Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ashfall Tour: Into the Past with Mike Mullin + GIVEAWAY

Ashfall by Mike Mullin
Today I have Mike Mullin here as part of the Teen {Book} Scene Ashfall Blog Tour with an Into the Past look.

From age two to four my favorite book was Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are. My younger brother and I had a special ritual for it—when Mom reached the words, “’And now,’ cried Max, ‘let the wild rumpus start!’” we would begin to dance. We didn’t need any music, just the example of Max and his subjects over the three full-page spreads that followed. The other book I loved at that age was Virginia Lee Burton’s Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, for perhaps obvious reasons. When Darla is geeking out over construction equipment in ASHFALL, I’m definitely writing what I know.

By kindergarten, Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie had supplanted Sendak. I even went so far as to organize a production of it in my backyard. I recruited classmates to act, held rehearsals, and scheduled a big opening night (well, afternoon) with parents and classmates comprising the audience. When Mom asked why I didn’t have a role in my own play, I told her indignantly, “I can’t act—I’m the director.” The young actor assigned to play Captain Hook froze up with stage fright so bad he peed his pants. I convinced Dad to jump in and improvise the role.

[NOTE: I have a short video of this somewhere that was shot on Super-8 and later transferred to DVD. I’ll see if I can find it and upload it to YouTube.]

Our family was firmly middle class, and I got all the usual stuff for Christmas: Lincoln Logs, Legos, even a bicycle one year. But the best Christmas gift of my childhood was the one I got while I was in fourth grade—a boxed set of The Chronicles of Narnia. I read the series eleven times over the following year, keeping count with hash marks inside the front covers. That year I’d been placed in a gifted and talented class with a particularly vicious and mean-spirited teacher, Mrs. Walsh, and C.S. Lewis provided me with a much-needed escape. Once, I escaped in a literal as well as figurative sense—Mrs. Walsh interrupted her excruciatingly boring lecture about reading to scream, “Michael Mullin, if you’re just going to read that book under your desk, you can go out in the hall to do it!” Busted! So I calmly got up, left the classroom, and settled in one of the study carrels in the hall to finish The Horse and His Boy.

As a teenager, I needed the escape books provided even more desperately. I read adult science fiction and fantasy voraciously, but my favorite book was one written for teens: Heinlein’s Tunnel in the Sky. It described my perfect world—one without adults, where teens could live without the oppressive constraints of parents and teachers. Like the protagonist, Rod Walker, I was interested in primitive survival at this time. I practiced building shelters, foraging for edible plants, and matchless fire starting, both on my own and with the Boy Scouts. Today I prefer a lighter or matches for starting fires and hotel rooms over improvised shelter, but I still enjoy foraging for edible wild plants.

At twenty (and today), I still was reading science fiction, but my tastes were a little more sophisticated. My favorite book was probably David Brin’sStartide Rising. It’s a novel brimming with strange creatures and ideas, populated by aliens and humans both sympathetic and viciously self-interested. I’ve reread it several times since then, and it still ranks among my favorites.

Thank you for inviting me to join you on Reading Angel. Happy reading!

Thanks for being here Mike, and for that look Into Your Past!!  My Chronicles of Narnia box set was one of my cherished possessions as well, and it still has a prized place on my shelf!

Author Mike Mullin
About Mike Mullin:

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 hoping this writing thing works out.
Mike holds a black belt in Songahm Taekwondo. He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife and her three cats. ASHFALL is his first novel.

Where to find Mike Mullin?

Website  Blog  Google+  Twitter  Facebook  Goodreads 


Each week throughout the tour, Mike will be giving away one signed hardcover to a lucky commenter! You can comment once per post each day of the week, and you can click here to check out the full listing of tour stops!

Winner must have a US/Canada mailing address for the weekly giveaway, but Mike is also giving away a 5th copy that will ship from The Book Depository if you are international.
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  1. My love of reading started when I was really young too and I hope to pass that love along to my son.
    I've heard such great things about Ashfall, thanks for the chance to win a copy!!

    Donna @ The Happy Booker
    ahappybooker at gmail dot com

  2. I too loved Where the Wild Things Are and Peter Pan when I was a kid. Those are the kind of stories that stay with you forever.

    Thanks for the chance to win! Can't wait to read Ashfall.


  3. Thanks for the chance to win! [:

    Erin @ Let's Evaluate

  4. My grandma read to me at young age too, and it's stuck. Hope to pass it on to my kids.

  5. My daughter gets busted reading during class all the time! I teach in her school, so I hear about it. I know she shouldn't but it's reading!!! :)

  6. I loved this post! Especially when Mike went to the hall to finish his book. My favorite gifts were always books, they still are! I love when my kids ask me for books. I almost never say no. What if it's the book that changes their life?

  7. Where the Wild Things Are was one of my faves as a little tyke, too! According to my mom, I would beg her to read it every night! :)

  8. I loved Where the Wild Things Are as a kid and I even did the dance once or twice myself.

    Thanks for the chance to win :)

  9. Interesting interview.

    I think anyone who started reading as a child has gone through the change of genre they like.

    Like the author I also progressed to Sci-Fi/Fantasy as my favorites and stayed there but I still read across all genres.

    I am International so can't enter the weekly giveaway but please consider me for the final chance at a copy for Internationals.


    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

  10. I did lots of escaping into books as well. I would pretend my family was the family in the book. They were often confused, but would usually let it go. I guess I did get my books taken away a few times because I was focusing on reading more then I was taking care of my brothers and sisters and doing my chores.
    Awesome guest post!
    candace_redinger at yahoo dot com

  11. reading has been with me from a very young age, since i learned how to read I have constantly had my head in a book!!! Hatchet by Gary Paulsen is one of those books that made me fall in love with reading anymore!! and Mike Knows I felt Ashfall was reminisicate of that, and Ashfall was probably my favorite book of the year thus far!!!

    Thanks for the Giveaway angela!!!


  12. Thanks for this amazing giveaway - I would love to win! I started reading at a young age and have been an avid reader ever since!

    susanw28 (at) mindspring (dot) com

  13. I didn't read the Narnia series until I was in college, but I used to love the PBS mini-series made from TLTWATW, Dawn Threader and The Silver Chair. I would watch them whenever they were on.

    Really looking forward to reading Ashfall when I get my hands on it!

    Working for the Mandroid
    workingforthemandroid at gmail dot com

  14. I started reading at a young age. I first read RL Stine goosebumps and The Sweet Valley series!


  15. great giveaway
    follow via gfc

  16. I loved the Goosebumps series as kid. Thanks for the giveaway!

  17. I really enjoyed the Narnia series much later in life.

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  18. Thanks so much! Great interview, btw--I also received a boxed set of Narnia for Christmas!!


    I always like some background on the author. So, thank you.


  20. Thanks for the giveaway. I really want to read this book. It sounds very good. Please enter me in contest.

  21. I began reading greek Myths in third grade -- love, love, love books

  22. All the comments about loving to read as a child are giving me chills! Best. Comment thread. Ever. Thanks.

  23. I agree Mike!! I was so lost in book world as a kid :) My older brother and his friends made fun of me all the time. I love this comment thread so much :)

  24. I have been dying to read and review this book for my own blog- Thank you so much for the chance! My dad taught me how to read aroung age 2-3...he claims it was the only activity I would sit still for. I have loved books from a very young age, thank you Dad! edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

  25. This book caught my eye a while ago - I can't wait to read it! Thanks for the giveaway! :D

    Ammy Belle
    apereiraorama @ gmail . com

  26. I love that you went out to the hall and read your book. I bet that teacher never said that phrase again! Thanks for the giveaway!

    candicerjames [at] gmail [dot] com

  27. Can't wait for this book. :) And I loved Mike's stories! I don't even remember not knowing how to read, besides a faint memory of my sister saying something along the lines of "HAHAH I can read and you can't!!!" Well, I showed her. ;)


  28. I think Mr. Mike Mullin's bio is hilarious. I really hope I win :)


  29. where the Wild Things Are was read to me many, many times when I was little. :) Thank you for the chance!



I love hearing from you!! Comment short, comment long, I will read them all and try my best to visit you back or reply! :)


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