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Mar 26, 2013

Crash and Burn Blog Tour: Author Interview

Welcome to my stop on the Crash and Burn Blog Tour hosted by A Life Bound by Books.

Today, I've got an interview with author, Michael Hassan, on books and writing to share with all of you amazing bookworms!

About the book:

Title: Crash and Burn
Author: Michael Hassan
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: February 19, 2013

On April 21, 2008, Steven "Crash" Crashinsky saved more than a thousand people when he stopped his classmate David Burnett from taking their high school hostage armed with assault weapons and high-powered explosives. You likely already know what came after for Crash: the nationwide notoriety, the college recruitment, and, of course, the book deal. What you might not know is what came before: a story of two teens whose lives have been inextricably linked since grade school, who were destined, some say, to meet that day in the teachers' lounge of Meadows High. And what you definitely don't know are the words that Burn whispered to Crash right as the siege was ending, a secret that Crash has never revealed.

Until now.

Michael Hassan's shattering novel is a tale of first love and first hate, the story of two high school seniors and the morning that changed their lives forever. It's a portrait of the modern American teenage male, in all his brash, disillusioned, oversexed, schizophrenic, drunk, nihilistic, hopeful, ADHD-diagnosed glory. And it's a powerful meditation on how normal it is to be screwed up, and how screwed up it is to be normal.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-a-Million | IndieBound

Author Interview:

Hi Michael! Thank you so much for stopping by Books Over Boys today! It is such a pleasure to have you here! Let’s start off with some icebreakers, shall we?

Thanks for having me.

Q. If you had to describe yourself using three words, they would be…

Q. If you were stranded on an island and were allowed one wish, what would it be?
A. That the island turned out to be Maui. (Is this cheating? If so, please consider daily deliveries of gallons of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy ice cream a more responsive answer.)

Q. If you were to create a slogan for your life, what would it be?
A. Don’t make excuses for not doing what you love to do. Just do it, even if it’s in small doses at first. And end every day with Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy ice cream.

Now, let’s talk about writing and books, eh?

Q. What about writing captivates you the most?
A. The creation of a universe where your best intentions are sometimes irrelevant because if your characters are really well drawn, they will lead you and ultimately teach you something about yourself and your universe. When that happens, it's true magic.

Q. Crash and Burn is your newest release. How would you describe it in one sentence?
A. In his starred review for Booklist, Daniel Kraus closed the review with the following sentence:

“Gutsily conceived, written, and edited, this is, quite simply, a great American novel.”

I don’t think I can come up with a better one.

Q. What was the hardest part of writing Crash and Burn?
A. The story of the siege covering the last chapters of the book. Originally, it encompassed around eighty pages, and in order to keep the continuity of the scenes, I checked into a cabin in the woods (just like Crash did) and wrote for sixteen to twenty hours a day until I got through it. And then, I revised it almost a dozen times.

Q. What’s your favorite (non-spoilery) quote from Crash and Burn?
A. I always laugh at the first time that Crash, whose real name is Steven Crashinsky meets Burn’s sister Roxanne, who always intentionally mis-pronounces his last name and for the first meeting, insists on calling him Crash Bandicute.

“Crash Ban-di-cute, Crash Ban-di-cute. Are you really Crash Bandicute? Or do they just call that because your real last name is so horrible?”

He is, of course, powerless to do or say anything and remains so.

And lastly,

Q. What is one piece of advice that you would give to aspiring authors?
A. Write without fear. Prepare a detailed outline so that you know where you are going, even through your characters may take you somewhere else. Refine the outline until you know that you have a beginning, middle and an ending that makes sense and then just start and keep going, your first draft is meaningless so don’t look back until “The End” and then take your manuscript and put it in a box and hide it under your bed for a month.

And then start over, knowing that whatever you wrote, even if its already brilliant will be better this next time and even if it isn’t, you will get there with practice if you are not afraid to re-write and re-write again until it works for you.

Don’t show anyone else until it does.

Again, thank you so much for being here with us today!

Thank you for having me.

About the author:

Michael Hassan lives in the Northeast. CRASH AND BURN is his first novel.

Connect with Michael Hassan: Goodreads | Twitter

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Thanks so much for stopping by Books Over Boys! You're a fun little lollipop triple dipped in awesomesauce. ;p