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. 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.
I caught the writing bug, and now have for you Across the Bridge, another Copper Island Novel, and Toothella, a children’s book for ages 3+.
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.
11 thoughts on “About Kristin”
Thank you for sharing your story with us. Very excited to meet Beth and Grandma Lou!
Kristin, you are enormously talented! Your writing soars!
Hello this is awesome!
When I saw to book on Amazon and the authors name I was immediately drawn to know more abt. her. My last name is Neva also. With it not being a common name wondering if oculd be some ancestry there??
I just wanted to let you know that I have mailed a vendor packet for the Home for the Holidays Gift Mart.
My grandfather Isaac Niva (pronounced Nee’-va) was born circa 1859 in the Tornio River valley of Northwest Finland.
It’s tough to track ancestry for people whose families came from the West of Finland, where people adopted place names as their surnames. Different families living in the same location may have had the same last name, even though they were not related. If they moved, they would have adopted as their surname the new location’s description.
Niva means fast flowing waters, so his family likely lived in a place near fast flowing waters.
At some point, our family name was anglicized to Neva, although we still pronounce it Nee’-va. Neva is also a Finnish name, pronounced Naa’-va, and meaning marsh or bog.
Todd (Kristin’s husband)
I just now saw the explanation of your Neva name! I am not sure where my husbands ancestors were from on that side of the family either! I have a friend that does Ancestry so maybe she can find more! It has been interesting to see the name as not many around that I have known! His father and Uncles lived in North Dakota for many years! They are gone now tho as is my husband! I wish you well with your disease too! Shari Olson-Neva
I enjoyed Copper Country book 2. Parts made me cry and others axe me laugh. Good character development. Felt like I was there and part of the story. I’ve been to the UP, I took a sauna, brought back memories. I live in Milwaukee and pictured the details as they were written. Keep writing – want to know more about each character.
I was not familiar with your books but just got through reading Snow Country the first of the series. I look forward to reading more of your books. I was curious where to find the song in the book sang by Allie Nantuck. Is this a fictitious name and song as there was no song title? I have searched for any information I could find in your book and online. It so touched my heart. Thank you so much and bless your family during these trying times.
Sorry for the delay in replying. Allie Nantuck and her song are fictitious–an artist with a similar vibe to JJ Heller/Allison Kraus. Thanks for commenting.
Nice to meet you. I am hesitant to read stuff about ALS because it scares me. I was diagnosed in September after months of trying to figure out what is wrong. First they thought Radiculopathy—pinched nerves. MRI, X Rays etc. Physical therapy but eventually the neuro surgeon said no, something more serious, got the tests, and I am struggling along. I am age 74, 75 in Feb. and retired Lutheran clergy. I am also a heart patient, heart attack in March 2016 after swimming 2200yds. Also a former long distance swimmer. I had a Triple bypass the day after my heart attack and recovered really well.
Keweenaw Peninsula, been out there twice, and I have Finnish Lutheran colleagues and friends. Thimble Berries!!
Anyway, thks for the postings and the information. I may ask questions later.
My ALS team is at the Ohio State University Medical Center. My wife, Michigan Native, worked there for 30 yrs. Oh, and her grandfather, an immigrant from Cornwall lived in the UP and worked in the Copper Mines. He eventually moved to the Detroit area and worked at the Ford Plant. River Rouge.
tks very much. I’ll read some more. Skip Cornett, Delaware, OH