“A good novel tells us the truth about its hero, but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.” Gilbert Chesterton
I was born Julie Katherine Albrecht on a small farm in the middle of Michigan’s Thumb. I grew up to be a lawyer and practiced for 25 years in Lansing, Michigan. I was a First Assistant Attorney General to Frank Kelley for several years and then to Jennifer Granholm when she became Attorney General.
After she was elected governor, Ms. Granholm visited Lexington, Michigan, where my husband, Bob, and I own a condo overlooking the harbor. Governor Granholm spoke of the need to promote the unparalleled magnificence of Michigan’s lakeshore. Taking my former boss’s words to heart, I announced to friends my intention to write a travel guide about Michigan’s Thumb. One naysayer listened to my grandiose idea, then shook his head and asked, “And what will you put on page two?”
I took those words as a challenge and authored Traveling Michigan’s Thumb, which boasted a hefty 280 pages. I enjoyed the project so much that I penned a second guide, Traveling Michigan’s Sunset Coast. Both books were published by Thunder Bay Press, and the first half of each was the traditional places-to-visit, places-to-stay, places-to-eat travel primer. The second half of each offered “a bit of history and a bit of fun.”
While working on the Sunset Coast project I encountered the legacy of Magdelaine LaFramboise, a remarkable Odawa-French woman. Born in 1790, her perseverance and courage elevated her to role model status. I believed she was a woman worth knowing, so I set about researching and writing her story. On my closet shelf sat the draft of a 450 page historical fiction novel about her life and indomitable spirit. It awaited my editing, and I apologize to Ms. LaFramboise for the delay.
While researching the LaFramboise book I wrote articles for Michigan Blue, The Lakeshore Guardian and local newspapers. In May 2008, I began penning a monthly column for Wandering Educators.
But telling ghost and shipwreck stories for the Bit of Fun section of the travel books imbued me with a taste of writing tales more creative than legal briefs, travel guides or history. This distraction turned my focus to a novel, PILZ, a legal thriller currently available on Amazon. I have plans for the second novel with the same protagonist, Casey Lawrence, who will move to the vibrant and eclectic Mission District of San Francisco.
From time to time I write short stories. “Headed North on a Southern Highway” will appear this September in the anthology, Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the 60s & 70s. “A Mother’s Revenge” will appear in Not Your Mother’s Book – On Being a Parent scheduled for release fall 2013. Several other stories will appear in the CWC Tri-Valley Branch 2013 Anthology and A Class of Muses.
I haven’t made a million dollars yet, but I’m having fun and staying out of trouble.