June 7, 2015

The S's of Minnesota (Snow, Spam and Sites) with Author Debbie Kump

Birthplace of Spam canned luncheon meat and the mighty Mississippi River, Minnesota may be known as the
“Land of 10,000 Lakes,” but the official number is closer to 12,000. In the north, the state borders Lake Superior—the largest fresh-water lake in the world by surface area. With more lake and river shoreline than the states of California, Florida, and Hawaii combined, it’s little wonder that the sport of water skiing originated here in Minnesota in 1922 by 18-year-old Ralph Samuelson who proposed if you could ski on snow, then you should be able to ski on water as well.

To pass our long, grueling winter months where temperatures plunge to –20ºF or below and snow often blankets the ground for more than half the year, many Minnesotans live and breathe hockey. Minnesota has more hockey rinks per area than all but two countries in the world and many families (including ourselves) build rinks in their own backyards.

Minnesotans and tourists alike flock to one of the largest indoor malls in the United States, The Mall of America in Bloomington, which contains an entire amusement park in its center. Annual dogsledding races along Superior’s North Shore draw large crowds. Minnesotans also enjoy lesser-known sports like broomball (originally played on frozen lakes with an orange leather ball and brooms dipped in a coat of rubber) and turkey bowling (where a flooded lane carved through the snowbanks provides an excellent bowling alley for frozen supermarket poultry).

Spring usually comes quickly to Minnesota when the snow melts quickly. Trees erupt in brilliant shades of green and cottonwood seeds give the impression of summer snow showers. Some of my favorite hikes this time of year are found in the Twin Cities at Minnehaha Falls and on the North Shore in Duluth and Grand Marais.
Minnesotans have a saying, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” Storms may arrive quickly, but pass through just as fast. Landlocked and lying at the northernmost tip of Tornado Alley, the heat of summer occasionally brings wild weather including golf ball-sized hail, swirling clouds in angry shades of olive green, and straight-line winds that twist mature trees like strands of licorice.

Minnesota’s exciting—and often unpredictable—weather provides inspiration for my novels including the new Young Adult Fantasy trilogy, The Elementals from Turquoise Morning Press, the YA Romance, Exiled to the North from Whiskey Creek Press, and the Middle-Grade Suspense, Disappearances from World Castle Publishing.Regardless of the time of year, a transplant like me has found there is much to see and do here in Minnesota.Debbie Kump is the author of 8 YA and Middle-Grade novels, teaches high school Earth and Physical Science, and coaches youth soccer, hockey and lacrosse.

For more information, please visit Debbie’s website: http://sites.google.com/site/debbiekumpbooks/  

Debbie offers up for grabs, TWO PRIZES to two different winners this week: One free ebook of her Middle-Grade Suspense Disappearances from World Castle Publishing and One free ebook of  her YA Romance Exiled to the North originally from Whiskey Creek Press. Both novels are set in Minnesota.  Her new YA Fantasy trilogy, the first book, was released last month and the other two are scheduled to come out this spring.  

 Good Luck, comment to win and please leave contact info so we can reach you if you win!


  1. Hi Debbie, it's been a while. Glad to see your happy face with the pups, and that you've been writing such great books for kids and teens. You make Minnesota sound wonderful, but I'll stick to AZ for the winter weather. Perhaps MN is a place to visit one day.

  2. Debbie, our oldest son and his family live in Bloomington, outside Minneapolis, home of the Mall of America. You have captured the essence of the area perfectly. All four Grands play hockey and lacrosse. And they don't seem to mind the cold at all ... brrrr...

  3. How interesting about Minnesota. I've never been to that part of the country. It looks beautiful. I'm not a fan of cold weather though. Was that you with the huskies? Great picture. Thanks for telling us about this beautiful state.

  4. Thank you all for stopping by! And yes, that's me with our huskies…it's hard not to love the cold when they get so excited about our most frigid of days!

  5. It's nice to meet you, Debbie. I enjoyed your blog on Minnesota, a state I have never visited. It sounds lovely. I wish you success with all of your books.

  6. What a delightful travelogue to Minnesota! Though I have never been there, I had a good friend from high school who moved there years ago and is still happily living there.

  7. Thank you, Linda and Salvatore! Minnesota is a beautiful state with lots of variety in weather and scenery…especially if you enjoy lake views and open skies. Hope you have a chance to visit some time!

  8. We have family who live in St. Paul, but own a cabin up on Big Sandy Lake up by McGregor. We've camped at many of the state parks, and lately have been enjoying the federal parks up the Gunflint Trail north of Grand Marais. We've enjoyed the wild bear sanctuary in Orr, heard wolves howling as we camped at Bear Head Lake near Ely, thrilled to the call of loons at all of the parks way up north, and seen the most amazing northern lights at Buffalo River Park on the west end of the state. We all remember one very special sky-display while we were at Bemidji, near Lake Itasca (where the Mississippi River starts). Most of the campground was in a parking lot near the lake, lying on blankets and staring up at the sky, as curtains of lights shimmered and changed before our eyes, in a display that went on for hours.

    Minnesota is one of my favorite places to camp. That's why I've set my latest romance series up there. At least when I write about being up there, I can enjoy vicariously the places I miss.

  9. Fiona, you paint a beautiful picture of Minnesota's wildlife and light displays! Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your new romance series!


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