Monday, June 23, 2014

Michigander Monday: Mary D. Bowman

I'm pleased to welcome Mary D. Bowman to Michigander Monday!

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

Mary:  I was born and raised in Phila, Pa, and "migrated" to Harbor Springs with my husband, Andy, who had summered here as a child.

We have lived in Harbor Springs for 41 years, and raised our two children here, who are married with their own children. I am not an author by trade, just a grandmother who loves to tell stories to the kids.

Debbie:  And, of course, we want to know all about your book, Little Spruce of Raspberry Creek.

Mary:  Andy and I were on a five week camping trip from here to Fairbanks, Ak and back, the summer of 2010. During our many hours of driving, I enjoyed the sights, many of which were wooded areas, mountains, and lots of gorgeous scenery. I began to write down a story based on a little spruce tree I saw leaning out over a creek. I "went with it" wondering what his life would have been like were he able to grow tall and straight. As the story unfolded I realized there was a message in it, as "little spruce" did not fulfill his dream of being a stately tree, but became something more important to his forest friends: that being a bridge over which the small animals could escape from a forest fire. Life doesn't always go as we plan, but frequently things turn out better than imagined.

Debbie:  Other books or projects on the horizon?

Mary:  I often think of a sequel to Little Spruce, but thus far haven't acted on it. I do enjoy asking school kids when I visit their classes, what they think might happen to Little Spruce, or perhaps the children or animals who visited him as a seedling, then as an adult tree in his "altered" form .

Debbie:  Upcoming appearances?

Mary:  Beyond visiting schools, I have had signings/ readings in local book stores, who are gracious enough to carry my book. This summer my only appearance will be August 12, at the Charlevoix Public Library for a Michigan authors event. I am very excited about this, and hope to meet and greet many folks .

Debbie:  Do you have a favorite place in Michigan?

Mary:  In reference to a favorite place in Michigan, I would have to say, Harbor Springs :)  We do have a boat and cruise the area, especially the North Channel (northern Lake Huron, Manitoulin Is. Ont).

Debbie:  How about a favorite bookstore?

Mary:  My favorite book stores are all the area's independent stores, and not just because they carry my book. I think the "indies" are critical to communities, and offer the personal expertise you WON'T find on Amazon! We owned a ski/sports/clothing store, The Outfitter, here in Harbor Springs, for 23 years, and thankfully it is doing very well under new, younger ownership. It is a focal point of town, the way local bookstores are.

Debbie:  Last question.  Some folks in Michigan refer to themselves as Michiganders, others as Michiganians. For our ongoing vote tally: are you a Michigander or a Michiganian?

Mary:  I cannot consider myself a "Michigander or Michiganian"'' as I've only been here 40'odd years. But it is my "home" and all my eastern relatives who visit understand quickly why it is so important to us.

Debbie:  Mary, thank you so much for being here for Michigander Monday!

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