Monday, June 25, 2012

Michigander Monday: Bob Tarte

I'm pleased to welcome Bob Tarte to Michigander Monday!

Debbie:  Bob, please tell us a little about yourself.

Bob:  I was born and raised in Grand Rapids and live with my wife Linda on the edge of a shoe-sucking, mink-infested swamp near Lowell. I write humorous books about the pets that we’ve had. I also wrote a world music column for the Los Angeles-based The Beat magazine for 20 years. We’ve got pet parrots, cats, doves, parakeets, ducks, geese, chickens, and a rabbit.

Debbie:  And, of course, we want to know all about your books.

Bob:  My first book, Enslaved by Ducks, just went into its thirteenth printing, and it’s followed by a sequel called Fowl Weather. My latest book, Kitty Cornered, is about the craziness of living in a tiny house with six cats. It’s been reviewed in USA Today and has been on the indie bookstores bestseller list in the paperback nonfiction category. I’ve posted the first chapter of all three books on my website, You’ll also find scads of photos of our animals there, too.

Debbie:  Other books or projects on the horizon?

Bob:  I’ll probably write a book about birding next. It will be filled with the foolish mistakes I’ve made trying to identify birds and will hopefully help other people learn to tell a sparrow from a gull more easily than I did at first. I want it to be a humorous narrative of my birding experiences but, unlike my other books, it would actually have a little helpful content.

Debbie:  Upcoming appearances?

Bob:  July 9, 2012
6:30-7:30 pm
Delta Township District Library
5130 Davenport Drive 
Lansing, MI 48917

July 16, 2012
6:30-7:30 pm
Norton Shores Branch Library
705 Seminole Road
Norton Shores, MI 49441
(231) 780-8844

Debbie:  Do you have a favorite Michigan bookstore?

Bob:  I love Schuler Books and Music on 28th Street in Grand Rapids and also Nicola’s Books in Ann Arbor. Both are great stores that have put up with me during book signings.

Debbie:  How about a favorite place in Michigan?

Bob:  Believe it or not, one of my favorite places is Muskegon Wastewater System. While there are more picturesque and aromatic spots in Michigan, Muskegon Wastewater is one of the best spots in West Michigan for seeing rare birds – particularly waterfowl and shorebirds.

Debbie:  Do you have a Michigan event or happening that you love to attend?

Bob:  Speaking of birding, I love the spring and fall warbler migration. I take a lot of walks through our woods and we also go to parks and nature areas on weekends looking for birds. We do this throughout the summer, but most intensively in May-June and in September.

Debbie:  A fun Michigan person we should all know about?

Bob:  Food blogger Marcia Davis ( She’s a very smart and interesting person and a terrific writer.

Debbie:  Something you'd like a non-Michigander to know about Michigan?
Bob:  It’s hotter in the summer and colder in the winter than you might imagine.

Debbie:  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"?

Bob:  Since I often write about our pet geese, I definitely prefer to be known as a Michigander!

Debbie:  Michigander it is!  Thank you, Bob, for being with us today for Michigander Monday.

To learn more about Bob and his books, visit his web site, FaceBook page, and Twitter feed.  And, for the next few weeks, you can have questions answered by Bob's cats on Fridays, 12:30-1:00 on Twitter.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Debbie, great to read about people who do what they love.. also that foodblog!
Btw foodblogs, ever read Golubka's one? Just the photo's make me drooool!

Sorry, my blog is in Dutch, also about what I love: food (vegetarian since last yr), sensory input problems, gardening and nature, books, growing and developing, ..