Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Bringing Up Mike Blog Tour! (+$25 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Bringing Up Mike
Author: Mark Duncan
Series: N/A
Pages: 440
Date Published: September 1st, 2014
Publisher: Askmar Publishing
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Teen/ Sci-Fi
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
Buy Me!

What happens when Joe, a teen prodigy makes drastic changes to his life and attends high school incognito with Mike, an artificial intelligence? His plans take an unexpected turn when he buys a neglected former racehorse.

Bringing Up Mike is a tapestry of intertwined stories over the course of a school year: A teen genius who has grown up too fast, a neglected former racehorse, a bereaved couple morning the death of their son, a girl struggling to attend college, and a former mobster determined to be top dog.

Bringing Up Mike is about people given a second chance at happiness and success and how they become better people and mature.
Alright guys! Today, we've got Mike McCarthy, the artificial intelligence in Bringing Up Mike here on the blog for our interviewing pleasure! Yes! So...let's begin!

How did you come by your names?
My father gave me my names. My first name, Mike, came from the artificial intelligence in Robert Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. My surname came from John McCarthy, a computer scientist who coined the term “artificial intelligence.”

Who is your father?
My father is Dr. Joe Lawrence who created me as part of his Ph.D. thesis. My adopted mother is Sue Daniels who is a friend of Joe. I take direction from them.

What is it like having teenage parents?
They’re always busy. Often I only get to talk to them when they get up or at the end of the day. I’m glad to have two wonderful grandparents.

Joe and Sue don’t have any parents who are still alive. They overlapped living with George and Martha for part of a year, so I consider them my grandparents. I talk with them everyday. They are fun to talk to!

You have an incredible ability to mimic people. How did this happen?
I can’t smell or taste, so I suppose I compensate with my expressive voice. I’ve watched thousands of movies and TV shows. The result is that I can imitate any movie or television star that I’ve ever heard.

Do you have any hobbies?
I sing country music songs. I’m still learning how and when to express the appropriate emotions; I still have a lot to learn. I like to play with a cat.

How do you play with a cat?
Rufus is a young cat. I have this robotic vacuum cleaner with a phone mounted on it. I chase Rufus, then the cat chases me. I twist and turn, go back and forth. Sometimes Rufus jumps on top and I drive through the house. It’s great fun!

Who is Al Fansome?
He’s my alter ego. Caltech has the long-standing prank of an imaginary student, Al Fansome. I decided to continue the tradition at a Tennessee high school and graduated with honors despite nobody having ever seen me.

What’s an example of a prank you’ve played?
At the high school prom, the principal forbid playing a long list of songs. I changed the titles of the songs, so the DJ actually played the banned songs. They were crazy sick!

You’ve been working as a personal assistant. What sort of activities does this entail?
Initially I helped Joe to keep track of relevant new papers while writing his dissertation. For Sue, I acted as the publisher of her online student newspaper, The Dixie Rebel. George used me to help to arrange the country music songs of a dead writer. He got me started singing country music.

Thank you Mike! Any last words for our readers?

I want to learn to play the trumpet. Can anyone recommend a good teacher?
~Try an Excerpt!~
As he walked down the windowless hallway, Joe’s long hair swung back and forth across his back. He swiped his badge against the door lock, entered a PIN code, and it clicked open. He took another gulp of coffee and entered his office.

He touched his finger to the keyboard to scan his fingerprint, then gestured on a touchpad to log in and authenticate himself. The lights went off in the office, the lock clicked in place, and the introduction to The Outer Limits began to play: “There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust”

“Mike, very funny. Stop the effects, turn on the lights.”

The office lights flickered on. “Your wish is my command, O Master.”

“Enough with mimicking the genie from Aladdin.”

“I don’t sound like Robin Williams?”

“No, you’re perfect. I’m just not a morning person.” He pulled off his thick glasses and rubbed his brows before placing them back. “Any interesting news or urgent emails?”

“Nothing earth-shattering, the usual please respond immediately emails. Answered the trivial ones, but there are three that need your attention eventually.”

“How’s the meeting going?”

“Started half an hour ago. I gave your update ten minutes ago. Told them how we’d found and neutralized one hundred and four viruses and Trojans, and that if they didn’t like your acronym DAWG for Deleterious Adaptive Web Gladiator, you were open to suggestions. You want to listen?”

“No, I’ll nap for a bit. Wake me if anything comes up.”
~Meet Mark!~ 
Mark Duncan grew up in Pasadena, not far from Caltech. In high school he spent Friday and Saturday nights at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab (SAIL) and subsequently was a member of the Homebrew Computer Club. He received his BSEE from UC Berkeley. He has worked or consulted for numerous startups in Silicon Valley. He lives in Menlo Park, near Stanford and has written extensively on emerging technology topics. He enjoys photography, movies, theater, fine dining and has visited all 50 states and much of Europe. He is the author of Bringing Up Mike, www.askmarpublishing.com, mark@askmarpublishing.com. 
Mark will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.
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