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Author Michael Perry Appeals To Children In New Middle Grade Novel

HarperCollins Children's Books

We've talked with writer Michael Perry on the show quite a few times about his nonfiction - memoirs of life lived in rural western Wisconsin. 

Perry has attracted fans around the world for his stories about working as an EMT, parenting, raising chickens and pigs, growing up in an obscure Christian sect and his friendship with and admiration for an older neighbor.

But his books weren't reaching young readers - until now, that is.  Perry's first published work of fiction is a middle-grade novel called The Scavengers. The post-apocalyptic story is about of Maggie and her family living apart from most of the rest of society, which has moved under a mysterious bubble.

Perry's most recent visit to Milwaukee was on a tour in support of that book, and he stopped by the Lake Effect studio to speak with Mitch Teich about his experience writing for a younger audience compared to his other books for adults.

"I just realized you can't so much create a character as let it speak through you," Perry says. "And honestly, things started to go more smoothly and Maggie's voice came to me much more naturally when I just would kind of get a little bit of a dissociative state and let her run the show."

Audrey Nowakowski hosts and produces Lake Effect. She joined WUWM in 2014.