Archive for March 2011

I’m Receiving the “Outstanding Writer” Award in the Marquette County Arts Award

March 27, 2011

I learned this week that I will be receiving the “Outstanding Writer” award in the Marquette County Arts Awards. I feel very honored and pleased to be recognized by the community I have sought to promote through my writing. In the letter I received, I was told I was chosen because:

You were anonymously nominated for and selected by the Arts and Culture
Advisory Committee as the winner of the “Outstanding Writer” award.
This award is given to a working community writer who has consistently
made an impact in his artistic discipline.The committee believes your
success as the self-publisher and author of The Marquette Trilogy and My
Marquette as well as your leadership roles within regional writers
groups highly qualifies you for this award.

A reception will be held in the City of Marquette Arts and Culture Center from 5:30-7 p.m. in conjunction with the Lake Superior Art Association Members Show (on display in the MACC Lower Level Gallery) and Annual Meeting. The award ceremony will take place on Friday May 13 at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of the City of Marquette Arts and Culture Center located in the lower level of the Peter White Public Library. This event is free and open to the public. Please call (906) 228-0472 for more information.

Here is the full list of award winners:

THE CITY OF MARQUETTE ARTS AND CULTURE COMMITTEE IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THE 15TH ANNUAL 2011 ARTS AND CULTURE RECOGNITION AWARD WINNERS, CELEBRATING EXCELLENCE IN THE ARTS BY HONORING OUTSTANDING MARQUETTE COUNTY CITIZENS AND BUSINESSES. THE AWARD CELEBRATION WILL BE HELD IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE LAKE SUPERIOR ART ASSOCIATION MEMBER SHOW RECEPTION ON FRIDAY MAY 13.

THOSE BEING RECOGNIZED INCLUDE:

ARTS VOLUNTEER
…Michelle Tuccini
for long time volunteer efforts on behalf of the arts in Marquette County

COMMUNITY ARTS ACTIVIST
Melissa Matuscak
as a person who makes things happen and has demonstrated significant
accomplishment in advancing and supporting the arts in our community

OUTSTANDING ARTS EDUCATOR
Diane Mahoney
as a person who has provided extraordinary leadership and creativity in
advancing the cause of art education in the schools and in our community

ARTS BUSINESS HONOR ROLL
Donckers Restaurant and Soda Fountain
as a business which has recognized excellence in the arts by supporting
artists or arts organizations in its community

OUTSTANDING VISUAL ARTIST
Earl Senchuk
as a working community visual artist who has consistently made an
impact in his/her artistic discipline

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE ARTIST
Jill Grundstrom
as a working community performance artist who has consistently
made an impact in his/her artistic discipline

OUTSTANDING WRITER
Tyler Tichelaar
as a working community writer who has consistently made
an impact in his/her artistic discipline

SPECIAL RECOGNITION
John Pepin
as a working community artist who has consistently made a
contribution and an impact upon the community

OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY ARTS IMPACT
Marquette Monthly
as an organization that has consistently made a contribution and/or
an impact upon the community

YOUTH ARTIST AWARD
Nicole Vermuelen
as a youth who has consistently made a contribution to and made
an impact upon the community in his/her artistic discipline

Advertisements

Historical Fiction Award-Winning Novel Filled with Swashbuckling, Page-Turning Fun

March 20, 2011

Quintspinner: A Pirate’s Quest

Dianne Greenlay

ISBN 9781450233972

iUniverse (2010) 

I read “Quintspinner” because I sponsored the award in the Historical Fiction category for the Reader Views Literary Awards. It was the first year I had sponsored the award, and since I had no role in the judging, I was curious to see what book would win. And I was not disappointed by the results. I was excited to hear a historical novel about pirates was the winner because I figured it would be a good read, but I had no idea what a talented writer Dianne Greenlay would be or what a great story she would spin. I was thrilled, after reading “Quintspinner” that it had won, and the award is well-deserved.

“Quintspinner” is the story of Tess Willoughby, who lives in 1717 London. Tess, while walking through the marketplace of London, meets an old crone who reveals that Tess is a “quintspinner,” someone who can control five magic rings. The crone says it’s proven by the birthmark Tess has. When the crone is soon after murdered, Tess is left with many questions about her past and the destiny that lies before her, as well as the bejeweled ring the crone has left to her.

Tess soon after finds herself on a journey to the West Indies with her adoptive parents. Worse, her adoptive father arranges for her betrothal to the man she witnessed murder the crone. But Tess also finds herself falling in love with a young sailor who was pressed into service on the ship along with his father. All these characters are in for the adventure of their lives, as is soon revealed when the ship is attacked by a pirate ship. Without going into the plot further, a great deal of action, high seas adventures, some magic, and a couple twists of fate make “Quintspinner” a novel never to be forgotten and even to be read and enjoyed again and again. Early on, Tess knows there are five spinner rings, but at the end of the novel, she only has three—a sure sign that a sequel is coming, and I can’t wait to read it.

To me, “Quintspinner” is the quintessential pirate adventure novel. It reminded me of “Treasure Island,” but it was much more fast-paced and interesting than that somewhat boring book, and it reminded me of “Pirates of the Caribbean” for its action and magic, but without the quirky and somewhat stupid characterizations of those films. Like a good adventure movie—and this book would make an excellent film—we move from scene to scene, fluctuating between two storylines that soon come together. The settings in London, on the high seas, and in the West Indies create great visual scenes as a backdrop for a tale of love, adventure, secrets, and magic. I hope the epic Disney film version is not far off.

What I most appreciated about “Quintspinner” was the powerful, effective writing. The book is Dianne Greenlay’s first published novel, but I suspect she has been working at her craft for quite some time. She knows how to write crisp, tight dialogue, effective scenes, and short chapters that keep the plot moving, keep the action going, and keep the reader interested. More than a writer, she is a true novelist for how she masterfully handles all the elements that make good fiction.

If you love a great adventure novel, put “Quintspinner” at the top of your list. You won’t be disappointed. 

For more information about “Quintspinner” and Dianne Greenlay, visit www.DianneGreenlay.com

Pirate Novel Wins First Place in Tyler R. Tichelaar Award for Historical Fiction

March 17, 2011

A fast-paced pirate novel has won first place for historical fiction in the Reader Views Literary Awards. “Quintspinner: A Pirate’s Quest” by first-time author Dianne Greenlay is a new action-packed novel of magic rings and high seas adventure.

 Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, Canada, and Marquette, Michigan, USA. March 12, 2011—The votes are in, and the winner for First Place in the Historical Fiction category of the 2010 Reader Views Annual Literary Awards for a new novel is Dianne Greenlay’s “Quintspinner: A Pirate’s Quest” (ISBN 9781450233972, iUniverse, 2010).

The annual Reader Views Literary Awards were established to honor writers who self-published or had their books published by a small press, university press, or independent book publisher. Reader Views, a book review and publicity service for authors, is based in Austin, Texas.

“Reader Views reviews more than 2,000 books per year from budding authors who have worked hard to achieve their dream of being published,” Reader Views Managing Editor Irene Watson said. “Our Annual Literary Awards recognize the very best of these up-and-coming authors, all talented writers we know have very promising writing careers ahead of them.”

Dianne Greenlay’s novel “Quintspinner: A Pirate’s Quest” won the Tyler R. Tichelaar Award for Historical Fiction as part of the Reader Views Annual Literary Awards. The award is sponsored by Tyler R. Tichelaar, whose novel “Narrow Lives” won First Place in the Historical Fiction category in 2009. “I wanted to sponsor this award,” said Tichelaar “to encourage writing great historical fiction, and because there are a lack of awards and attention given to historical fiction, despite the intense research and challenges historical fiction authors encounter to create believable, entertaining, and informative novels that allow readers to travel back in time. I was thrilled that ‘Quintspinner’ won this year because it has all the elements of fast-paced adventure fiction with wonderfully developed, believable characters placed against a thrilling historical background to create a true swashbuckling historical journey.”

Reader Views is currently accepting submissions for the 2011 Literary Awards. Entry information, registration forms, and further information can be found online at http://www.readerviews.com/Awards.html.

About “Quintspinner: A Pirate’s Quest” and Author Dianne Greenlay

Besides winning First Place for Historical Fiction in the Reader Views Literary Awards, “Quintspinner” was shortlisted for the 2010 Sask Book Awards for Best First Book category, made the shortlist for the Eric Hoffer Award, and has been nominated for the Montaigne Medal. “Quintspinner” tells the story of sixteen-year old Tess Willoughby in 1717 London, who is given a prophetic spinner ring by a mysterious crone who soon after meets her demise. Tess quickly finds herself crossing the Atlantic, en route to the pirate-infested waters of the West Indies. On a journey where family secrets will be revealed, young love found, and shipwreck and a murderous fiancée threaten her well-being, Tess will discover inner strength and a destiny she never dreamed could be hers.

 

Dianne Greenlay, a retired EMT, holds a bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy, and runs her own physiotherapy clinic. Besides writing fiction, she is an amateur playwright and enjoys directing and acting in community theatre. Greenlay lives in the middle of the land-locked Canadian prairies and, along with her husband, has had many ocean-going adventures. She is currently writing a sequel to “Quintspinner” and plans for the series to be a trilogy.

 

“Quintspinner: A Pirate’s Quest” (ISBN 9781450233972, iUniverse, 2010) can be purchased through local and online bookstores. For more information, visit www.DianneGreenlay.com. Publicity contact: www.ReaderViews.com. Review copies available upon request.

###

My First Visit to the New Marquette Regional History Museum

March 12, 2011

Yesterday I visited for the first time the exhibits at the new Marquette Regional History Museum. My first reaction was simply, WOW! And then as I walked through the exhibits, I felt more overcome with emotion than anything to think such a stunningly beautiful museum should exist in Marquette.

Just how “beautiful” was to me the biggest surprise. I knew that in the new museum the space would be larger, I knew more of the museum’s collection would be displayed, and more history told, but I was not at all prepared for the aesthetic effect. There are gorgeous murals painted by local artist Liz Yelland, there are numerous different subjects, all arranged beautifully, there are interactive parts of the museum, and so many pieces of history I had no idea the museum even had. More than anything I marvelled at the overall layout and all the work and planning that must have gone into the entire building and especially the exhibits.

Somewhere I hope Helen Longyear Paul, Olive Pendill, Ernest Rankin, Fred Rydholm, and the many, many other departed souls who were pioneers and early supporters of the museum could see what all their hard work, devotion, and vision for a Marquette County Historical Society that became a museum and now a regional history center has expanded and grown into.

And of course, most of the success is due to director Kaye Hiebel and all the staff, the museum board, all the generous donors in the community, and all the people who support the museum by visiting it. It is a job well done in every way possible, and I feel personally grateful to everyone who contributed in any way.

I would have loved to provide some photographs of the exhibits but photography is not allowed in the exhibits, so you will just have to visit the museum yourself to see everything, and for $7 per adult, you can see what is worthy of a much larger metropolitan area than Marquette. Plan ahead for spending about two hours. I spent nearly two and a half and I still didn’t get to read everything posted, although I read well more than half the signs and skimmed the others.

Everything I could imagine being relevant to the Marquette region was depicted – displays on wildlife include beaver and wolf and deer. There are extensive collections of artifacts from prehistoric people. A large display of various rocks, minerals, and Lake Superior sandstone are exhibited with enough detail to please the most active rockhound. The Native American imprint on the area is given extensive attention aside displays about the coming of the white men through the discovery of iron ore by William Austin Burt.

The founding of Marquette is told in letters and artifacts from Peter White, Amos and Olive Harlow, and Mehitable Everett. Replicas of Native American lodgehouses are beside early Marquette homes and voyageur fur trading posts. The history of shipping on the Great Lakes is displayed, along with that of farming, logging, and mining.

The area’s brave men and women who fought in the Civil War, Spanish American War, both World Wars and the Vietnam War receive recognition for their sacrifices.

Transportation changes are reflected in automobiles, streetcars, railroads, and snowmobiles. Descriptions of Marquette County’s major communities are provided. And the entertainment, the fun, of living in the U.P. also is provided in a movie projector from the Delft, the story of a pageant on Teal Lake, the creation of quill work and other crafts, the history of hockey, a basketball jersey from J.D. Pierce High School, and early restaurants like Hamburger Heaven.

That’s a small taste of all the history provided at the Marquette Regional History Center. Several fun, interactive aspects of the museum will also provide entertainment for children.

Go visit our wonderful new museum. Marquette, the Queen City of the North, now has a new jewel in her crown, and anyone who loves Marquette and its surrounding communities will be thrilled to see it shine.

For more information, visit the Marquette Regional History Center’s website at www.marquettecohistory.org

Read an Excerpt from my Next Novel – “Spirit of the North”

March 7, 2011

Since 2007, I’ve been advertising that my novel Spirit of the North would eventually be published. It is now scheduled for publication in Spring 2012 – just a year away. You can get the first sneak peek of it through a story within the novel I gave permission to the new Art on Ice e-magazine to publish in its debut issue, beginning on p. 67. Click here to read the e-magazine, which has great artwork and poetry by many other talented U.P. individuals: http://www.artonicemag.com/

The story is a Paul Bunyan tale which is told by Karl Bergmann, familiar to readers of The Marquette Trilogy. Karl also told a Paul Bunyan story “Paul Bunyan and the Black Rocks,” in The Queen City. Karl will return in Spirit of the North along with his good friend, the lumberjack Ben. Other familiar characters from the trilogy who will return are Nathaniel and Cordelia Whitman, their children Jacob and Edna, and yes, the woman everyone loves to hate, Sophia Henning, also makes an appearance. But the main characters will be completely new to readers.

Here is the description of the book taken from the back cover:

I went upstairs, too tired to fear leaving my sister alone with a strange man. He could not possibly hurt her in his condition, and he was so handsome I felt almost certain he was kind. Perhaps when he became well, he could teach us how to live here—at least show me how to chop down a tree or shoot Uncle’s rifle. I told myself his presence was a good thing. Little could I foresee how much he would hurt us both.

In 1873, orphaned sisters Barbara and Adele Traugott travel to Upper Michigan to live with their uncle, only to find he is deceased. Penniless, they are forced to spend the long, fierce winter alone in their uncle’s remote wilderness cabin. Frightened yet determined, the sisters face blizzards and near starvation to survive. Through their difficulties they find love, heartache, and ultimately, the miracle of their own beings.

For more information about all my novels, visit www.MarquetteFiction.com.