For the Love of Books Podcast with host author Emma Palova is now in its third season with more than 100 episodes featuring indie and small press authors. Join us for edutainment, you can avoid the mistakes we’ve made as authors.
Host author Emma Palova says keep on writing and reading, never give up
Here are author guests with links to their episodes in April. It has been an incredibly productive month, partially thanks to the cold weather in Michigan. Currently scheduling June and August. All recordings are on Zoom on Thursdays at 5 p.m. Sign up on the guest jotform. Please put down 4 p.m. instead of 5 p.m. since the form has its limitations.
Thanks to April sponsors Doc Chavent, The Lowell Ledger, and author Jen Rinaldi.
Lowell author & reporter Emma Palova completed The Lost Town, a third book in the Shifting Sands series on the last day of June.
The historical fiction novel is set in Singapore, MI, a ghost town on the shores of Lake Michigan during the pioneer era of the 1830s.
Palova captured the spirit of the once thriving lumbering town in its main characters – beautiful Miss Ida, her boss lumber baron John Bosch, Singapore founder Oshea Wilder and supporting characters, Sir Artemas Wallace and housemaid Mrs. Fisch.
Miss Ida was torn between her hometown of Chicago and her new home Singapore, and between two men. Who will win her heart?
The story unravels as the greedy New York investors set their eyes on the undeveloped land at the Oxbow bend in the Kalamazoo River surrounded by sand dunes with much coveted white pines.
Wily Oshea established the New York & Michigan Co. in 1836 to facilitate the development of Singapore. The investors envisioned that Singapore would rival Chicago and Milwaukee. With its humming mills, boarding houses, hotels, and general stores at the height of its prosperity, Singapore almost outshone Chicago.
The name remains a mystery, as its famous counterpart island city in East Asia was only a fledgling town at the time.
“The mysterious name inspired me to write this novel,” Palova said.
According to one interpretation, the exotic name was used to honor the “singing sands” of the Lake Michigan shore. The shape of the grains and the moisture combine to make the sand sing or squeak when someone walks on it.
Always on the hunt for stories and inspiration, Palova walked into the general store on Butler Street in downtown Saugatuck in the mid- 1990s. She picked up a book about Singapore and checked out the historic marker in front of the Saugatuck Village Hall.
“The story just gripped my imagination and stayed with me throughout the years,” she said. “Then I forgot all about it for decades.”
It wasn’t until getting ready for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) last November, that Palova realized that what she had planned to write about Singapore would turn into a novel rather than just a short story.
“I wanted to do the fascinating story of Singapore its justice,” she said. “I knew a short story wouldn’t cut it.”
During her research for the novel, Palova came across Singapore’s ‘wildcat bank.’
“I knew this was big,” she said, “bigger than life.”
Singapore had a ‘wildcat bank’ that issued its own ornate bank notes that are still in the collection of the Saugatuck Douglas Historical Society in Douglas.
“I used their online collections catalog exclusively for research,” she said. “It’s an excellent tool for anyone who wants to write about history. Most historical societies in Michigan have online collections.”
The novel covers the entire span of Singapore’s existence from the 1830s to its demise in the 1870s. At one point the town was known as Ellis Island since it accepted immigrants from European countries like Norway and Holland. The town was the first stop for Hollanders before they moved further up north and established Holland. It came before Saugatuck which was smaller and known as Flats.
“I wove nautical stories into the novel because I love the seas,” Palova said. “I wish I was a sailor.”
It was not just a lumbering era, but also a time for steamers, schooners, and tugboats on the Great Lakes. Nautical transportation was just as dangerous as travel by land, and later by rail.
“Sometimes the story evolved all on its own to my surprise like in the chapter ‘Mail fraud at Oxbow’, she said. “I was really surprised at what Ida was capable of doing driven by secret love.”
Other chapters were meticulously planned with research usually showing up later in the novel.
“My previous research didn’t help me much, but the immediate research during the NaNoWriMo challenge helped,” she said. “I can easily say that this novel is a direct product of the challenge.”
During NaNoWriMo, Palova wrote a minimum of 1,750 words daily to reach the victory lane at 50,000 words by the end of November. After that came months of more writing, revisions, and editing.
Carol Briggs of Lowell edited The Lost Town. The whimsical cover was designed by graphic artist Jeanne Boss of Rockford. Beta readers include Nancy Price Stroosnyder and author Diana Kathryn Wolfe-Plopa.
Emma’s ease at mixing actual history into her stories is remarkable, and so entails Miss Ida’s response to an invitation to a soon-to-be bustling “Singapore” on the shores of Lake Michigan. She is transported away from Chicago, family, and friends. She quickly learns the duties expected of her in maintaining a boarding house and warehouse in the rapidly growing community. Soon she falls in love with one of the corrupt founders. The many colorful characters weave a fantastic story of love, mystery, hope, and faith. This is a quick, very worthwhile read!
Palova will be signing her new book at the following locations: Fallasburg Summer Celebration on July 30, Englehardt Library in Lowell TBA, Holland, Aug. 6, and Paradise, Aug. 19-20. Listen in to an upcoming podcast about The Lost Town on http://emmapalova123.podbean.com
The cover of The Lost Town was designed by graphic artist Jeanne Boss or Rockford.
Bannister, MI – The following are reviews of the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” by Thomas and Diane Bradley of Bannister, MI. Both are Michigan State Polka Music Hall of Fame 2012 inductees. They are one of the founders of the Czechoslovak Harvest Festival known as “Dozinky” held annually in Bannister on the first Sunday in August. The Bradleys are members of the Western Fraternal Life Association, Lodge Michigan #225.
The “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” truly brought back memories of my trip with my grandmother to Czechoslovakia in 1960 when I was 17. We stayed with friends in one of those grey apartment buildings. The deal was you couldn’t talk to people without them looking around to make sure no one was listening. I knew part of what was going on but this book really provided insight as to what was truly taking place.
Also, I knew about the Charter 77 movement and this memoir helped to provide a bigger picture as to what was taking place. This book provided a great amount of insight into how the citizens of Czechoslovakia actually lived and their struggles during that period of communism. It was truly very informative.
I’ve heard many stories from my grandparents and elders in the family who immigrated to the United States from Czechoslovakia. Arriving between 1900 and 1910; they were from a different time and socioeconomic background.
I so enjoyed reading Emma’s family’s journey to a new and safer life. Their memories were of a new era and different circumstances. “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” truly broadened my perspective of immigrants’ lives and challenges.
About the feature photo: This is the cover of the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” designed by graphic artist Jeanne Boss of Rockford.
Autumn Virtual Book Festival
Follow author readings and interviews during the month of October.
The festival features a variety of authors with diverse genres.
Greenwich Meridian: Where East meets West New autobiographical novel on its way to pre-order on Amazon. .
Emma Palova’s author news
With Christmas just around the corner and the shopping frenzy on, I am pleased to announce that I have completed the new autobiographical novel “Greenwich Meridian: Where East meets West during the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.) I have, however, decided to add two more chapters based on a recent conversation at one of my book signing events. Vendor Mary Lacy asked me, if I was ever afraid living in a socialist country. I had to really think hard about the answer to the surprise question. So, it occurred to me that many of my fans will be interested in the same topic. “What was it like living in socialism?” I was born in socialist Czechoslovakia and lived there during the hardline years of communism in the 1970s and 1980s. Living in socialism meant being careful on a daily basis about what you said and to whom. However, only political activists like late president Vaclav Havel faced repercussions and ended up in jail. The system had its way of getting at you by creating “profiles.” If you went to church, your profile would state that, and it went against you when you applied for jobs or to universities. Please email me with your questions about socialism at firstname.lastname@example.org
Reviews and a book tour
Why write a review?
All authors need reviews, and basically not just authors. But Amazon requests at least 25 reviews for authors to get any ranking, so then Amazon algorithms can start working in the author’s favor.
I haven’t been able to reach that magic number, even though it doesn’t seem high. Prior to publication, I sent out pdfs to reviewers.
And I will do that again with the new book. Just email me for pdfs.
Below is a link to my books from the Shifting Sands Short Stories collections: book 1 and book 2 Secrets. Books make a great Christmas gift.
I am in the process of planning a new book tour for 2020, which I am very excited about.
Why come to a Michigan author event? “Michigan Authors are sweeping the shores of the Great Lakes from Lake Michigan to Lake Superior and Lake Huron in a new wave of renaissance in literature.” - Emma Palova
You’re supporting local authors who write from Michigan with Michigan settings. You will get an autographed book by a live author. You will get insider tips from the publishing industry. You will learn about the writing process; from an idea to a book. You will leave inspired.
Happy holidays to all.
Emma Palova Dec. 9, 2019
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