I'm pleased to welcome Deborah Reed to Michigander Monday!
Debbie: Deborah, please tell us a little about yourself and your books.
Deborah: I am the author of the recently released novel, Things We Set On Fire. I was thrilled when Author Tim O’ Brien (The Things They Carried), had this to say about my work: “What a finely made, complex, and wholly engrossing novel this is. The people who inhabit Things We Set on Fire seem to be squeezed into some catastrophic critical mass, like the Big Bang in reverse, and yet the prose is completely under control, precise and lucid, sometimes electric with nuance, sometimes strangely musical, and always convincing. The moral pressures on these characters become almost unbearable, yet the radiance of grace and pardon and understanding shines on. Reed has given us a beautiful book.”
I am also the author of Carry Yourself Back to Me, a Best Book of 2011 Amazon Editors’ Pick. I wrote the bestselling thriller, A Small Fortune and its sequel, Fortune’s Deadly Descent, under my pen name, Audrey Braun. All of my novels have been translated or are forthcoming in German. I hold a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing (fiction) and teach at UCLA’s Extension Writing Program in Los Angeles, at the Black Forest Writing Seminar with the University of Freiburg, Germany, as well as workshops and conferences around the United States and in Europe. I was born in Detroit and raised in Westland, but have lived in Orlando, Florida; New York City; Düsseldorf and Herzogenaurach, Germany; Portland, Oregon; and currently reside in Los Angeles, California.
Debbie: Other books or projects on the horizon?
Deborah: I'm currently working on a stand alone Audrey Braun psychological thriller. It takes place in LA. It's so scary I can hardly stand to write it.
Debbie: Upcoming appearances?
Deborah: Only if you consider me in my pajamas in front of a fire and my computer an "appearance". These days the internet allows the majority of book promotion to take place online, which means writers get to spend more time at home writing more books. This makes me happy.
Debbie: Do you have a favorite place in Michigan?
Deborah: When I was growing up I always loved going to the apple orchards in Northville to pick apples and make apple cider. I loved canoeing down the Huron River, swimming at Walter Hayes State Park, and fishing with my dad at Kensington Lake, where I inevitably caught a bigger fish than my older brother, who now lives up on Lake Gladwin and still can't stand to hear about it all these decades later. I loved Boblo Island Amusement Park, which of course no longer exists, and the ferryboat rides it to took to get out there.
Debbie: A few fun Michigan people we should all know about?
Deborah: Michigan has some really great writers, some of which I'm happy to call my friends—Bonnie Jo Campbell, Jack Driscoll, Jeanne Haynes Sirotkin, Scott Sparling, Matt Bell, and Sharon Harrigan. Also, as an aside, my husband is a creative director and he recently worked on the Chevy account in Detroit. He was responsible for some of the Chevy commercials that recently ran, as well as quite a few of the billboards and print ads. He isn't from Michigan and we have an ongoing argument over the correct way to pronounce Impala. He claims the first a is long. I say no way. It is, and always has been, short. Im-pal-ah.
Debbie: Something you'd like a non-Michigander to know about Michigan?
Deborah: Impala is pronounced Im-pal-ah:) Elmore Leonard lived and died in Michigan. You can ski just outside of Detroit in the Irish Hills.
Debbie: Last question. Some folks in Michigan refer to themselves as Michiganders, others as Michiganians. For our ongoing vote tally, which is the better term: Michigander or Michiganian?
Deborah: Michigander, always.
Debbie: Michigander it is! Deborah, thank you so much for joining us today for Michigander Monday!