I'm pleased to welcome Mardi Link to Michigander Monday!
Debbie: Mardi, please tell us a little about yourself.
Mardi: I'm a Michigander through and through! Born in Detroit, graduated from Michigan State journalism school, had my first two books published by a Michigan press, and am a huge Detroit Lions and MSU Spartans fan. Plus, I live within sight of the Grand Traverse Bay and vacation every year at our family cottage on Lake Huron.
Debbie: And, of course, we want to know all about your books.
Mardi: I'm the author of two historic true crime books, When Evil Came to Good Hart and Isadore's Secret, both published by The University of Michigan Press. When Evil Came to Good Hart delves into the 1968 murder of a Detroit-area family, the Robisons, while they were vacationing in their summer cottage north of Harbor Springs in the picture-perfect town of Good Hart. Isadore's Secret details the disappearance of a Felician nun in 1907 in Leelanau County.
Debbie: Other books or projects on the horizon?
Mardi: Yes! One I'm very excited about. I just turned in an untitled memoir to Knopf. It's the personal story of how I raised my three sons alone on my little farm here in northern Michigan after a very painful divorce. And, believe it or not, it's funny. Well, OTHER people tell me it's funny. I wasn't laughing at the time, but hindsight is a great place for humor I've found. Especially when looking back at the tough times. I also just won Creative Nonfiction magazine's essay contest on "Anger & Revenge."
Debbie: Upcoming appearances?
Mardi: I'll be teaching a workshop on writing the personal essay and also giving the lunchtime talk at "A Rally of Writers" in Lansing on April 14, will be at the Kentwood Branch Library's "Celebrate the Mitten" program on April 21 and presenting at the Michigan Library Association on "Pushing the Boundaries of Fiction and Formats" gathering in Grand Rapids on April 23.
Debbie: Do you have a favorite Michigan bookstore? And/or a favorite Michigan library?
Mardi: I fell in love with The Library of Michigan in Lansing when I was researching Isadore's Secret. The parish housekeeper was arrested for the crime and served time but later pardoned by Gov. Grosbeck so I wanted to find out more about her time in prison. That library is such a treasure! I was able to find out not only what her time was like in prison in the 1920s, but even what she ate! And here's a clue: Lots and lots of potatoes! I also like my own branch library on Three Mile Road south of Traverse City. For bookstores my favorites are McLean & Eakin in Petoskey, Horizon in Traverse City, Brilliant Books in Traverse City and Sutton's Bay, and The Cottage Bookshop in Glen Arbor. Booksellers and librarians have been so supportive of my work, I just can't thank all of them enough.
Debbie: How about a favorite place in Michigan?
Mardi: Thunder Bay in Ossineke where the Links have a family cottage and the beach campfires are the stuff of legend, Grand Traverse Bay where my husband and I fish for salmon and cruise, Keystone soccer fields where I have spent untold hours cheering on my sons, and my own little farm south of Traverse City.
Debbie: Do you have a Michigan event or happening that you love to attend?
Mardi: My family gathers every year for the 4th of July holiday at my grandparents' house on Duck Lake in Whitehall. My grandfather built the house in the 1950s, I spent the summers there when I was growing up. My grandparents are both gone now and my aunt and uncle live in the house but we still all return for the 4th. My cousins from Chicago, my sons from college, my new husband and me, my parents, all of us. I wouldn't miss it!
Debbie: Something you'd like a non-Michigander to know about Michigan?
Mardi: If you aren't from here you can't possibly appreciate how geographically diverse we are. From the industry and live musical and sports entertainment Detroit offers to the solitude of the Upper Peninsula and the amazing agricultural resources in my area around Traverse City, this state is amazing. Truly the U.S.'s high five!
Debbie: Agreed! Finally, last question: Some folks in Michigan refer to themselves as Michiganders; others Michiganians. For our ongoing vote tally: are you a "Michigander" or a "Michiganian"?
Mardi: A Michigander all the way!
Debbie: We'll add you to the Michigander tally! Mardi, thank you so much for being here today for Michigander Monday!
For more about Mardi and her books, stop by her web site and her blog.
Also, be sure to check out Mardi's "Secret Cuts: A Cherry Orchard Mystery" project proposal on Kickstart, a proposal for a work of investigative journalism into why 400 cherry trees in Legacy Orchards were sawed through and pushed over last October.