Merle Finch was born in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula which makes her an official Yooper. Manistique or “Unamanitigong” is her birthtown. Big Manistique Lake is shown below across a sea of grass which is somewhat misleading because it actually abuts Curtis, Michigan. The dunes at Lake Superior’s Whitefish Point are now being preserved with wooden walkways. Upper Tahquamenon Falls near Newberry, Michigan is a major draw in the area.
When picking apples and lumberjacking didn’t put enough food on the table, the family moved south to Ypsilanti, the second oldest city in the State of Michigan. Ypsilanti is known for important things, despite the fact that locals often referred to it as “Ypsi-tucky” for the large number of Kentuckians who immigrated to make their fortunes in the auto plants. The area has suffered such a major decline along with the decline of the auto industry that it is hard to find picturesque places there today. I’m very sorry for that.
- In 1881 Charles J. Guiteau was thrown off the train at the Ypsilanti station because he did not have a ticket. He made his way to Washington and assassinated President Garfield.
- Ypsilanti was also home to the engineer and inventor Elijah McCoy whose lubrication systems were so famous that machine buyers always asked, “Is this the real McCoy?”
Merle dodged boxcars on the railroad tracks to sneak into tents at the summer Chautauqua, and watch William Shakespeare skits. Her first and favorite literary acquisition was the complete works of Shakespeare. Then, she discovered Jane Austen and still regularly re-reads the Austen books.
Theodore Roosevelt called Chautauqua “the most American thing in America.” Sinclair Lewis derided it as “nothing but wind and chaff and…the laughter of yokels.” However, Chautauqua led Merle to aspire to greater things using language. She also doesn’t mind being considered a yokel, as long as you buy and enjoy her books.
In addition to having written stellar computer software test cases for thirty years, she writes stellar romance, suspense, paranormals and mystery novels as a member of Romance Writers of America since 1996. She’s also served as a past President and webmaster of her local chapter.
Her romantic suspenses include a Chautauqua, international crime, the Chippewa people, and a trip around the wilds of Michigan. Her romantic comedies follow the lives of a bride and her bridesmaids in their small Ohio town. Her paranormals include fairies in Ireland, an interstellar society who visit Earth and give a young woman a wild ride around the United States and a trip through time. Her mysteries include a serial killer on the North Carolina coast with a skewed propensity for intriguing art.
Open a door to one of these worlds and come on in.