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Tori, Lori, Nancy, Susie, Cindy, Christie, Sarah, Me, and Mary (1976)

When I have the privilege of meeting readers of Memory Lake, they are surprised to learn how much of the novel is true.  “In real life there is another Nancy, a Christie, Lori, Tori, Susie, Cindy, Sarah, and Mary?”, they ask.  Yes, I reply, supposing they are an e-reader, because it is easy to miss the picture on page 3.

“My daughter’s name is KT, her best friends are Angela and Katie, my sister’s name is Susan, and the camp really exists though I changed its name,” I say with a genuine smile, because the honor of writing about them still lingers.  “Water spouts often form over Lake Michigan and the Sleeping Bear Dunes are huge.”  Few readers question the validity of the rest of the novel because its coming-of-age conflict and character interactions speak to the human experience.  We all need to overcome fear.  We all need to learn that putting on a smile, especially when we least feel like it, leads to real joy.

KT, Katie, Angela

KT, Katie, Angela, and Lake Michigan (2004)

Whether you devour Memory Lake over a week-end, *”like an irresistible box of candy”, or deliberately spread it out, because like camp, *”you don’t want it to end”, please know it is 99% true.  The 1% is to keep the story flowing and to protect the sanctity of locations.


Petoskeys; Michigan’s state rock (fossils of prehistoric coral) also mentioned in “Memory Lake”.

* Quotes from reviews.