About Austin Aslan
I graduated from the University of Arizona in 2000 with a degree in Wildlife (seriously…Wildlife Biology). Later that year I successfully appealed my only parking ticket. David Copperfield once disappeared me in front of 2,000 people at Caesar’s Palace, but I found my way back. I have appeared in two movies: The Getaway with Alec Baldwin and The Postman with Kevin Costner (Huzzah!). After college, I briefly drove ambulances way to fast as an EMT. Starting in 2001, I served a three-year stint in the Peace Corps in Honduras. While saving the world, I freaked out way too much about colorful birds and made lots of hideous tortillas. Upon returning to the States in 2004, I served as the campaign manager for a U.S. Congressional bid in Oregon.
From 2004 – 2011 I worked as a professional community organizer in Sacramento, California. I spearheaded several comprehensive strategies to reduce youth violence in the Sacramento region. Out of many worthwhile accomplishments, I’m particularly proud of a successful campaign to remove the name of a sordid Sacramento eugenicist from a county park and a middle school (the school was renamed Rosa Parks). There’s a great Wall Street Journal article about that campaign here. Once my wife completed her PhD in Ecology at UC Davis, we quickly vacated to the Hawaiian Islands, where we set up shop in the rainy town of Hilo on the Big Island.
In Hawaii, I completed a master’s degree in Tropical Conservation Biology. In the spring of 2012, I received a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship for my research on rare Hawaiian plants. While in Hawaii, I penned a YA disaster/survival novel with sci-fi elements and slowly polished the book to a nice glossy sheen.
Then came 12.12.12. The day I got “the call.” ISLANDS AT THE END OF THE WORLD, sold, to Wendy Lamb of Random House, in a two book deal.
These days, I spend my time between Tucson, Arizona, deep in the Sonoran Desert, where I pet scorpions and hug saguaro cacti with my high-school-sweetheart wife and our two young children, and exploring the wilds of northern Arizona while camping in a tent on a punctured air mattress and taking complicated photos of sunsets and the stars.
My writing journey toward publication was tough. I know how heartbreaking the quest for publication is, and in addition to promoting my works, one of my principal aims with this blog is to be a guiding light for other prospective authors out there. I made a lot of mistakes that unnecessarily lengthened my time in the wilderness, and I’ve learned so much along the way. I hope I can pay this knowledge forward as I enter this exciting new phase of my writing career.