Home All NWS BookMania: Mardi Link Talks ‘Drummond Girls,’ JELL-O Shots with Ron Jolly

NWS BookMania: Mardi Link Talks ‘Drummond Girls,’ JELL-O Shots with Ron Jolly

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NWS: Mardi Link
Oct. 7, 2015: Author Mardi Link at the National Writers Series BookMania Event | Jane Boursaw Photo

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If you haven’t attended any of the Traverse City National Writers Series events during BookMania, there’s still plenty ahead. Click over to their website and check out upcoming events, including Ben Sidran (Oct. 11), Bonnie Jo Campbell (Oct. 13), Paula McLain (Oct. 14) and Sarah Chayes (Oct. 15).

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This week, I attended Mardi Link‘s talk at the beautiful Kirkbride Hall at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. It’s the first time I’ve been there, and what an absolutely gorgeous space for events, weddings, whatever. Ray Minervini and his crew are doing such an awesome job renovating our former State Hospital.

Ron Jolly, who we all know from his morning talk show on WTCM (and who’s also the author of The Northern Michigan Almanac and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Almanac), was the guest host, and it was a really fun evening – and also a benefit event for the History Center.

Mardi is a natural at these events, such an easygoing storyteller, and she just seems like she’d be fun to hang out with.

NWS: Mardi Link
Oct. 7, 2015: Author Mardi Link at the National Writers Series BookMania Event | Jane Boursaw Photo

During the event, Mardi introduced her real-life Drummond Girls, which was a lot of fun.

NWS: Mardi Link
Oct. 7, 2015: Author Mardi Link introduces the real-life “Drummond Girls” at the National Writers Series BookMania Event | Jane Boursaw Photo

My favorite part of the evening was when Mardi pulled out a small cooler and started to assemble a JELL-O shot for Ron, who apparently had never had one before! Bold move, Mardi. Bold move.

NWS: Mardi Link
Oct. 7, 2015: Host Ron Jolly and Author Mardi Link at the National Writers Series BookMania Event | Jane Boursaw Photo

He needed just a little bit of encouragement, which Mardi and the audience were happy to supply.

NWS: Mardi Link
Oct. 7, 2015: Host Ron Jolly and Author Mardi Link at the National Writers Series BookMania Event | Jane Boursaw Photo

And finally took the plunge, with Mardi documenting the event, of course.

NWS: Mardi Link
Oct. 7, 2015: Host Ron Jolly and Author Mardi Link at the National Writers Series BookMania Event | Jane Boursaw Photo

As National Writers Series founder Doug Stanton wrapped up the event, Ron finished off that JELL-O shot. Way to go, Ron!

NWS: Mardi Link
Oct. 7, 2015: NWS Founder Doug Stanton and Host Ron Jolly at the National Writers Series BookMania Event | Jane Boursaw Photo

From the National Writers Series site:

Traverse City writer Mardi Link swims into the depths of friendship in her newest book, The Drummond Girls. This poignant memoir tells the story of eight women who met in 1991 at Peegeo’s restaurant near Traverse City. They decide to celebrate a friend’s engagement with a trip to Drummond Island, a remote chunk of rugged shoreline, wilderness, dirt roads, and dive bars.

So begins two decades of annual trips to Drummond Island, where they hang onto a slice of their youthful wildness, despite obligations of marriage, motherhood and jobs. Now their oldest friend, Beverly, is 65 and her memory is beginning to fade, so the friends set out to help her remember all the campfires, all the stories and all their shared secrets.

BookPage says, “So pick up this book: You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll ponder … the fierce friendships at the heart of this remarkable story.”

Link spoke at the National Writers Series in 2013 after the publication of Bootstrapper, a memoir of her post-divorce life in Traverse City. The book has been optioned for a movie. Link also has written several popular, northern Michigan-based true crime books: Isadore’s Secret, When Evil Came to Good Hart and Wicked Takes the Witness Stand.

I must confess I haven’t read any of Mardi’s books, but they’ve definitely shot to the top of my list.

Do you have a favorite Mardi Link book? Were you at the event this week? Sound off in the comments below! 

NWS: Mardi Link
Oct. 7, 2015: Author Mardi Link’s “The Drummond Girls” at the National Writers Series BookMania Event | Jane Boursaw Photo
NWS: Mardi Link
Oct. 7, 2015: Author Mardi Link at the National Writers Series BookMania Event | Jane Boursaw Photo

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3 COMMENTS

  1. My fave is Bootstrapper! Heard from multiple folks that Mardi and Ron put on a great show. I attended Vanessa Diffenbaugh for Thursday’s Bookmania — nice evening and another great book.

  2. Jane, Thanks for the great coverage of the event. Nice to have a record of my first Jello-shot…I think. Actually, I did one at Mardi’s book signing where all of the Drummond Girls were present.
    Must read: When Wicked Takes the Witness Stand. Mardi does an amazing job of presenting this true life story that took place in northern Michigan: an apparent murder, the gathering of “evidence,” and the charges brought against five men, and the revelation that none of them are guilty but all go to prison. Thanks to some heroic attorneys they eventually are freed and names cleared. It will make you question the justice system, and you won’t believe what happens to those who were in the wrong.

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