That would probably be August 12th, 2011 when I found out ASHFALL received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews, “The World’s Toughest Book Critics.” Here’s the quote from Tanglewood Press’s publicist, Rebecca Grose, that accompanied the email: “Enjoy! And congrats!!! A starred review -- YAAAAAAAY!!!” That pretty much summed up my whole week.
On the 14th, the owner of Tanglewood Press, Peggy Tierney, showed up at my house with a bottle of champagne. Tanglewood is a small, reputable press, and ASHFALL is the first book they’ve published to earn the coveted Kirkus star. Once Peggy, her husband, my wife, and I settled into my living room, champagne flutes in hand, we didn’t talk about ASHFALL. We rarely do—instead, we had a lovely three-hour conversation about children’s and young adult books. It’s a joy to be published by someone who loves this literature as much as I do.
I’m sitting in a McDonald’s in Sullivan, Indiana as I write this, so I don’t have a champagne flute to raise, but if I did, I’d offer a toast to Tanglewood Press. Here’s hoping that ASHFALL will be the first of many future starred reviews.
Thank you Mike! Read more about Ashfall and Mike Mullin below:
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 the supervolcano 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.
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You can also read an excerpt:
Find the first two chapters of Ashfall on Mike's website: www.mikemullinauthor.com.
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.
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One winner will receive an Ashfall POSTER which has been SIGNED by Mike. (Poster is as seen in the picture above.)
Open INTERNATIONALLY. Ends January 31, 2012.
To enter, leave a comment for Mike along with a way to contact you if you win. Good luck!
This post was part of my New Year's Signature Collection event.
Watch out for more guest posts, lists, reviews of January releases, author interviews, and more throughout January.