I grew up in an old farmhouse in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on the north end of the Keweenaw Peninsula, which is known as Copper Island, but I spent many hours visiting Anne of Green Gables on Prince Edward Island and the Babysitter’s Club in Stoneybrook, Connecticut. I had numerous adventures with the Boxcar Children. Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins were my good friends.
In fourth grade, I entered more fully into a fictional world when I wrote my own Nancy Drew mystery, The Ringmaster’s Lost Voice. I thought it was great, but my teacher didn’t think it was original.
I began journaling when I was in junior high and journaled my way through high school romances and adventures in Chicago, where I attended college and developed a love for the city and a passion for urban youth ministry. After graduating from college, I worked as an urban youth worker at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission where I taught Bible lessons, coordinated a tutoring program, and mentored at-risk youth.
After I got married and became a stay-at-home mom, I turned to creative writing as a way to keep my mind active. A few years later, my husband was diagnosed with ALS, and my journals began to take the form of blog posts, keeping friends and family up to date with Todd’s health and sharing my emotional struggles associated with his progressive disability. Many of those blog posts eventually found their way onto the pages of Heavy, a memoir about the first year after a terminal diagnosis, published in 2014.
Todd is now a quadriplegic, and I’m his full-time caregiver, again living in the Keweenaw. Much like the days when I was taking care of my babies, I spend much time at home, and writing has become a lifeline, a way to explore life’s big questions and channel my emotions into the lives of my characters. Thus novels, Snow Country and Copper Country, were born.
The Copper Island Novels are set on Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, which averages over 200 inches of snow annually. My fictional towns of Douglass and Quincy mirror the real towns of Houghton and Hancock, and although the names of businesses and persons are fictional, the history, landmarks, and spirit of the region described in the novel are real. I hope to introduce you to this beautiful setting and its quirky, rugged residents so that no matter where you are, you can visit the UP and become friends with Beth and Danny, Aimee and Russ, Grandma Lou, Mak, and all the others.