I'm pleased to welcome Sue Harrison to Michigander Monday!
Debbie: Sue, please tell us a little about yourself.
Sue: I was born in Lansing, Michigan. My family moved to the Upper Peninsula when I was four, and I’ve lived there ever since, except for a brief sojourn in Colorado. When I was 10 years old, my teacher pinned one of my (very poor) poems to the bulletin board, and I decided that if I was good enough for that lofty honor, I was good enough to write books. I started writing regularly and finally had my first novel published when I was 39. (Steep learning curve!) I met the love of my life in first grade when he chased me to the monkey bars. We married when we were 19, put ourselves through college, and when we were 22 began our family. We have a son and daughter, a daughter-in-law and two granddaughters, and another daughter in heaven. I gave my heart to Jesus when I was 5 and faith is still the center of my life. Things I love in addition to my Lord and my family? Walking outside after a hard, cleansing rain. Talking to flowers. Hearing the loud tick of a comforting old clock. Reading a great book in a quiet house. Popcorn at a movie with my husband. Riding a slow horse. Buying a fun pair of shoes. Knitting socks. Jumping into warm, blue water with a scuba tank on my back. Writing, writing, writing!!
Debbie: And, of course, we want to know all about your books.
Sue: My first novel, Mother Earth Father Sky, was published in 1990 by Doubleday and was a national and international bestseller. It was selected by the American Library Association as one of 1991’s Best Books for Young Adults, a crossover from the adult market. My other novels include: My Sister the Moon, Brother Wind, Song of the River, Cry of the Wind, Call Down the Stars, and Sisu. My novels have been honored as main selection and featured and alternate selections of the Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs and book clubs in Europe and South America. SISU, a middle reader’s book, was selected as a National Accelerated Reader’s Book. My novels have been published in more than 20 countries and in 13 languages.
Debbie: Other books or projects on the horizon?
Sue: I’m excited to be writing romantic suspense for the inspirational market. I have two novels currently with my agent, Rachelle Gardner, and look forward to future possibilities for publication.
Debbie: Upcoming appearances?
Sue: My future appearances include:
Saturday, September 29, 2012 -- International Society for Key Women Educators, Delta Kappa Gamma, Fall Retreat, Bay Mills Community College, Brimley (Michigan) – Talk and weaving demonstration: “Weaving, an historical perspective,” six thousand years of fabrics. Two presentations: 11 – 11:45 a.m. and 12:00-12:45 a.m.
Wednesday, April 25, 2013 -- 6:30 p.m. Dickinson County Library, Iron Mountain (Michigan) Presentation, reading, discussion.
Monday, June 5, 2013 -- Stalwart Presbyterian Women: Ladies Night Out. Northwoods Christian Camp, Pickford (Michigan) – Keynote speech. “All Wrapped Up.” Discovering Your Eternal Gifts.
Debbie: Do you have a favorite Michigan bookstore? And/or a favorite Michigan library?
Sue: I’ve had the privilege of visiting many Michigan bookstores and libraries, and no matter where I am, I find great joy in meeting and talking to the book people who staff those facilities and make it possible for readers and writers to have the joy of living within the glorious stories of books. Whatever bookstore or library I’m in at the moment is my favorite!
Debbie: How about a favorite place in Michigan?
Sue: Although I love many places in Michigan, from the big cities to the wilderness, my favorite has to be my little hometown of Pickford in the Eastern Upper Peninsula. Pickford is a farming community full of good, honest people, the place where my heart lives no matter where I travel.
Debbie: Do you have a Michigan event or happening that you love to attend?
Sue: I love any kind of celebration that features the good things that people do.
Debbie: A few fun Michigan people we should all know about?
Sue: Wow, there are so many, but I’m going to highlight a young man who came into my life this past year. Ron Riekki, Upper Peninsula native and author of the bestselling novel, U.P. is the editor of a Wayne State University Press Anthology that will highlight the work of Upper Peninsula authors. He put much time and talent into gathering the stories for this anthology and wrote a grant to put these authors on the road for an Upper Peninsula book tour to small town libraries. He’s won numerous awards for his deep, heart-wrenching and often hilarious stories, poems and plays, and yet his focus is on highlighting the work of others.
Debbie: Something you'd like a non-Michigander to know about Michigan?
Sue: I love that Michigan is a maritime state. The world needs to know about the unique fresh water seas that cradle the state and have a huge influence on its weather, its economy and the mindset of its people.
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"?
Sue: I hate to mess up your tallie, Debbie, but I usually refer to myself as a Yooper!
Debbie: Yooper it is! Thank you, Sue, for joining us for Michigander - er, make that Yooper - Monday!