A book lover’s dream: ‘Trail of Michigan Authors’ to feature more than 40 local writers this Saturday

When it comes to the written word, Michigan is a veritable haven, with countless authors calling the Mitten State home and the state’s lakes, farms, and cities playing backdrop to the stories that line our bookshelves. The public will have a chance to meet many of those wordsmiths this Saturday, Oct. 6, when they’ll be featured at the fourth annual “Trail of Michigan Authors” event at the Barnes & Noble store located at 5275 Harvey Street.

More than 40 authors are expected to attend the literary festivities, which will raise money for the Friends of Hackley Public Library—a 45-year-old nonprofit organization that supports Muskegon’s Hackley Public Library by annually providing funding for hundreds of free programs for children and adults.

“It’s an incredible event; it’s exciting to see all the Michigan talent showcased,” said Carol Ann Balcom, president of the Friends of Hackley Public Library.

The 40-plus authors will be at Saturday’s fest from 1pm to 4pm and represent a wide variety of genres, including mystery, fantasy, self-help, animals, poetry, young adult and children, and more. (A list of attending authors is provided at the end of this article.)

As part of the Trail of Michigan Authors, the Friends of Hackley Public Library will receive a portion of the total sales. That money will then go towards the $20,000 the group donates each year to the library for everything from renovation work to technology classes and early literacy programs. (To read more about the Friends’ work, you can click here.)

“There’s so many things the library does, and we’re behind 90 percent of them,” Balcom said.

Additionally, from Oct. 6 through Oct. 10, the Friends group will receive a portion of the sales from the Barnes & Noble website and from any Barnes & Noble store when the customer provides the following book fair identification number: 12392932.

The Friends group has been partnering with the bookseller for nine years to put on book fairs, and this is the fourth year they have worked together on the authors event. The Trail of Michigan Authors has landed immense support from the local literary community, with the number of featured writers doubling since its inception four years ago.

“It’s really neat,” Balcom said. “It helps the authors; it helps us. It’s a fun, well-attended event.”

The following is a list of the authors who are expected to attend:

Amy Johnson

Andrew Smith

Barbara E. Kompik

Barbara Lynn Freedman

Betty Lott

Bob (R.C.) Hartson

Bonnie Vokits

Chad Lee Erway

Cherell Evans

Christina Cooper

Deborah Reed

Diane Burton

Donald Levin

Donovan Martin Neal

Elisa Koopmans

William Ruback

Ingar Rudholm

Janet Vormittag

Jeffrey Schoenherr

John McFadden

John Robinson

Scott Payne

Julie Nelson

K. B. Carr

Kittye Sharron

Kristi Porter

Kyla Sims

Liesa Owen Swejkoski

Lon Hieftje

Mary Matthews

Nick Hutchinson

Norma Lewis

Richard Born

Sarah Barnard

Sharlene MacLaren

 Shetan Noir

Steve LeBel

Sue Merrell

Tami Jayne

Thad Cummings

Tom Laughlin

Story by Anna Gustafson, the publisher and editor of Muskegon Times. You can connect with her by emailing MuskegonTimes@gmail.com or on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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