Monday, October 6, 2008

Michigander Monday: Nancy Edwards

I'm pleased to welcome Nancy Edwards for this week's Michigander Monday profile!

Debbie: Tell us a little about yourself.

Nancy: I was born in Port Huron, Michigan and have lived here ever since. From my house, it's a five minute walk to Lake Huron--a little longer to our lighthouse and our twin bridges to Canada. On a sunny day, the water is an amazing blue you won't see anywhere else. During the school year, I teach the deaf and hard-of-hearing. In the summer I concentrate on my writing. I've been writing stories for children's magazines for over ten years. I have written one picture book, Glenna's Seeds, and one mid-grade novel, Mom for Mayor.

Debbie: And, of course, we want to know all about your books!

Nancy: Glenna's Seeds is the story of what happens when Glenna leaves a packet of flower seeds in a neighbors empty flower pot. That one random act of kindness spreads up and down her street. Mom for Mayor is the story of a boy who wants to get his mom elected to the city council so she can save his park. He sets everything in motion except for, ahem, actually telling his mother she's running. Mom for Mayor was recently nominated for the Young Hoosier Book Award.

Debbie: Do you have other books and and projects on the horizon?

Nancy: I have a completed mid-grade novel that is looking for a publisher, and a novel that I'm revising. I also just finished the first draft of a picture book.

Debbie: Upcoming appearances?

Nancy: Because of my teaching schedule, I am appearing, for the most part, in my classroom at Thomas Edison Elementary. I do have a speaking engagement scheduled at Kimball Elementary in Port Huron in November, and at the Michigan Reading Association convention in Grand Rapids in March.

Debbie: Your favorite place in Michigan?

Nancy: My favorite place in Michigan must be Mackinac Island, because that's where we keep going on vacation. My sons are in their twenties, and our family still enjoys going there to hike the trails, to ride bikes, or to just enjoy the view.

Debbie: A favorite Michigan event or happening?

Nancy: Any person living in Port Huron would have to tell you that the best event is the night before the Port Huron to Mackinac Sailboat Race. We call it Boat Night. Everybody (everybody!) walks up and down the banks of Black River supposedly looking at the boats but mostly looking to see who is in the crowd. Every charitable organization in town has a booth selling t-shirts and all sorts of food and drink. It's one big party.

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

Nancy: Ann Tompert is an amazing and fun Michigan person. She has been writing for over 50 years and is a fellow Port Huron author. One of her first books, Little Fox Goes to the End of the World, is still in print. Although she is 90, she is still writing, and has a column in Once Upon a Time. She is my greatest source of encouragement.

Debbie: Something you'd like a non-Michigander to know about our state?

Nancy: Hidden away in the pines of northern Michigan, Interlochen Center for the Arts is a jewel. Its alumni include Felicity Huffman, Josh Groban, Branford Marsallis, Norah Jones, and Mike Wallace as well as countless composers, conductors, and musicians.

Debbie: Some residents of Michigan refer to themselves as Michiganders; others Michiganians. For our ongoing vote tally: Are you a "Michigander" or a "Michiganian"?

Nancy: Michigander, no doubt about it. When I first heard the word as a child, I loved the sound of it, and have used it ever since.

Debbie: Thanks, Nancy, for joining us today!

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