blume, and Peck gave me: A few hours of diversion in a childhood that was sometimes kind of shitty. The opportunity to live other lives vicariously through their writing. A few new thoughts, and lots of familiar feelings.
Many visitors to Yellowstone National Park don’t realize that the boiling hot springs and spraying geysers are caused by an underlying supervolcano. It has erupted three times in the last 2.1 million years, and it will erupt again, changing the earth forever.
Fifteen-year-old Alex is home alone when Yellowstone erupts. His town collapses into a nightmare of darkness, ash, and violence, forcing him to flee. He begins a harrowing trek in search of his parents and sister, who were visiting relatives 140 miles away.
Along the way, Alex struggles through a landscape transformed by more than a foot of ash. The disaster brings out the best and worst in people desperate for food, clean water, and shelter. When an escaped convict injures Alex, he searches for a sheltered place where he can wait—to heal or to die. Instead, he finds Darla. Together, they fight to achieve a nearly impossible goal: surviving the supervolcano.
About Ashen Winter:
It’s been over six months since the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano. Alex and Darla have been staying with Alex’s relatives, trying to cope with the new reality of the primitive world so vividly portrayed in Ashfall, the first book in this series. It’s also been six months of waiting for Alex’s parents to return from Iowa. Alex and Darla decide they can wait no longer and must retrace their journey into Iowa to find and bring back Alex’s parents to the tenuous safety of Illinois. But the landscape they cross is even more perilous than before, with life-and-death battles for food and power between the remaining communities. When the unthinkable happens, Alex must find new reserves of strength and determination to survive.
We would like to thank Mike Mullin for offering one book to a winner. If you are in the US and win the book will be signed by the Mike Mullin if an international person wins the book will come from the Book Depository and will not be signed. I'm going to make entering super easy. Simply comment below with some nice words to Mike Mullin and a way to contact you in case you win. Contest is open till August 20th.
Be sure to check out the rest of the Authors are Rockstar tour. Simply click on the Rockstar Graphic at the top.
I would like to Thank everyone for the chance to be a part of this tour.