From Manistee Encounters

Darkness on the face of the earth

..."On this early spring day Cy, with the snow still in spots on the north banks and the river full from thawed run off, felt none of the wear of his 65 years.  As he jaunted up the hillside back to the lodge, he looked toward cabin number 7.  He decided to double check on The Hermit if for no other reason than to nose around.  The Hermit checked in four weeks ago and as far as Cy knew hadn’t left his cabin more than a couple times.  He certainly wasn’t a fly fisher, Cy surmised, or he would have been on the river given that opening day occurred three days ago.   When The Hermit checked in, he refused to provide identification, but did pay for 4 months rent, up front.  Even though this was a violation of a local ordinance CY determined that the law was unconstitutional and took the money.  Just in case, Cy and Sylvia kept a faithful record of their mysterious guest’s appearance and mode of transportation.  A few days later, Cy and Sylvia became concerned that they may be harboring a fugitive and contacted the local State Police post to check on the license plate of the vehicle the Hermit was driving.  Once a check had been made, verification of The Hermit’s appearance matched with the plates, Cy and Sly concluded that all was well and Mr. Hermit had a right to be alone.  Knowing what he knew about Kirt (the Hermit), Cy felt incredible empathy and tried to give him as much space a possible."  


Press Release

Announcing:  Local Michigan Writer (Holland) Releases His First Novel, Manistee Encounters

The paths of three former friends who have not seen or spoken to each other since high school, cross, or nearly cross, some twenty years later off the Manistee river of Northern Michigan. Ivy the former Harvard scholarship winner, Guy the FBI agent and Kirt, recovering from grief and depression over the death of his wife and daughters, intersect while staying near the Manistee River in Mesick Michigan. We learn of their separate pasts, the people that inhabited each and the choices they have made that have shaped their lives. A humorous and lively cast of characters that live in Mesick also interact with our friends. There they encounter murder, mystery, authentic raw Christianity, justice, meaningful adult love, the valve stem vigilante, a beautiful auburn haired widow and New York connections all of which impact the lives of the three former friends. We follow these folks as they deal with recent challenges complicated by earlier choices. They encounter situations they never dreamed would occur in such a removed, quiet and beautiful place.

HOLLAND, MI July1 --- Local fiction writer, Michael Ames, has debuted his suspense/humor novel Manistee Encounters.  
The novel is available on Amazon in e-book or traditional book form. This is a lifelong hobby become vocation for Michael Ames whose past work has involved sales and marketing management, directorships and also training.  Mike and his wife have lived most of their life in Eastern Michigan.  They moved to Holland two years ago to be near their son who works out of Grand Rapids as a successful User Experience Designer.  They also wanted to be close to Lake Michigan and the trout streams of the area. This is Mike’s first novel although he has written many short stories and technical pieces. Mr. Ames is available for interviews and appearances. For booking presentations, media appearances, interviews, and/or book-signings contact


On Writing.

"Writing is the fictionalization of everything you have ever known or would like to know.  For me great stories center on people;
the characters you invent.  The characters and their interactions is even more vital than plot.  I start with a character and see
where they take me.   

Often the truth can be both the oddest or funniest thing to a reader especially if that truth is something they failed to see or if
conveyed in a way that sparks a fresh view.  For example, John Irving was once asked where he comes up with such 'odd' characters.  
His response (I paraphrase) 'I don't know what you mean. These kind of people are all around us.'

 I think writing is an effort to hold a readers attention by taking them on a ride, slowly revealing a mystery or showing them a
world they have never experienced."  


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