Five in Five with Mike Mullin

Hey, peeps…it’s Five in Five Day. (For your Tweeps that’s #5n5) We are super lucky to have author Mike Mullin with us. His post-apocalyptic YA book Ashfall was released on September 27, 2011.Here’s what Kirkus had to say about it:

Starred Review “In this chilling debut, Mullin seamlessly weaves meticulous details about science, geography, agriculture and slaughter into his prose, creating a fully immersive and internally consistent world scarily close to reality.”

Sounds awesome, right? Let’s check in with Mike and find out all about him.

Heya, Mike. Thanks for stopping by.

Thanks for inviting me.

1. Of course we wanna know…Whatcha’ Reading Now?

I finished Saundra Mitchell’s new novel The Springsweet (Harcourt, April 2012) last night. It’s excellent—a cross between its companion novel, The Vespertine, and the middle grade classic, Sarah, Plain and Tall. I’ve got to return it to Kids Ink Children’s Bookstore this afternoon—I stole their advance reading copy.

Over lunch and at the doctor’s office today I’ve read about half of Jeff Hirsch’s debut, The Eleventh Plague. It reminds me of Shipbreaker—a realistic and scarily plausible post-apocalyptic adventure.

2. As a kid, what did you think you’d be when you grew up?

I started out wanting to be a firefighter (natch). Later I wanted to be a pro football wide receiver like Lynn Swann. That guy was indestructible! Then I went through a ballet dancer phase. (I had a crush on a ballerina, what can I say?) In high school I thought I’d be a newspaper editor. I even tried it out for a while, publishing and editing an underground newspaper titled The Middle Finger. I thought I might like to be a politician (puke!) until I served as a Congressional Page in the sausage factory that is Washington D.C. In college I decided I’d be a marketing executive. I actually did that one—it’s as soul-sucking as it sounds. I’m really enjoying writing full time. I can do it thanks to my extraordinarily patient and well-employed wife. (Thanks, honey!) Maybe one or two of you would buy ASHFALL so I can keep writing? I love this career!

3. What is your most quirky trait?

I keep a pet alligator in the guest room bathtub. It LOVES my wife’s three cats. Also, I lie in interviews a lot.

4. If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be?

I would leap at the chance to do this—one of the weaknesses in my writing is female voices, so I’d have to become a woman.  I’d probably become a minority, too. I feel less than competent writing from minority perspectives, so I tend to include too few in my work. Maybe Celie from The Color Purple or Precious from Push, although I doubt I’m tough enough to survive either of their lives.

5. Your turn. Tell us one random thing about yourself that our readers would be surprised to know.

I fractured my wrist in fourth grade while breaking into my own house. I told my classmates it was broken during a fight with a grizzly bear. I was really interested in backcountry survival then—I embellished my tale with so many convincing details that more than half the class believed me and not my teacher, who swore there were no grizzlies in Indiana.

*Okay, and a bonus question, because who doesn’t love a bonus? 

If you could tag a future author for our Five in Five who would it be and what’s one burning question you’d have for them?

Ask Saundra Mitchell what she reads to train herself to write such pitch-perfect Victorian voices without bogging her work down in a ponderous Victorian style. Or ask Sarah Ockler this: If you could force Mr. Scroggins to read one book, which one would you choose and why? (Scroggins instigated a ban of her outstanding novel, Twenty Boy Summer.)

Mike, it’s fantastic to have you with us. WRN?er’s,for more info about Mike or his book, go here  And don’t forget, Ashfall is available now.

Thanks for inviting me!

Interviewed by Kerry O’Malley Cerra

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