This week I'm very pleased to welcome Jane Knuth to Michigander Monday!
Debbie: Jane, please tell us a little about yourself.
Jane: I am from Kalamazoo, graduate of Kalamazoo College, '80. While raising my two daughters with husband, Dean, I began writing about my adventures volunteering in a St. Vincent de Paul thrift store. These were published occasionally in magazines and the local Catholic paper. Oct. 2010 my first book, Thrift Store Saints: Meeting Jesus 25 Cents at a Time, was published by Loyola Press, Chicago.
Debbie: Please tell us about your book!
Jane: Thrift Store Saints tells stories of how a reluctant, middle-class mom, found herself volunteering in the heart of the inner-city, and all the amazing spiritual lessons that came with it.
Debbie: Other books or projects on the horizon?
Jane: Thrift Store Graces will be released March, 2012.
Debbie: Upcoming appearances?
Jane: I recently spoke at the Annual Meeting of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Dallas, TX, Aug. 31. Next up is the A.M. Todd Rare Book Room, Kalamazoo College. Oct. 22 and 29, 10 a.m. also, Nov. 4, 4-8 p.m. I have other events in 2012, closer to the release date of the new book.
Debbie: Do you have a favorite Michigan bookstore? And/or a favorite Michigan library?
Jane: Michigan News Agency, Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, Dean Hauk is an amazing owner! Also Saturn Books in Gaylord, Horizon Books in Traverse City and Cadillac, and Black River Books in South Haven have been very good promoters of Michigan authors like me. Schuler Books in Lansing bent over backward to put on a great author speaking event--they put books face-up on tables everywhere! I love the library in Constantine, Nottawa Township Public Library. They have started a very nice Michigan author speaking series.
Debbie: How about a favorite place in Michigan?
Jane: Who doesn't love the Leelenau? Or anyplace along our beautiful coasts? But, this is shocking--downtown Detroit tugs at my heart. The Detroit Institute of Arts is fabulous, the Pewabic Pottery preserves a lovely side of Michigan's artistic history, and don't miss the Edsel Ford house. There is much, much more to see and enjoy in this classic American city.
Debbie: Very true! Do you have a Michigan event or happening that you love to attend?
Jane: Since childhood, I have always loved to pick blueberries. Check out the blueberry festival in South Haven.
Debbie: A few fun Michigan people we should all know about?
Jane: Ladislav Hanka, he mostly makes exquisite nature etchings, but he also writes and binds his own books occasionally. Bob Rowe has spent his career singing in hospitals and nursing homes. Most of us will inevitably hear his band some day. Lovely stuff.
Debbie: Something you'd like a non-Michigander to know about Michigan?
Jane: Non-Michiganders need to be warned that the natives make an effort to be polite. People in Michigan wait in lines, give customers time to think, and buss their own tables. They rarely double-park, they give driving directions using north, south, east and west, and they don't put sugar in your tea without asking.
Debbie: Finally, some folks in Michigan refer to themselves as Michiganders; others Michiganians. For our ongoing vote tally: are you a "Michigander" or a "Michiganian"?
Debbie: We'll add you to the Michigander column!
Jane, it was lovely to have you here with us today. Thank you!