I can’t wait for
June 16, 2012. That’s when I make a book signing/benefit appearance at the in Arnolds Park/Lake Okoboji, Iowa Great Lakes Maritime Museum . All profits from museum sales of my latest mystery, NO WAKE Iowa ZONE, will benefit the museum.
The benefit is my chance to salute someone who inspired me—Stephen Ross Kennedy, my late cousin. NO WAKE
ZONE is dedicated to Steve, one of the ’s founders and its first director. Steve also was the first captain of the Queen II, an excursion boat that plies the waters of Okoboji West every summer. Maritime Museum
While book launches and signings are always fun, this one is truly special. It lets me spotlight a life that mattered. In no small part, Steve’s infectious enthusiasm is responsible for helping a number of the lake region’s family fun staples continue to flourish. His life and contributions should be a lesson to us all when we’re tempted to shrug our shoulders and ask “why bother?”
Steve didn’t graduate from college. It wasn’t his cup of tea. But he loved the Iowa Great Lakes and read every book about the region’s history he could lay his hands on. He worked in a drug store, joined the Chamber. When the idea of bringing a grand excursion boat back to the lakes took root, he sought donations door-to-door. When the Queen II was christened, he was ecstatic to be asked to be its first captain. Never mind that he’d never driven anything larger than his beloved Hafer motorboat. As Steve guided the Queen II around
, his humor-laced patter brought patrons back again and again. Soon the Queen paid off its debts and banked profits were saved to build the Lake Okoboji , a magical time capsule that includes all types of memorabilia from nineteenth century ladies bathing suits to boats with gleaming mahogany exteriors. Maritime Museum
While the “cousin” in NO WAKE
ZONE is fictional, there’s no doubt who inspired my affable character, Captain Ross. And I’m delighted to report the institutions that play major roles in my novel are real treasures of the Iowa Great Lakes. While I hope you’ll read my new mystery, I hope even more that you have occasion to board the Queen II for a cruise and visit the located in Iowa Great Lakes Maritime Museum . Maybe you’ll even hear Steve’s good-natured chuckle on the breeze. Historic Arnolds Park
Do you like to read books set in real locations? Authors, do you ever salute your loved ones by incorporating their personalities in your cast of characters?