My first novel, The Seasons of the EmmaLee, is a story that lies very close to my heart. My family emigrated to northern Michigan in the early 1900′s and settled in the small town of Boyne City on Lake Charlevoix. I spent much of my youth living “up North” as we say. We had a small cabin on the lake and I spent summers there living much like the locals, working odd jobs, fishing and enjoying the water, playing on local baseball teams.
My great grandfather’s family came from Germany and moved north following opportunities in the lumber industry. He became an accomplished carpenter and builder and built many homes and cottages on Lake Charlevoix and over on Walloon Lake.I spent much of my youth living “Up North” as we say.
Later, the family ran a small marina and boatyard on Lake Charlevoix. I spent many days out there as a small boy fishing and swimming with our family and friends and trying to avoid being locked in the old outhouse back in the woods by my older cousins.
I can still recall so vividly, watching my great grandmother, well into her 60′s, up on a ladder, working on the big cruising and sailing yachts, painting, varnishing and repairing. I was always struck by the incredible wealth of so many of the summer residents who came north each year, and particularly their spectacular boats, in contrast to the much simpler lives of my family.
In preparing to write this novel, I spent considerable time at the Charlevoix Historical Society’s Harsha House Museum, as well as the Charlevoix Public Library researching the early years of the area’s history. I have to especially thank David Miles, the co-director of the Historical Society for his assistance in helping me learn more about the magnificent ships that sailed the waters around Charlevoix in the first half of the 1900′s.
I’m very excited about the release of the sequel, “On Past Horton Creek” which follows many of the same characters five years later in the 1950′s and in present day.
Michael Lindley was born and raised in Michigan and spent much of his early life in northern Michigan, catching fish off the dock of his uncle’s boatyard on Lake Charlevoix. He dreamed of someday growing up to become a writer… or a fisherman.
A marketing and advertising executive, Michael Lindley, lives with his family in Ada, Michigan. He has written professionally for years and more recently has begun publishing his works of fiction.