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“Books Say Holidays Best”; a win-win-win thing

Happy cyber-book-Monday! Workman Publishing (in conjunction with my publisher) is running a WorkmanHoliday2015_1200x900_VF promotion. If you go to the link listed below and type HOLIDAY into the promo code box you’ll get 20% off. PLUS they donate a copy of their “Good & CHeap” cookbook to a person or family in need. Sort of a win-win-win thing. The link is

TWIN CITIES BOOK FESTIVAL-this Saturday, fun & free

The Twin Cities Book Festival is happening this Saturday (10-5)  at the FIne Arts Building at the Minnesota Fairgrounds. Dozens of speakers including Susan Cheever, Lin Enger, Amy Klobuchar, and Faith Sullivan. I’ll be there all day jawing about non-fiction writing, PLUS I’ll be building 7 pieces of furniture—along with attendees— for a writer’s studio. There are two stages plus pavilions and presentations for children, tweens and teens. Great deals on new and used books, authors signing stuff, and it’s FREE. For more info visit

Twin Cities Book Festival—Oct. 17th—fun, free and Spike will be there jawing and building

Twin Cities Book Festival—Oct. 17th—fun, free and Spike will be there jawing and building

UPCOMING APPEARANCES (pretty eclectic stuff!)

Here’s a list of my upcoming appearances and speaking gigs. A pretty eclectic lineup; everything from The Mother Earth News Fair to The Heartland Fal Fourm to the Twin Cities Book Festival to (huh?) a style show.Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 9.06.44 AM


Spike will be doing a presentation at the Two Harbor Library Thursday, July 23rd at 6:00 p.m. What’ll he be doing? Talking a little bit about the wonders of wood, building a Leopold Bench (someone is going to wind up with it) and talking about Cabin Lessons— and the highs and lows involved in building a cabin, family and book. He may even be showing off his wood cowboy hat. All are invited so come on down

Pleasant Hills Llibrary presentation, July 21st, 6-7 pm.

This is the Leopold Bench we’ll be building!!!

Cabin Lessons (Storey Publishing) available May 5, 2015


Spike will be doing a couple more “Cabin Lessons” presentations this week. Come on down and bring some friends.

* Tonight (June 22nd) at 7:00 he’ll be at Dragonfly Books in Decorah, Iowa talking about the highs and lows of building a cabin (and then writing about it)

* Tomorrow night (June 23rd) at 7:00 he’ll be at The Book Shelf in Winona talking about Cabin Lessons and will be joined by son, Zachary, who will discuss his “BREATHE” book (and conduct a breathing session!) http://www.bookshelfwinona.comzach and spike cropped

CABIN LESSONS interview with Spike; Star Tribune

Interview in the Monday, May 25th,  edition of the Minneapolis Star  Tribune. Jolly well done Laurie Hertzel. And thank you.

May 25th issue Minneapolis Star Tribune

May 25th issue Minneapolis Star Tribune

Sweet review of CABIN LESSONS



A sweet review of CABIN LESSONS: A Tale of 2x4s, Blisters & Love from the good folks at The Family Handyman magazine. Nice!!

Sweet review in the June 2015 issue of The Family Handyman magazine

Sweet review in the June 2015 issue of The Family Handyman magazine

TFH review cover lo res

Midwest Independent Bookseller spring meeting—here we come!

Kat and I are heading to the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association spring meeting in Spring Green tomorrow.



Long live indies!!

Midwest Independent Bookseller Association logo

Eight authors (including myself) will have an opportunity to make presentations about their upcoming releases, mingle and THANK THESE FOLKS FOR THE WONDERFUL WORK THEY DO!! Attached are photos of a couple of the fine folks from Valley Booksellers in Stillwater and another from a previous meeting.




Cabin Lessons here we come! (Book launch at Stillwater Public Library , May 6, 7:00!)



CABIN LESSONS launch (save the date!)

Spike will be launching his latest book, Cabin Lesson: Building our Dream Cottage from 2x4s, Blisters and Love  (Storey Publishing), May 6th,  7:00 at the Stillwater Public Library, 224 Third St. N., Stillwater

The weird thing is Spike will not  be building anything during this presentation; the library felt constructing a cabin in the meeting room would cause too much ruckus. But he will talk about some of the characters and events in the book, and discuss why writing a memoir is—well—weird.

Books will be available through Valley Booksellers. There will be a get together at the Carlsen’s afterwards. All are invited. Please save the date and help spread the word.


CABIN LESSONS—A long, long journey from pen to publication

Twelve years ago Kat and I bought a chunk of land along Lake Superior. Ten years ago we—along with our kids Kellie, Tessa, Zach, Maggie and Sarah—began building a cabin on it. Nine years ago I started writing a book about the experience. Eight years ago the book was almost published—but “almost” doesn’t cut it in the world of publishing. Then, surprisingly, a year ago my current publisher, Storey, approached me about publishing it. (My editor had come across it in a pile of “I’ll get to it someday” papers while cleaning out her office!) May 15th, 2015 the book will be released. It’s part memoir, part construction manual; complete with photos, sketches, lists and thoughts on life. I’m thrilled, since it’s unlike anything I’ve ever written before. And I’m terrified, since it’s unlike anything I’ve ever written before. The subtitle says it all. More details as the details develop. A few more details here.

Cabin Lessons (Storey Publishing) available May 5, 2015

Cabin Lessons (Storey Publishing) available May 5, 2015