I'm pleased to welcome Marcy Blesy to Michigander Monday.
Debbie: Marcy, please tell us a little about yourself.
Marcy: I am a certified elementary school teacher. Currently I run an elementary school library after having taken a decade break from teaching to be home with my kids. I started writing a few years ago to see if this lifelong dream could amount to anything. I have had some success freelancing locally in Southwest Michigan and Northern Indiana. I had an essay published in 2010 in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Mothers. In fall 2011 I was offered a contract for my first children's book, Am I Like My Daddy?, by university publisher Bronze Man Books in Illinois. The book was released in December 2012.
Debbie: And, of course, we want to know all about your book.
Marcy: In the book, seven-year-old Grace asks the question, "Am I Like My Daddy?," as her memories are incomplete about the man that died when she was only five. In this book of hope Grace learns things about her Dad that give her not only answers, but peace. She also learns hard lessons about grief and how people grieve differently. Ultimately she learns that her Dad loved her and lives on through her life. My dad died when I was 13, so my own memories are limited. Most books in this genre deal with the time immediately after a loved one dies, while this book focuses on the time years later when a child is reprocessing her grief and asking more questions. I am a volunteer grief facilitator at Lory's Place in St. Joseph, Michigan. I finally feel, after 27 years, that my life has come full circle and I can give back to others. There is an educational component to the book, too, which gives children tips for getting the answers to questions they have.
Debbie: Other books or projects on the horizon?
Marcy: I just released a middle grade novel direct to Kindle. It's called Confessions of a Corn Kid and is about a small town girl's big dreams.
Debbie: Upcoming appearances?
Marcy: In March or April the publisher is planning an event with the grief community in Illinois that will feature Am I Like My Daddy? I will also be returning to my hometown elementary school in Illinois to talk about being an author.
Debbie: Do you have a favorite Michigan library?
Marcy: Bridgman Public Library in Bridgman, Michigan has been very supportive of my dreams to be a writer. When I took my first class there from another writer, I told the director, Carol Richardson, that someday I would have an event there for my own book. I did! My first local book signing event was held there in November with 50 people in attendance!
Debbie: How about a favorite place in Michigan?
Marcy: I grew up in central Illinois with nothing but flat land. When we moved to Michigan a decade ago I fell in love with the beaches of Lake Michigan. Weko Beach in Bridgman is my favorite, most relaxing place to be. Looking for beach glass is very therapeutic.
Debbie: Do you have a Michigan event or happening that you love to attend?
Marcy: I love to attend the spring MI SCBWI event if I can. I also love looking for beach glass on those early spring days after the snow has melted, but before visitors hit the beach.
Debbie: Something you'd like a non-Michigander to know about Michigan?
Marcy: There is a lot of beauty and peace in the small lake town communities along Lake Michigan.
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"?
Marcy: I feel like I am a transplant, though I have been here a decade. But if I were to vote, I'd say "Michigander."
Debbie: Michigander it is! Marcy, thank you for being here today for Michigander Monday!
To learn more about Marcy and her books, stop by her web site and her FaceBook page.