Monday, December 8, 2014

Bringing Up Mike by Mark Duncan Excerpt, Interview & Giveaway

Bringing Up Mike
by Mark Duncan



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.



“Mike, what’s the Rebel going to look like?”

“Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you…” said Mike in the voice of Josef Fischer in The Illusionist.

Sue looked at the first website. “That’s a bit gaudy. It looks like a coloring book. How about something with all the headings and text in black with white backgrounds?”

“Behind door number two.”

“That’s better. But I didn’t mean no color—rather, to reserve it for use in photos, graphics, maps, and clip art. Put one big visual at the top, and a small one elsewhere on the page. A feature story under the main headline, with room for two or three smaller stories to follow it. Some tabs for the various departments.”

“And behind door number three.”

“Yes, you got it.” Sue looked puzzled. “Mike, how can you possibly prototype a website so quickly?”

“My dear, a magician never reveals his secrets,” said Mike in the voice of Gypsy from A Bug’s Life.

“What are you, superhuman?”

“They’re just off-the-shelf WordPress templates. I selected a subset developed for online newspapers. You change the CSS and bibbity-bobbity-boo, presto-chang-o, a new website!” Now he used the voice of the fairy godmother from Cinderella.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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,,

Deal Sharing Aunt Interviews Mark Duncan

Where are you from?

I grew up in Pasadena, CA, but moved to San Mateo, CA where I went to high school. Currently I live in Menlo Park, CA, it’s adjacent to Stanford University in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Tell us your latest news?

Currently I’m doing a month long book blog tour for Bringing Up Mike. I’ll be traveling to Hawaii for a week on vacation, right before New Year’s Day. I’m working on a sequel to Bringing Up Mike.

When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing in my late twenties. I love to read, but sometimes I think of stories that nobody else has written about that beg to be told.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

It was when my first novel, Bringing Up Mike was published. But quite frankly, I’ve made my living for many years as a marketing consultant where I had to create written deliverables for clients.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I was attending a lecture at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA where Dan Kaufman, Director of the Information Innovation Office of DARPA observed that the problem with today’s artificial intelligence systems is that sooner or later they tell you something stupid. He suggested that one avenue of solving this would be to have a baby AI that grows up with you, with which you would have a two-way conversation, correcting and educating it over time—like raising a child. This formed the inspiration for Bringing Up Mike.

What would you like my readers to know?

If you would like to be added to my email mailing list, please send an email to

Book and Author Links

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