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Mother Lode/Carol Sheldon

Writer features area in historical novel

September 1, 2011
By ZACH KUKKONEN - Features Editor/DMG writer ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

HOUGHTON - With roots in the Keweenaw, Carol Sheldon has always had a soft spot in her heart for the Upper Peninsula.

So when she decided to write her first novel, she figured there was no better setting for "Mother Lode" than the Upper Peninsula.

"I want to promote the Upper Peninsula as well as my book," Sheldon said.

The 78-year-old California-native's mother and grandmother grew up in Ripley, and stories of her childhood and from local historians motivated her to write "Mother Lode," a psychological mystery.

"It's a historical novel," Sheldon said. "It takes place during the heyday of copper mining."

The novel deals with the death of a character named Catherine and the mystery surrounding the details of her untimely end. Although the story is ultimately fiction, Sheldon did extensive research for the novel, which is nearly 15 years in the making.

"When I was here before I talked to Larry Lankton at Michigan Tech and read his book and others about the history of mining," Sheldon said. "I also talked to Ed Yarborough at Quincy Mine and Clarence Monette.

"I tried to make the background and the mining details very accurate."

A playwright and poet previously, Sheldon's first novel has already received accolades, placing in the top 5 percent of 5,000 international entries in the Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award. In fact, Sheldon is already working on a sequel to "Mother Lode," as she left out quite a bit from the novel.

Sheldon will be in town for the weekend at multiple sites. She will be selling her book at the Calumet farmers market Friday, the Tori farmers market in Hancock Saturday morning and Grandpa's Barn in Copper Harbor Saturday afternoon.

To get a sneak peek at "Mother Lode," visit



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