Summer of Series: Mike Mullin Interview & Giveaway

I am so excited to welcome Mile Mullin to the blog today for Summer of Series!

third in the Ashfall series
Published April 15, 2015 by Tanglewood Press
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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.
Describe the Ashfall trilogy in a tweet! 140 characters or less. No cheating or the Twitter Gods are going to get you.
Alex struggles to survive and find his purpose in life after the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, plunging the world into an epic disaster.

What has been your favorite part of writing your series?
Favorite moment? Opening the box of printed hardbacks of ASHFALL and seeing my name on the covers. It’s an amazing feeling to see something I labored over for three years in a tangible form. Favorite ongoing moments? The letters I get from people who get turned on to reading thanks to the ASHFALL series. Wives sometimes write me that my books got their husbands reading. I’ve gotten emails from teenagers who haven’t read a book during their whole high school career but were sucked into ASHFALL. Perhaps the most touching letter was from a juvenile delinquent who credited my books and visit to his detention center with helping him get back on the right track. Reading opens whole new worlds to us, and I’m honored to have a small world in making those worlds available to more people.

Favorite actual writing moments? When something weird I didn’t plan for comes out of my fingers when I sit down to type in the morning. I’m a plotter--I plan my books out ahead of time. But if I have a wild idea, I’ll go with it. Often the unplanned, spontaneous writing is my very best stuff. Chapters 37 and 38 of ASHFALL came into being that way as did page 253 of SUNRISE.

Writing a three-book series, what has your planning process looked like? Did you plot extensively and in advance?
After I’d drafted about two-thirds of ASHFALL, I realized I had enough story for a trilogy. I took about a week off from drafting and outlined the whole trilogy. Then I worked from that outline for six years. Obviously some stuff changed along the way, but the ending scene of SUNRISE was more or less written before I even finished the first draft of ASHFALL.

Now that the series is completed, can you tell us anything about what you're currently working on?
I’m waiting for another round of feedback from my critique group on SURFACE TENSION, a young adult thriller. As soon as that’s finished, I’ll resume work drafting ASHFALL #4. Yes, there’s going to be a fourth ASHFALL book! I wasn’t planning on writing more, but I had a great idea for a fourth book, and the first three are selling well, so why not?

What is the most interesting thing you have Googled in the name of research?
For SUNRISE I Googled something like, “Is it really possible to make a bomb out of poop?” I think I actually used the word “manure.” I got the idea from a game I used to play, Crusader Kings 2. And yes, it’s a real thing. The poop bomb that Ben designs in SUNRISE would probably work about the way I describe it in the book.

What is one series you would recommend to readers?
I only get one? I have to go with Harry Potter then. The books are wonderfully entertaining, but so deep and well-crafted that hundreds of years from now, we’ll be studying Rowling the same way people study Shakespeare today.

Thor, Iron Man, or Captain America? GO!
Thor. I like big hammers. And Chris Helmsworth is not exactly hard on the eyes.

Meet 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. Sunrise is his third novel.  Ashfall, the first novel of the trilogy, 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.


Mike is so great! He is offering up an ARC of SUNRISE, book three, for a giveaway!

All entrants must be 13 years or older and this giveaway is to the US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It is not too late to join the fun as we celebrate our favorite series and welcome new ones! Sign up for Summer of Series and knock down that TBR! 

And, of course, be sure to stop by Danielle's blog! The wickedly talented Miranda Kenneally is on her blog today!