Local author pens children’s books about popular musicians


A South Carlsbad father has taken his love for music and writing and combined the two to tell the stories of rock ’n’ roll and blues legends.

Michael Mahin, who studied American literature at Clairemont Graduate University and grew up playing various instruments, said he originally pursued lecturing but decided a few years ago he wanted to tap into his creativity more.

The father of two young children, who is a freelance writer, decided to start writing children’s books.

“It’s one thing to talk about writing, and another thing to do it,” he said. “I got to the point where I wanted to try doing it myself.”

Mahin, 42, is expected to release a children’s book about blues artist Muddy Waters this summer.

“I never thought about writing a story about him, but I found that when I started looking, he had a very compelling story,” he said of the book published by Simon & Schuster. “I found that nobody had written a children’s book about him. ... There wouldn’t be rock ’n’ roll without Muddy Waters.”

The book — called “Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters” — follows the musician’s journey going from a poor boy in Mississippi to the blues legend he eventually became known as.

It follows a reoccurring written theme: “Muddy was never good at doing what he was told.”

The work — accompanied by illustrations by Evan Turk — is Mahin’s second book to get picked up but the first to get published.

A book called “Stalebread Charlie and the Razzy Dazzy Spasm Band” — a true story about homeless kids who become known musicians — was also picked up by Simon & Schuster and will have a later release date than “Muddy,” Mahin said.

“It’s a great kids story because it’s about kids who are being themselves but use creativity to change the world and make it a better place,” he said. “That’s kind of a big theme in a lot of the stuff I write.”

Mahin said he enjoys writing stories about people who have had to work for their success, and he primarily likes writing non-fiction stories.

He has also written a book about guitar legend Carlos Santana, which is pending a publishing date.

He wants to inspire children to use their imaginations to achieve their goals.

Mahin is also currently developing a blog about creativity for children at He said his intention is to provide a resource for parents and educators about how to foster and nurture creativity at home or in school.

“If I want children to take anything away from my books, it’s the idea of how important it is to be creative and creatively think about their world,” he said. “They can use that creativity to make the world a better, safer and more joyous place.”