A Great Gettin’-Up Morning:
A Personal Story.
Last Sunday morning I awoke to a writer’s dream. My computer informed me my For Love of Lakes book is a finalist in the Minnesota Book Award competition in the category: Creative Nonfiction/Memoir.
How did it happen? Q & A is in order.
Q: How did you come by an interest in lakes?
A: My mother loved lakes more than any other person I have known. From my toddler days on, lakes were an important part of my life.
Q: When did you first get an interest in writing?
A: I was a voracious reader as a kid, and when I had read all the juvenile books about the sea and sailing ships in the library, I decided to write my own. I was nine or ten.
Q: What led you to write a book about lakes?
A: As an aquatic ecologist, when I revisited some of the lakes of my childhood, I found them much changed. Many were notably less clear than I had known them growing up. That was disturbing.
Q: How long did it take you to write For Love of Lakes?
A: Five years.
Q: Michigan State University Press published your book. Had other publishers rejected your work?
A: Eight different publishers rejected my manuscript. After about the seventh rejection, I began to wonder if it was worth it. Should I just quit?
Then I remembered my favorite movie, “Miracle on Ice,” where hockey coach Herb Brooks took a group of mostly young college players to challenge the Russians, the best in the world, for the Gold Medal in the 1980 Olympics. Fans the world over understood. The Russians were invincible. Herbie’s guys didn’t stand a chance. But, they persevered, defied the odds, and won.
Dogged persistence pays. Though deceased at the time, Herbie kept me in the game.
Q: What advice do you have for a person with an urge to write?
A: Read, read, read to feed the subconscious.
“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” Henry David Thoreau