Hello and Welcome!
Crash and Burn Blog Tour
Five bloggers, five dates.
Hosted by: ALife Bound By Books
"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.
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."
Why do you write for teens?
That’s easy: Can you think of a crazier place in the entire universe than your high school? It’s even crazier now than when I was forced into going.
Somewhere in the novel, Crash mentions that “everything that happened since happened because of who we were by the end of sophomore year”. While I don’t completely agree with him, I think that as adults, in some way, we still carry the anxieties, insecurities, resentments, friendships, moments of power that we experienced during those four years for the rest of our lives.
What part of your book was the hardest to write?
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.
What kind of research went in to writing this story?
I built an extensive time line of music and movies and political and pop culture events to coincide with each year that is represented in the book. Then, I played the appropriate music in the background while I wrote, sometimes checking out scenes in particular movies. Of course, Wikipedia is an incredible resource for much of this, but I used a multitude of other sites for verification and accuracy.
What authors have influenced your writing?
I love really good writing, and I tend to study sentences of certain writers like Philip Roth, John Updike, as examples. I also love quirky stylists, for example, I love virtually anything that Miranda July writes, but my favorite author of all time is William Goldman, probably the most under-rated novelist I can think of. I learned a lot from his works from
Man to the Princess Bride as well as his earlier stuff.
What books do you look forward to reading this Spring?
Probably not too much, working on my next project instead.
Thanks for having me.
Thanks for being here!
About the author:
Michael Hassan lives in the Northeast. CRASH AND BURN is his first novel.
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