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72Episodes
Category: Society & Culture

Indie and small press authors speak about the writing craft and their support for each other’s work.

September 2, 2022

Author Sharon Kennedy pens The SideRoad Kids

Happy Labor Day weekend.

Welcome back to another school year. Kennedy's time machine will take you back to a simple era of the late 1950s. Find some time to read and reflect whether it's on your own childhood or stories of the past passed from generation to generation. 

The SideRoad Kids follows a group of boys and girls as they enter the sixth grade in a small town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula during 1957-1958. The meandering collection of short stories is often humorous, poignant, and sometimes mysterious.

Laugh as the kids argue over Halloween treats handed out in Brimley. Although told by the kids, adults will remember their own childhood as they read about Flint, Candy, Squeaky, Katie, and their friends.

"Katie, Blew, Squeaky, and Daisy grew up on farms instead of high rises and used their imagination instead of fancy gadgets to make their own fun. An entertaining read for youngsters. And parents, you might enjoy a nostalgic flashback as well. I know I did.

                                           -Allia Zobel-Nolan, Author of Cat Confessions

Author Sharon Kennedy has been writing short stories and poems for 50 years, but she rarely submitted anything for publication. After teaching English composition at a community college and university, she began writing a general interest5 column in 2014 that ran in her local newspaper. 

She is currently working on a sequel and continues writing her newspaper columns for Gannett Media.

Sponsored by Doc Chavent, The Lowell Ledger, and Modern History Press.

 

August 4, 2022

Lioness: Mahlah’s Journey brings little-known Bible characters to light

In her Christian fiction novel Lioness: Mahlah's Journey, author Barbara M. Britton features five orphaned daughters of Zelophehad as the main characters with the eldest Mahlah taking the center stage in their fight for land.

"There's so much Scripture in the Bible devoted to them, but no one knows about them," Britton said.

Britton skillfully brings to life the characters of the orphaned daughters: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. Their individualities are reflected in their age, and their skills based on the weapons they carry: brave and courageous Mahlah who faces off Moses carries a knife, Noah a whip for sheep tending and Hoglah cooks. Milcah is ethereal and the youngest Tirzah complains all the time.

The main storyline follows the Scripture right through as Mahlah approaches Moses with a request to inherit land to keep a promise to her dying mother.

In the Book of Numbers 27:1-11, the daughters say: "Our father died in the wilderness. He was not among Korah's followers, who banded together against the Lord, but he died for his own sin and left no sons."

"It was challenging to keep them as separate individuals," Britton said.

The novel has its own villain Balaam according to the Book of Revelation and plenty of action such as God's parting of the Jordan River and Joshua assuming leadership.

In response to the question what did she do right in the novel, Britton said.

"I brought the story to Biblical fiction," she said. "You can get a lot of Scripture out of this."

As a Christian fiction author, Britton has to find balance when putting romance into her novels.

"As the series goes on, you get more romance with Noah," she said.

One of the most common responses Britton gets to her books is:

"I didn't realize the Bible could be so exciting."

Listen in to the episode for a chance to win a signed copy of Lioness: Mahlah's Journey.

Sponsored by author Barbara Britton, Doc Chavent, and The Lowell Ledger.

July 3, 2022

Author Mackenzie Flohr pens The Rite of Wands

In The Rite of Wands, author Mackenzie Flohr has created a fantasy world of witches and warlocks set in 13th century Ireland. The main character Mierta, 12, has to earn his magic powers.

"It took me 20 years to write this," said Flohr. "I realized that I have a dead book."

But then the new character, originally Gerard, spoke to Flohr and said, "That's not how it happened."

Protagonist Mierta too is a neurodivergent like the author. Flohr used an entire disease layer in the story that reminded people of Covid, although the story was completed in 2017. Much like the black plague, she gave the disease a physical appearance.

The book was inspired by The Lord of The Rings trilogy, as Flohr visited a museum dedicated to the movie series.

"And there was my story," she said. "Mierta goes, we're going to tell that story."

Every character in the book has three layers to them.

"They all fit together at the end," she said. "There is a little bit of myself in both protagonists. I got the wizard language right."

Flohr is working toward TV series adaption of The Rite of Wands. Listen in for a chance to with an autographed copy.

Sponsored by Doc Chavent & The Lowell Ledger

Happy Fourth of July.

 

July 3, 2022

Victor Volkman publishes U.P. Reader Volume 6

Victor Volkman is the publisher of the U.P. Reader, senior editor at Modern History Press based in Ann Arbor, and president of the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association.

The U.P. Reader is the brainchild of author Mikel Classen. Volkman said he can't be a Yooper because Yoopers are born, not made. The hefty publication features thirty to 50 contributing writers, most are members of the UPPAA.

"People who live in the U.P are great writers, the U.P. Reader exposes their writings for other people to explore," said Volkman.

Volkman said he's especially proud of the inclusion of Cottage Dandelion winners, young writers who receive a traveling trophy for their school, kind of like the Stanley Cup.

"We're making the next generation of writers," he said. "We provide training wheels for young writers. We're able to accept 90 percent of writing."

The all-inclusive publication, which is distributed to all the libraries in the U.P.,  features contemporary fiction, short stories, humor, history, memoir, poetry, and much more.

"I am a publisher, and this helped me build a relationship with writers," he said. "We work hard to keep the price reasonable."

Some of the highlights of the UPPAA are the spring conference in Marquette in June and the picnic on the first Saturday after Labor Day in Marquette.

Submissions for the U.P. Reader Volume 7 will be accepted until November.

"It's a lot of fun," he said. "I love the sense of community in the U.P."

To become a member of the association go to https://www.uppaa.org/

Sponsored by Doc Chavent, The Lowell Ledger, and Modern History Press

Listen in for a chance to win an autographed copy of the U.P. Reader.

Have an awesome Fourth of July.

 

 

June 22, 2022

Authors’ Alley at Lakeshore Art Festival in Muskegon set for June 25th and 26th

Authors' Alley at the Lakeshore Art Festival (LAF) in downtown Muskegon, set for this weekend, will feature 21 authors representing different genres from mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, and children's books to horror and true stories.

"We get to interact with people," said author Ingar Rudholm. "You can ask as many questions as you want. We will be able to direct you to whatever genre you're looking for."

"If you can smell the food, you found us," said author Jean Davis. "We're a giant bookstore with authors."

Some of the benefits of visiting Authors' Alley include getting a signed book unlike from Amazon plus learning the full back story behind the book directly from the author.

Participating authors will be located in booths along Clay Street across from Hackley Park next to food vendors. Following is a full list of authors.

Andrew Smith 
Bill Jacobks & Lon Hieftje 
Emma Khoury & Ingar Rudhom
Diane Burton & Jean Davis 
G.S. Scott  & Melinda Clark 
Wendy Thomson  & Melanie Hooyenga
Norma Lewis  & Jules Nelson
Loraine Hudson & Randy Pearson
Emma Palova   & Judy Burke
Mike Carrier  
Mikel Classen
Gary Buettner  & Mark Love
 
Bring plenty of water and ice, advised both Davis and Rudholm.
"It's a great networking opportunity," said Rudholm.
 
Episode sponsored by Doc Chavent and The Lowell Ledger

 

June 21, 2022

Author Nikki Mitchell pens Nighshade Forest

Enter the fairy world through a magic portal that Eleanor has received as a gift in a book. She turns into a fairy joined by Elfie and Milo to find the magic crystal that will restore order to the kingdom that went bonkers.

Nightshade Forest

It even started snowing in the enchanted purple and blue glowing forest and in the village with gargoyles, goblins, and magicians. Salmon started turning lime green.

Mitchell penned this middle-grade book during the pandemic with its limitations.

"Eleanor is much like I was as a kid," she said. "I've always wished I could travel into all these stories."

The book is set in 1945 without any technology; Eleanor doesn't have a cell phone, a computer, or a TV.

"Books and libraries are magical places that people should visit often," Mitchell said.

Among the insights, she gained from her writing journey was the fact not to put away your writing projects.

"I shouldn't have put my creative writing on the backburner," Mitchell said. "Nightshade Forest helped me get my voice out there."

Listen to the episode for a chance to win a signed copy of Mitchell's book.

Sponsored by Doc Chavent, the Lowell Ledger and Nikki Mitchell

 

June 21, 2022

Author Deborah Frontiera pens Superior Tapestry

In Superior Tapestry, author Deborah Frontiera combines fiction with non-fiction to create a fun fact read for adults and children. Frontiera picked 27 artifacts from UP history and gave them personality.

"The stories are told from the point of view of objects," she said. "I had a lot of fun with it."

In the first story Birch Bark (B. B.) Canoe, Frontiera portrays the canoe as a female traveling from St. Ignace across Soo to Duluth. The objective was to show how native Americans used a canoe for travel. 

Frontiera aimed to strike a balance between the genders of the objects in her personification of artifacts such as the cliffs and the stone in Portrait of Pictured Rocks.

Superior Tapestry

Bishop Baraga appears in several different stories thus weaving a tapestry throughout the book. The idea for personification of objects occurred to Frontiera while writing the article Estabad Pines from the POV of a pine tree.

For details of the book giveaway visit Frontiera's website www.SuperiorTapestry.com www.SuperiorTapestry.com

June 3, 2022

Author Kristoffer Gair pens The Beautiful Moment

The Beautiful Moment is a paranormal romance inspired by Covid-19 set in the UP.

"I wanted to make it current so people can relate to it," author Kristoffer Gair said.

Gair switched gears from comedy to serious writing during a difficult time in his life. Protagonist Wesley is a bright bubbly guy, but his uncle is making his life miserable.

And then there is Dr. Clark Matsuda.

"I've never met anyone whose name was Clark, so I put it in the story," Gair said.

The decade from hell.
First, Wesley Traylor lost his father and grandmother, then COVID took his mother. His sole remaining family member will stop at nothing to steal his inheritance. In desperation, Wesley escapes to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where no one knows him and he can exist without fear of his uncle’s brutality.

Circumstances force Wesley to the emergency room and face to face with the beguiling Dr. Clark Matsuda. The last thing Wesley needs—between dealing with strange occurrences at his new house and emergency surgery—is a doctor who’s made it his personal mission to get to know Wesley.

Listen in for a chance to win a signed copy of The Beautiful Moment.

Sponsored by Doc Chavent and The Lowell Ledger

June 3, 2022

Authors’ Tent at Palmer Park Art Fair in Detroit presents variety of genres on June 4 & 5

The Authors' Tent no. 140 at the Palmer Park Art Fair in Detroit will feature 18 authors representing different genres plus poetry this weekend, June 4 & 5.

"Most of the authors will have readings," said Mark Loeb, Integrity Shows director said. "We'll have poets in between."

The Palmer Park Art Fair is a recreation of an event popular in the 70s & 80s.

"We will have a limited edition poster," he said. "It's stunning."

Palmer Park Art Fair

Signs from Woodward Street direct visitors into the huge park, one mile by 0.5 miles, surrounded by upscale historic district neighborhoods and low-income apartments.

"We are a great melting pot," Loeb said. "It's a joy to be there."

The unique event will have 135 to 140 vendors including food vendors such as Southern Heritage of Detroit.

"I expect a lot of people," Loeb said.

Author and podcast host and producer Emma Palova will be inside the Authors' Tent at 140e. Stop by. Emma will be signing her books including Greenwich Meridian Memoir about the Konecny family immigration saga from Czechoslovakia.

Sponsored by Doc Chavent and The Lowell Ledger

 

 

 

June 3, 2022

Author Jon Stott pens Summers at the Lake

Summers at the Lake is a delightful collection of essays centered around the author's beloved "Little cabin in the Big Woods" beside Crooked Lake in the Upper Peninsula.

Summers at the Lake

The humorous and meditative essays, that read like prose poetry, track the progression of the seasons. Stott aims to evoke for readers memories of similar incidents and feelings at other lakes and at other times.

Stott, a part-time Yooper, spends extended summers in the solitude of the northern woods where the closest community of Munising is 27 miles away from his cabin.

"I am the old hermit of the woods," he said in the podcast interview speaking directly from the Munising School Public library, 500 feet from Lake Superior.

In chapter 6 "Day Tripper", Stott takes us on a trip to Grand Marais which looks like a New England seaside village with a year-round population of 300.

Stott acts as a knowledgeable and funny tour guide as he writes about "Life in a Pickle Barrel" about the history of the Pickle Barrel House. 

Email Stott for a chance to win a signed copy of his new book at jstottuaalberta.ca

Special thanks to the Munising School Public Library.

Sponsored by Doc Chavent, the Lowell Ledger, Modern History Press