|New on left, first on right --|
She has a lot of energy, to put it mildly. Loreen Niewenhuis burst upon the Michigan literary scene four years ago with a blog. Her project was to walk the shoreline of Lake Michigan, beginning in Chicago, going north through Michigan and around the top of the lake through the Upper Peninsula, south along the Wisconsin shoreline, and back to Chicago. She did it and put her story into a book, A 1,000-Mile Walk on the Beach (2011).
Having accomplished all this, Loreen immediately began planning her next project, and when spring of 2012 came around, she began walking selected stretches of all the Great Lakes – another 1,000 miles total – and yes, there is now another book, A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Walk (2013).
Besides boundless energy, Niewenhuis brings other special talents to her on-site observations and later retelling of her adventures. She has background as a cancer researcher, for one thing, and her trained scientific eye and mind see all kinds of details that others would miss while walking on the beach. Her engaging personality makes a difference, too. Private property owners along the lakeshores and audiences for her public appearances alike find Loreen’s enthusiasm and friendliness irresistible. It was true when she first visited Dog Ears Books, and it was true again when she gave a talk at the Leelanau Township Public Library.
And now Loreen is coming back to Northport! If you’ve noticed the announcement in the right-hand column of this blog, you’re not surprised, but there are a couple more unusual aspects to the story.
(1) What is a “pre-launch” of a new book? Well, Loreen is making her book available to independent booksellers eight weeks before it will officially be for sale online. She’s giving us a head start, bless her heart!
(2) There’s also the matter of the ongoing remodeling project at 106 Waukazoo. Added to my having invited Northport high school students to meet Loreen and hear about her adventure, I had created quite a challenge for myself. Business neighbors to the rescue! Erik and Deirdre Owen of Motovino and Brew North, the same people who have brought live music to Northport on Friday nights, offered their space for my event.
|(This morning at Brew North, as I work....)|
So our bookstore season opener event will not even be held at the bookstore, but I’m feeling very good about it nonetheless. We’ll be right across the street, able to accommodate a big crowd, and to the energy of Loreen Niewenhuis we’ll be adding the energy of Erik and Deirdre Owen and the energy of Northport High School students and teachers. The rest of the northern Michigan public is more than welcome to this event, also! The more, the merrier!
Yes, there’s big energy in Northport, so come experience it for yourself on Thursday, April 18, from 12:15 to 2:15 at Brew North, at the corner of Waukazoo and Nagonaba. Following the author visit in the Big Store building, we’ll cross the street and be back at Dog Ears Books until 5 p.m. That’s only two weeks from this coming Thursday. Sound good?