ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – Author J.L. Hyde’s latest book is hitting shelves. This weekend, readers have a chance to meet her in Escanaba.
After living in Oklahoma for the last decade, Hyde has finally returned home to the Upper Peninsula.
“I’m actually from Gladstone, so I’m a Delta County native,” she said. “I have been gone for 20 years. I left after high school, and I just returned last month to the area.”
Hyde is happy to be back in the U.P., partially because four of her six murder mystery novels are set here.
“My most popular book is called Delta County,” she said. “Although it’s a fictional story, all of the places in the book are real—Lakeshore Drive, Ogden Avenue. All of the restaurants are real, the streets are real, so I think that was the most fun to write.”
Her newest release, Grady Lake is no exception.
“I wrote it based on my memories growing up at Round Lake in the Hiawatha National Forest off of Highway 13,” Hyde said. “I wrote this book as if Round Lake was a year-round town that had a school and everybody lived at this lake in the middle of the woods.”
For this book, however, more than just locations in the U.P. made their way into Hyde’s writing.
“I based a lot of the characters off of people in my life,” she said. “There’s an aunt that runs a restaurant and I kind of made her a mix of several of my aunts. I based a character off of my cousin, I based a character off of my best friend, and that’s something that I typically don’t do. It’s been really fun to hear from the readers and hear that those are their favorite characters in the book.”
Hyde is inviting readers to meet her in person on Saturday, October 28 for a book signing at Leigh’s Garden Winery from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
“I will be selling copies of Grady Lake for $20, and $2 from every book sold will go directly to Pink Pumpkin of Delta County,” said Hyde. “People can bring any of my books and get them signed. This will be my third or fourth signing at the winery and they’re always so much fun.”
Grady Lake is the first in a series of three releases. According to Hyde, the second book should be released in early February.
Hyde is excited to continue sharing her love of the Upper Peninsula with readers through her books.
“I have felt like a part of me is missing not living in Delta County,” she said. “As soon as I crossed over into the Upper Peninsula, I just exhaled and I felt at home. I’m so grateful for the support that everybody’s given me, and I look forward to writing a lot more books here.”