Kristin: Since graduating from Michigan Tech with a degree in electrical engineering, I’ve moved ten times. One of the moves was to Merano, a spa town in the Italian Alps. Geographically and culturally, it’s about halfway between Verona, Italy and Innsbruck, Austria. Since my family made up the entire American community, this experience was a full scale immersion. My kids went to Italian schools; I went to Italian parent-teacher conferences. By the time we left, I was “conversant” in Italian—that’s a step lower than fluency—but my kids sounded like little Italians. Defending Irene, my first novel about a girl playing on an Italian boys’ soccer team, was set there.
Kristin: I have a young adult mystery called Stand-In for Murder, which will come out in 2010. It’s set at a bed-and breakfast in Missouri during a mystery weekend. Right now I’m working on a sequel to Saving the Griffin. This one is set in Egypt. I’m going on a research trip there this December. My sister lives in a suburb south of Cairo, so she’s been giving me the expatriate view.
Kristin: I’ll be signing books at the Rivertown Crossings Mall in Grandville on January 24 at 1:00 P.M.
Debbie: Your favorite place in Michigan?
Kristin: After going to school for four years up at Michigan Tech, Houghton is close to my heart.
Debbie: Something you'd like a non-Michigander to know about our state.
Kristin: My dorm’s takeoff on OKLAHOMA didn’t make the cut for Winter Carnival skits, but the judges agreed that our closing song was a killer. So with apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein:
Oklahoton, where the wind goes rushing by the MEEM,
Where the northern sky is wide and high,
And the air is crisp and cold clean.
Oklahoton, every night my honey lamb and I,
Hit the books and cram for our exams
As the northern lights go flashing by.
We know we belong to this place,
And the place we belong to is great.
And when we say,
‘Ya to the U.P., eh?’
We’re only saying you’re doing fine, Oklahoton.
Kristin: Despite going to MTU and living in the Holland area for the past four years, I still feel like a Minnesotan deep down. But I’m definitely married to a Michigander.