I'm pleased to welcome Andy Mozina to Michigander Monday!
Debbie: Andy, please tell us a little about yourself.
Andy: I grew up in Wisconsin, in a Milwaukee suburb, and spent years in Chicago, Boston and St. Louis before settling in Kalamazoo where I’ve lived with my wife, Lorri, and daughter, Madeleine for the past fifteen years. I teach literature and creative writing at Kalamazoo College and root for Wisconsin sports teams from a distance.
Debbie: And, of course, we want to know all about your books.
Andy: I’ve written two collections of short stories, The Women Were Leaving the Men (2007) and Quality Snacks (2014), both published by Wayne State University Press. Both collections are about relationships and intimacy and ambition. The characters are usually somewhat deluded men (though I have some female protagonists as well) who make a lot of mistakes. The characters run the gamut from astronauts and metallurgists to lawyers and secretaries to pizza delivery men and cowboys. I also have stories about pop culture figures like Elvis and Santa Claus. The stories try to blend funny/sad. A lot of wrongness.
Debbie: Other books or projects on the horizon?
Andy: A novel about a divorced harpist taking a symphony audition. It’s about the whole family/career dilemma from the point of view of a guy struggling to be a good father.
Debbie: Upcoming appearances?
Andy: I’ll be doing readings in Ann Arbor on September 16th, in Grand Rapids on September 25th, in Kalamazoo on October 16, and in Portage on November 2. Please check out http://andymozina.com/events-and-readings/ for the latest.
Debbie: Do you have a favorite Michigan bookstore? And/or a favorite Michigan library?
Andy: We’ve got some great indie bookstores here in Kalamazoo: Bookbug, Michigan News Agency and Kazoo Books. The proprietors go out of their way to support local writers.
The Kalamazoo Public Library is pretty great, and I love the Reading Room at the Hatcher Library on U of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus.
Debbie: How about a favorite place in Michigan?
Andy: Some of my favorites: Saugatuck Dunes State Park, Beaver Island and Mackinac Island. I couldn’t believe how clear Lake Michigan water is around Beaver Island! The beach there felt downright Caribbean.
Debbie: Do you have a Michigan event or happening that you love to attend?
Andy: Oberon Day in Kalamazoo is one of my favorite Michigan events. It’s the day that Bell’s Brewery releases their summer beer, Oberon. It comes near the end of March and it means that we have survived, or will survive, the winter.
Debbie: A few fun Michigan people we should all know about?
Andy: Some of my favorite writers are lifetime Michiganders: Bonnie Jo Campbell, Lisa Lenzo, Michael Zadoorian, John Rybicki, to name just a few.
Debbie: Something you'd like a non-Michigander to know about Michigan?
Andy: Aside from the occasional tornado, we are largely free of natural disasters. This creates a very stable environment for homes, industry and recreation. Also, no, it is not possible to see across Lake Michigan.
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?
Andy: As I said, I’m from Wisconsin, so I’m not sure I’m in a position to say. Michiganderianite?
Debbie: Andy, we'll add a new column! Thank you so much for being here today for Michiganderianite Monday!