M. CHRISTINE BYRON and TOM WILSON are fascinated by the history of Michigan tourism and roadside architecture. Their pictorial “Vintage Views” books have received three Michigan Notable Book awards and a State History Award.

JERRY DENNIS is a renowned Michigan author and BLUE’s Reflections columnist. He lives near Traverse City where he gets away with calling his fishing, hunting, canoeing, birding and beach walking “research.” Author of 11 books, Jerry’s articles and essays have run in more than 100 publications.

LYNNE MEREDITH GOLODNER is the author of eight books about how people find meaning in the mundane. Lynne is the founder of One Earth Writing, a non-profit that brings people of different backgrounds together to create better understanding through writing. She lives in Huntington Woods with her husband and four children.


BOB GWIZDZ is a Michigan native and career outdoor writer. He served as outdoor editor for Booth Newspapers and now works for the Department of Natural Resources. His work has been featured in many of America’s top hunting and fishing magazines and websites.

TOM HAXBY is an award-winning nature and landscape photographer who was inspired by 25 years working outdoors as a natural resource professional. Tom is a member of the North American Nature Photography Association board of directors.  His works appear in magazines, books and calendars.


ANDREW JOWETT is a free-lance photographer and photojournalist based in Port-Huron where he also is staff photographer for the for the Port Huron Times Herald. Andrew specializes in adventure, lifestyle and landscape photography. Water is a major source of inspiration and often appears in his works.  

JEANINE MATLOW is a Detroit-based freelance writer and regular contributor to national and regional publications, Matlow’s weekly Homestyle column appears in The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press.

LESLIE MERTZ is a native Michigander and freelance science and environment writer. Leslie has lived in eight of the state’s counties, stretching from Detroit’s famed Eight Mile Road to a rustic cabin on the state’s largest inland lake. Today, she lives in a scenic spot near a branch of Au Sable River.

MARLA R. MILLER is a professional writer and journalist who lives in Norton Shores, where she enjoys the lakeshore lifestyle — camping, hiking, boating, beaching and Lake Michigan sunsets.


Regular BLUE Lake Stories illustrator GARY W. ODMARK also created original art for this Winter Issue’s cover. Renowned for his realistic portrayals of the Great Lakes, the prolific Holland-based artist’s fine quality limited edition prints and originals in oils, watercolors and acrylics can be viewed at gwodmark.com.


From his Grand Haven home base, prolific photographer JOHNNY QUIRIN is a frequent contributor to West Michigan publications, the Pure Michigan campaign, Midwest Living and Spectrum Health, among others. He keeps equally busy as owner of a full-service school and youth sports portrait company. flicker.com/photos/jqphoto


KIM SCHNEIDER has explored nearly every corner of Michigan as a travel writer and photographer in her continual search of adventure, wildlife, great food and great light. A long-time journalist and former magazine writing instructor,  Kim works as a freelance writer and editor from a home base in Michigan's Leelanau County

GEOFF SHIRLEY is a Grand Rapids-based commercial photographer who specializes in portraiture, architecture and outdoor lifestyle. His clients include Merrell, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Steelcase, Stio, Scott Group Carpets and Jeff Visser Design.

FRANK SOLLE lives the good life on Beaver Island where he is a professional photographer. He was a newspaper sportswriter/photographer in western Montana and the UP prior to becoming a full-time photographer after moving to the island with his wife, Sue, in 2003.


DIANNA STAMPFLER is a freelance writer in Walloon Lake and a regular contributor to Michigan BLUE Magazine. She is president of Promote Michigan, her public relations firm where merges years of print and broadcast media experience with a passion for marketing her home state.  

CAROL VOTAW is a children’s book author and piano teacher, Her essay “Beach Bonfire” debuts in this issue. Her first book, Good Morning, Little Polar Bear, was selected for Harcourt’s StoryTown series of Big Books for kindergartners Carol lives in Rochester Hills. Each summer, she heads north to kayak and sail with her family on Crystal Lake.


CHUCK WARREN is a licensed captain and freelance boating writer in Grandville. He grew up on the New Jersey shore and spent 20 plus years working in the marine industry. He met his wife Lanie while operating a sunset cruise and followed her back to Michigan where he has fallen for the Great Lakes

MEGAN WESTERS is a freelance writer and editor living in Jackson. Megan has written for a variety of publications about lifestyle, politics, food, wine and travel. She is the digital marketing manager for a winery and enjoys camping, being outdoors, tea and her dachshund, Oakley.

JULIE BONNER WILLIAMS is a devotee of nature, history and literature. Julie is an award-winning poet and a professor at Grand Valley State University. She is now working on her first novel. She lives on the lakeshore with her husband, four horses, four dogs, several organic, free-range chickens, turkeys and ducks, and a mule named Amos.


GLENN WOLFF is a Northern Michigan artist and regular BLUE Reflections contributor Wolff illustrated for the New York Times for 30 years and has collaborated on several books with Michigan author Jerry Dennis.