Library to host annual Author Series

Manistee County Library

MANISTEE —  A lot can be associated with October. From changing colors to falling leaves, pumpkin carvings to costume parties, it’s certainly a month with themes all to itself.

Another October tradition, however, has developed over time in the area: the Manistee County Library’s annual Author Series, held every Tuesday evening of the month.

The program has helped connect Michigan writers to their readers for nearly two decades now, with the 18th installment beginning Tuesday and concluding the first Tuesday in November.

Once again, the top floor meeting room in the library’s main branch — 95 Maple St. in Manistee — will be the site of the free weekly series. All are welcome. Reservations are not required.

Attendees will not only hear commentary from the authors, but will be encouraged to engage in discussion. The events will also feature refreshments and book signings.

The library held a kickoff event earlier this week, which featured authors made up of members of the Manistee Writers Group. The panel provided information about their craft and advice for emerging writers.

For more information on the program, call (231) 723-2519.

Manistee County Library’s 2018 Michigan Author Series lineup:

• Oct. 2: Robert Downes (6-7:30 p.m.) — Robert Downes is the author of “Biking Northern Michigan: The Best & Safest Routes in the Lower Peninsula.” He also published two books about backpacking around the world: “Planet Backpacker” and “I Promised You Adventure.” He has been awarded three literary prizes for his 2016 historical novel of the Ojibwe Indians, “Windigo Moon.” He is the communications director for the Cherry Capital Cycling Club and heads the Traverse City Authors Group.

• Oct. 9: John Wemlinger (6-7:30 p.m.) — John Wemlinger is a retired U.S. Army Colonel with 27 years of service. He now lives in Onekama with his wife, Diane — close to the Lake Michigan shore where “Winter’s Bloom” takes place. When he and their border collie, Sydney, aren’t roaming the beaches or nearby hiking trails, he is playing golf, pickleball, working on his next novel or creating an unusual piece of original art from the driftwood, rocks and beach glass that he finds along the shoreline. One of the true joys of his life is talking with people about his books and his art.

• Oct. 16: Heather Shumaker (6-7:30 p.m.) — Heather Shumaker is the author of “Saving Arcadia,” a Michigan Notable Book Award Winner for 2018 that’s been described as a page-turning “land conservation action thriller.” This book is set in the sand dunes of Northern Michigan. Heather also writes for parents (“It’s OK to Go Up the Slide”) and children (“The Griffins of Castle Cary”) with the latter of the two to be published March, 2019. Heather is a graduate of Swarthmore College and The University of Wisconsin-Madison and loves sharing her joy of writing, nature and children. She lives in Traverse City.

• Oct. 23: James H. Goodwin (6-7:30 p.m.) — James H. Goodwin started writing novels after successful careers in both children’s services and as a small business owner. For many years, Goodwin was president and CEO of children’s residential treatment, foster care and adoption agencies. His profession helped him develop good listening skills, which played a major role in his understanding of the human condition. His stories deal with romance, mystery and, often, the struggles that people face in their everyday relationships. He and his wife currently make their home along the shore of Lake Michigan in Manistee.

• Oct. 30: Michael J. Thorp (6-7:30 p.m.) — Michael J. Thorp is a storyteller who believes history is just a set of stories with dates. He says you can’t make up stories stranger than things that really happened. A long time television and radio personality, he is the host of “Michael J. Thorp’s American Civil War” on PBS. He was the creator, host and writer of “The Huckleberry Radio Hour,” a live radio variety show that garnered two Emmy Awards. “Michigan’s Thumb Drive” is Michael’s third book. His first — “The Great, Great Lakes Trivia Test” — and his children’s book — “The Legend of the Abominable Huckleberry” — were published in 2013 and 2011, respectively.

• Nov. 6: Sherry A. Burton (6-7:30 p.m.) — Sherry A. Burton got her start in writing by pledging to write a happy ending for a good friend who was going through some really tough times. The story surprised her by taking over and practically writing itself. What started as a way to make her friend smile propelled her on a journey that would forever change her life. Now, Sherry and her husband have returned to their adopted state of Michigan to be closer to their children and grandchildren. She spends most of her time writing from her home office, lecturing and traveling to book signing events.

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Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

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