Monday, September 10, 2012

Michigander Monday: Kenneth Kraegel

I'm pleased to welcome Kenneth Kraegel to Michigander Monday!

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

Kenneth:  I grew up in Mishawaka, Indiana, very near the Michigan border. There was always some mystique about Michigan. It was where people went to go hunting, fishing, skiing, and camping. When you crossed the state line the number of trees doubled and it felt like you were entering a rustic paradise. Now that I live here some of the mystique has worn off, but not all of it. I really enjoy living here.

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

KennethKing Arthur's Very Great Grandson is my first book. The illustrations are done with ink and watercolor, the story is done with the English language. It came out this July from Candlewick Press.

It is about a six-year old named Henry Alfred Grummorson. He is the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandson of King Arthur. Henry very much wants to have adventures like his famous ancestor, so he goes off in search of adventure. He encounters a Dragon, a Cyclops, and a Griffin, but to his utter dismay, they all turn out to be friendly! So he heads for the sea where he encounters the Leviathan, who "of all the living beasts is the most to be feared...."

Debbie:  Other books or projects on the horizon?

Kenneth:  I am working on one with my editor and I have two that are waiting for some time to develop.

Debbie:  Upcoming appearances?

Kenneth:  Reading at Pooh's Corner in Grand Rapids on September 17 at 10:30.

Reading at The Magic Tree Bookstore in Oak Park, IL on September 22 at 11:00.

Reading at the Barnes and Noble in Mishawaka, IN on September 29 at 2:30.

Debbie:  Do you have a favorite Michigan bookstore? And/or a favorite Michigan library?

Kenneth:  Pooh’s Corner is an excellent children’s bookstore in Grand Rapids. Schuler Books and Music is a wonderful independent bookstore. They hosted my book launch at one of their stores in Grand Rapids and did a very impressive job.

As for libraries, my favorite library is the Spencer Township Library in Gowen, MI, where my mother-in-law is the managing librarian.

Debbie:  How about a favorite place in Michigan?

Kenneth:  My wife, son, and I went backpacking on North Manitou Island earlier this summer. We hope to go back soon. It was beautiful. I would also love to go on an extended trip to Isle Royale someday.

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

Kenneth:  Well, ArtPrize is a great event in Grand Rapids. But my favorite events are probably the various fruit seasons - strawberry, cherry, blueberry, peach, and apple. As well a good snow in the winter and an all-night rain in the summer.

Debbie:  A few fun Michigan people we should all know about?

KennethMarie Catrib has a very popular restaurant in Grand Rapids, before she came here she had a restaurant in Houghton. I don’t know her personally, but I am always impressed with the warmth and joy that she conveys. Plus her food is very good.

Debbie:  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"?

Kenneth:  I have only heard Michigander. So that must be what I am.

Debbie:  Ken, we'll add you to the Michigander tally!  Thank you so much for joining us today for Michigander Monday!

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