I'm pleased to welcome Patrick Lee to Michigander Monday!
Debbie: Patrick, please tell us a little about yourself.
Patrick: I was born and raised in Michigan, and I really like it here about ten months out of the year. I keep thinking it would be good to go someplace warmer in January and February. I started writing just for fun when I was a kid. In my late teens and my twenties I wrote screenplays, and eventually sold two of them. Neither was produced, but both apparently came very close to it. I switched to writing books around the time I turned thirty, and have found the day-to-day process of it to be much more up my alley.
Debbie: We'd love to know about your books!
Patrick: My first book was called The Girl Who Read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. It begins, "She opened the book and started to read..." and after that it's just that book, verbatim. There were legal issues. Sorry--what I've actually written is a trilogy centered on a character named Travis Chase, a mostly ordinary guy who gets caught up in the events surrounding a research accident site in the Wyoming desert. At the site, a particle accelerator has opened a kind of tunnel to some other location in the universe. No one can go through the tunnel from our end, and nothing alive has ever come through from the other end, but other things come through: random pieces of machinery and technology built by someone who may be billions of years more advanced than us. Travis Chase is drawn into the lives of the organization that oversees this tunnel, dealing with the very dangerous things that emerge from it.
The first book, The Breach, was published in early 2010. The sequels, Ghost Country and Deep Sky, hit the stands in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
Debbie: Other books or projects on the horizon?
Patrick: I'm getting pretty close to finishing my next book now; this one is unrelated to the Travis Chase series. I probably shouldn't go into much detail about the story, except to say that it has the same tone as my other books: everyday characters faced with very strange circumstances. I'm hoping it will be on the shelves sometime in mid-2013.
Debbie: Upcoming appearances?
Patrick: I'm planning to attend the Bouchercon convention in Cleveland this fall. For the moment there's nothing else on the schedule, though there will be when the next book gets closer to publication.
Debbie: Do you have a favorite Michigan bookstore?
Patrick: My all-time favorite bookstore was the Little Professor Book Center in Dearborn, but it closed a few years ago. Another I really liked, when I lived in East Lansing for a few years, was a used book store called Curious Book Shop.
Debbie: How about a favorite place in Michigan?
Patrick: Anywhere around Grand Traverse Bay. If I had to pick one place, I'd probably say Charlevoix. That area probably gets pretty empty in the non-tourist season (which might not be such a bad thing) but I've always loved it in the summer.
Debbie: Do you have a Michigan event or happening that you love to attend?
Patrick: The Coast Guard Festival in Grand Haven is a good time, and I've been to the Cherry Festival in Traverse City a few times. I can't say I've always attended them, but I've been occasionally and had fun.
Debbie: Something you'd like a non-Michigander to know about Michigan?
Patrick: Here's something probably very few people know about. Near Port Austin, at the tip of the thumb, there's a place where a thin rock ledge juts out over the water above a drop-off. Locals call it the thumbnail.
Debbie: Final question: Some folks in Michigan refer to themselves as Michiganders; others Michiganians. For our ongoing vote tally: are you a "Michigander" or a "Michiganian"?
Patrick: I've always heard "Michigander," so I'll stick with that. Besides, I like that it has a unique sound; the "ian" suffix is used almost everywhere else.
Debbie: Patrick, we'll add you to the Michigander column! Thank you for being with us today for Michigander Monday!