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Bois Blanc fan finds this site

 
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A.C. Haeffner
Coast Comber
Coast Comber


Joined: 13 Sep 2002
Posts: 19
Location: Odessa, New York

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2002 11:46 am    Post subject: Bois Blanc fan finds this site Reply with quote

Greetings from Upstate New York. My name is Charlie Haeffner, and I'm an annual Island visitor. A renter, in fact, at a couple of locations in the Pines. I first started going to the Island when I was 4 or 5, then didn't for years, until the spirit of the place swept over me one night about seven years ago at my New York home.
Being a writer (20 years in journalism), the mood led me to my word processor, and I pretty much haven't stopped writing novels about the Island since. I printed out a manuscript of the first book, which was loosely based on my boyhood adventures on Bois Blanc, and showed it to a couple of folks. When they professed to love it, I wrote a sequel -- a wild tale that also is a prequel, complete with World War Two spies, Mussolini, a magical gypsy crystal ... and lots more.
Then I put the manuscripts aside to gather dust. Not longer after, I visited the island with my family, and we were hooked. We go up every summer now -- a half-dozen so far in succession -- for two or three weeks at a time. Along the way, my oldest brother Bob -- who hadn't visited Bois Blanc in many years -- started coming north from Florida with his wife, sharing vacation with us. So now it's an even larger family get-together.
Eventually, I published the two books (under the more formal name A.C. Haeffner), along with a smaller one I wrote more recently -- a fantasy based on a visit to Dillinger's Cabins on the Firetower Road. Now all three books are in the marketplace -- the marketplace being primarily Hawk's Landing (although I got some copies into the Island Bookstore on Mackinac this summer). Sheila's got a bunch of the books at Hawk's, signed by me.
I'm not generally one to toot my own horn (though it wouldn't hurt), but I will give you brief synopses of the books. Very brief. Here goes:
"Island Nights" (subtitled "Book One of the White Woods Chronicles"): Told by Avery Mann, looking back on his boyhood days on the Island. He tells in particular about one summer where he was embroiled in a mystery involving a gangster, a retired crimefighter (Eliot Ness, shortly before his unheralded death) and the evident death and resurrection of a young girl. It has characters some folks might recognize (or think they do).
"The Islander" (Book Two of the White Woods Chronicles): Picks up 40 years after the first one ends, with Avery going back to the Island and reacquainting himself with the old ferry skipper he knew in "Island Nights," as well as with the girl (now woman) whom he had loved. This has a lot to do with the skipper and his World War II exploits, and involves a previously unknown rescue of Mussolini, the gypsy crystal I mentioned above, some binoculars with the remarkable power of glimpsing the future, and a mysterious carpenter who lives in the Island's deep woods.
"Cabins in the Mist": This started as a short story, which met with such enthusiasm that I decided on a sequel. Both stories, interrelated, are in this volume. In it, I cross a portal at Dillinger's cabins and encounter the famed gangster -- reputed to have hidden on Bois Blanc following his plastic surgery in 1934 -- as well as some Island folks of the past, not the least of which is old John Bible. This is a personal narrative that, again, has some recognizable characters.
Well, that's about it on those. As I said, Sheila has copies, as does the Island Bookstore on Mackinac. Or they can be ordered through Xlibris.com, Amazon.com, Borders. com and Walmart.com. Maybe a couple of other places. They're paperback, and usually shipped fairly quickly.
I hope that come spring another book will be out there, too -- one I'm putting finishing touches on now. It's called "The Maiden of Mackinac," and is about a 700-year-old Ojibwe maiden whom the narrator is told still resides on Mackinac Island. He sets himself the task of determining the truth of the report, and that leads to what I hope is a fascinating look back across seven centuries of American and Straits of Mackinac history. I'm toying with the idea of having my son -- a student at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh -- illustrate it for me, though the printing cost in such an endeavor has to be taken into account.
So ... books aside ... I am thrilled to have found this website. I saw mention of it in Bunker Clark's latest Tatler, and raced to see what it was about. This is a great idea. Keep up the good work. And if there's anyone out there who wants to talk Island history or book ideas or anything Island-related with me, please feel free.
Oh ... one other thing. Another book -- not mine -- that I found this summer was "Island Boyhood" by Jim Vosper. I had the pleasure of meeting Jim at the Fun Day at the Island fire hall on July 6. We were seated together there, signing copies of our books. He's a fascinating guy, and his book is a delight. Highly recommended.
Well ... later. I hope to hear from some folks -- and maybe see you on the Island next summer.

Charlie Haeffner
Odessa, NY
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Dan Reynolds
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Joined: 13 May 2002
Posts: 501

PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Haeffner,

Good to "meet" you here on the Bulletin Board. My name is Dan Reynolds, and I'm also a writer - although my works are primarily technical and clinical procedures. I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't yet purchased my copies of the books you've written; however, winter is approaching and will be a great time for me to get into some good Island-related reading, since I probably won't be back up until next spring.

I'm 31 years old and have been coming to the Island for 30 of those years. My late father bought our 10-acre parcel north of Thompson Lake in 1972. My earliest and fondest memories are there. I even wrote an essay to Bunker Clark about being a kid from the Detroit suburbs whose "growing up" took place on Bois Blanc in the '70s and '80s - perhaps he will print part of it in a Tatler someday.

It's always fascinating for me to talk with others who share an interest in Bois Blanc, so I hope you'll visit the Board regularly or drop me a line. I look forward to reading your works, and hope we will cross paths on the Island.

Best regards,
Dan Reynolds
South Lyon, Michigan
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A.C. Haeffner
Coast Comber
Coast Comber


Joined: 13 Sep 2002
Posts: 19
Location: Odessa, New York

PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 10:12 am    Post subject: Glad to meet you Reply with quote

Hi, Dan:

Great to see someone replying. I notice there've been a bunch of "hits" on my message, but no response until yours. I love meeting Island folks -- even by long distance. Maybe next summer we can actually shake hands, but until then this is pretty cool.

My own Island roots go back to the early '50s, when I was a wee lad and my folks were convinced by friends -- the Bablers -- to visit Bois Blanc. That was the start of several wonderful summers up there, an atmosphere I tried to capture in "Island Nights." That title, by the way, came by suggestion of a man you mention, Bunker Clark, who has served as the eagle-eyed style guru on all of my Island manuscripts. I knew Bunker when I was a kid. I remember being somewhat in awe of him, since he was an older college-aged guy. And I still listen to him.

I wouldn't worry too much about not having read the books yet. I wrote them with the idea that they would be slowly assimilated into Island life. There hasn't been much promotion, other than a couple of book signings, although Sheila has been kind enough to place them rather prominently inside the front entrance to her store.

That first book, by the way, accurately conveys how the spirit of the Island swept over me years after I had stopped visiting. I travel up there each summer now, and actually count the days down as each visit nears. My next scheduled stay is for two weeks beginning June 28 -- at White Rose, Curt Plaunt's place in the Pines.

I'd love to read the essay you wrote. If you have a copy you want to share, you could e-mail it to me at chaeffner@stny.rr.com or charlie@haeffner.net. That last address, by the way, accurately reflects what folks call me: Charlie. "Mr." sounds old, a stage of existence I'm trying to keep at arm's length.

More later.

Charlie Haeffner
Odessa, NY
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Rob
Site Admin
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Joined: 09 May 2002
Posts: 848
Location: Big Rapids, MI., but wishing I was on BBI

PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 5:50 pm    Post subject: Hi Charlie! Reply with quote

Hi Charlie,

Welcome to the site! I'm glad you found your way here, I feel like we have a celebrity amongst us now. Smile Like Dan, I'm a little embarrassed I haven't bought the books either. Now that I have a little one (see post: http://www.bois-blanc.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=40 ) to read to, I'll be sure to pick them up. They sound like a lot of fun and full of adventure.

I'm responsible for a couple of the hits on this message. I sat down a couple of times to reply but got called away to do baby things. Hopefully the article in the Tatler will bring some folks here that will share their island experiences with us. Being new to the island, I don't have many to share yet. I can't wait to share the island with our new daughter so she will have the fond memories that both you and Dan have.

Dan, I'd be very happy to "publish" your essay here if you'd like. It could have its own page and a link to it from the front page (www.bois-blanc.com). I have plenty of space and bandwidth available if you're interested. Charlie if you're interested in promoting your books I'd be happy to do something for you too.

Once again, I'm glad you're here. Stop back often.

Rob
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Cal'sAngel
Memory Maker
Memory Maker


Joined: 11 Dec 2002
Posts: 95
Location: Harvest, AL, but I was born in Troy, MI

PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2002 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey,
I just finished Vospers book and just picked up yours an hour ago. Loved his, and so far I love yours. Thanks for the books, it helps deal with the miles of speration I suffer from the island
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Al'sOtherSister
Resident Royalty
Resident Royalty


Joined: 21 Sep 2002
Posts: 727
Location: Traverse City, Michigan

PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2002 9:39 am    Post subject: Well Hi There......... Reply with quote

Very nice to hear from you and I too have heard but not read your books.
I do write also, but mostly just poetry, like my Grandma. Ila Calkins.
Hope to see you here again and take a look at my pics sometimes.
Lisa~ Al White's Lil. Sister
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A.C. Haeffner
Coast Comber
Coast Comber


Joined: 13 Sep 2002
Posts: 19
Location: Odessa, New York

PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2002 5:01 pm    Post subject: Books and pics Reply with quote

Howdy, Nate. I'm glad you got a chance to read the Vosper book. It's great stuff. I'm not sure which one of mine you're reading, but I hope you like it, too. And welcome to this website. It's a lot of fun, and helps fill a winter void.

And Lisa, I have seen your photos. (For those who haven't, they're on Pages 2, 5 and 6 of the Special Album on this site). I've studied them, in fact. They're wonderful. And thanks for the kind words you provided about my photos on Pages 1 and 3. I'm scrounging through my collection and trying to find a few more to send to Rob.
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Kevin Gibbons
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Joined: 30 May 2006
Posts: 924
Location: cheboygan, mi

PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Charlie nice site I'm glad that there is getting attention and sme writing about the island I have heard of your books at least parts guilty of not reading them yet tho. Keep up the good work and I will be buying a copy to read.

thank you
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