“Revenge of the Star Survivors” is not the kind of book that hangs out in bars. Well, it might go to a cantina to arrange transport to a new school, and it might have some Vexon Ale in Captain Maxim’s quarters now and then, but that’s strictly for medicinal purposes. So LitNight, a special evening in the Exposition Park neighborhood, its a unique chance for grown-ups to hang out with the book, and also with some spectacular writers, including the legendary Ben Fountain. No, seriously. THAT Ben Fountain. For details, and to confirm that this is not a joke, visit the event’s Facebook page.
Can you believe that North Texas has a book festival with this many amazing authors? Can you believe that Mike is one of them? Neither can he. Seriously, if you are into books enough to be clicking on this website, you need to check out this festival.
You can find Mike at these times:
10 a.m. -- "Middle Grade Madness" with Jeffrey Brown, Pablo Cartaya, Soman Chainani, Stuart Gibbs, Veera Hiranandani, Matthew Holm, Varian Johnson, Jeramey Kraatz, Colby Sharp, Ronald L. Smith and Rebecca Stead. (Junior Ballroom A-B, Level 3)
11 a.m. -- "Adventure Time," with Soman Chainani (The School for Good and Evil), Stuart Gibbs (Spy School), Christina Diaz Gonzalez (The Red Umbrella), Varian Johnson (The Parker Inheritance), and Rebecca Stead (When You Reach Me). (Junior Ballroom C, Level 3)
Noon -- "School Days, School Daze," with Soman Chainani, Andrew Clements (Frindle), Stuart Gibbs and Meg Medina (Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass). (Junior Ballroom D, Level 3)
3:30 p.m -- Autographing session.
"Revenge of the Star Survivors" is going to be part of a day so amazing, it might make you forget the Alamo. OK, not really. But really -- amazing. (Check out the lineup here.) Also: THERE WILL BE A GEEKTOWN. So you will know where to find me in my spare time. The "Renegades and Revenge" panel takes place at 3:30 p.m.
Librarians of Texas -- thanks for making Revenge of the Star Survivors a Spirit of Texas book! Mike looks forward to seeing you at your convention in Dallas. Which will feature some additional authors you might have heard of. (Look for Mike 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 3 as part of the "Texas LEAPS With Texas Authors" panel; 6 p.m. Tuesday in the author autographing area; 1:30 pm. Thursday at the "YART Texas Tea With Texas Authors session," and possibly more.)
The secret surprise guest author at the Mohawk Elementary School event at Barnes & Noble Prestonwood has been revealed as ... the author of Revenge of the Star Survivors! Stop by and help support a fine neighborhood school.
This appearance is not about "Revenge of the Star Survivors." But: Mike is scheduled to moderate a discussion with a real astronaut, Scott Kelly, who has written a book called "Endurance." It's part of the Authors Live! series at Highland Park United Methodist Church. Kelly is "the veteran of four space flights and the American record holder for consecutive days spent in space," and the characters from Mike's book would all be kind of speechless if he were standing next to them, so it should be an interesting evening. (Click on the link for details about timing.)
Wow, this sounds serious: Mike will have a panel at the ACP/CMA Convention in Dallas. He'll be talking about "the path to publication, offer advice for aspiring authors and explain how journalistic techniques influenced a work of middle-grade fiction ... and vice versa." And maybe sip some coffee.
"Revenge of the Star Survivors" touches down in Dallas' favorite bookstore/bar. There is talk of Romulan Ale being served. Will author Michael Merschel confess things about the writing process that he could have never said in middle school? You'll have to be there to find out.
Dallas Book Festival attendees can hear Mike discuss Revenge of the Star Survivors as part of the YA Sci-Fi & Fantasy Fandemonium panel, which happens at 10 a.m. in Evans Studio on the third floor of the fabulous J. Erik Jonsson Central Library. He'll be appearing with Kathleen Baldwin, Jenny Martin and Sherry Thomas.
(He'll also be interviewing National Book Award finalist Paulette Jiles onstage at noon. But although he may be wearing a Star Wars shirt, it's doubtful the topic of aliens or Omegan Fingers of Defibrillation will come up at that time.)
Meet with Mike as he presents his book to thousands of heroic librarians at the largest statewide library conference in the country.
You'll be able to see him Friday, April 21 [UPDATED], at these events:
9-10 a.m.: Autographing in the Authors Area (Aisle 2)
Noon: Texas Bluebonnet Award Author Session Luncheon (look for the Holiday House table).
1-3:30 p.m.: Texas Tea: Meet and Greet with YA Authors. He'll be "speed dating." Copies of Revenge of the Star Survivors will be given away as door stops! (CORRECTION: Door prizes. They will be given away as door prizes.)
After that, if you'd like to say hi, track him down on Twitter, @mmerschel.