KATHLEEN J. WICKMAN
IRON MOUNTAIN - Local author Kathleen J. Wickman of Hamilton Lakes is excited to announce the publication of her first book.
"Phantom's Crossing, A Paulding Light Story" is a fiction novel based on an actual event. The book, which Wickman describes as mystery, fantasy and romance, took approximately three years to write and another year to be edited.
Local author Barb Raffin recommended Wickman to independent editor Brittiany Koren of Written Dreams Editorial and Writing Services out of Green Bay, Wis. Her cousin Kim Wickman of Minnesota, who works as a graphic designer, created the book cover.
Since Wickman's first trip as a teenager to view the Paulding lights she has been creating a story in her head. Although she visited the site of the phenomenon four or five times she says her first experience was the most memorable.
"The very first experience I ever had was pretty intense. The whole car lit up when we were driving up the road to the guard rail. It was like an illusion," said Wickman
The story is about a girl who moves from Montana to Paulding. She has an accident, dies and is brought back to life. When she awakens she has a "gift."
Ironically, just weeks after the book was published, Wickman herself had a near death experience. She went in for a routine surgery and during the surgery her iliac artery was nicked and she flat-lined, Wickman said.
Although she has the near death experience in common with her character, the character herself is completely fictitious in nature. The incident has, however, made her more appreciative and she is taking more time to enjoy life. She is also very grateful for blood donors in the local community for helping save her life.
"When your realize how quickly you can leave this world, you learn not to take things for granted. I saw everything fresh when I came out of the hospital. I just appreciated everything so much more. I don't let little things get to me anymore," said Wickman.
"Phantom's Crossing" is currently available for purchase at Book World in the Midtown Mall in Iron Mountain. The online version of the book is available online through Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.
Wickman is a 1998 Norway High School graduate. She attended Northern Michigan University and currently works at the 1st National Bank & Trust in Iron Mountain. She resides at Hamilton Lakes with family and dog, Buckley. Her parents are Jan and Dave Wickman of Hamilton Lakes.
The Paulding light is a light that appears in a valley outside of Paulding, Michigan near Watersmeet.
The phenomenon has been featured in an episode of "Unsolved Mysteries," on "Ripley's Believe it of Not" and Syfy Channel's "Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files."
A group of Michigan Tech students who conducted a scientific investigation concluded the light is coming from automobile lights on a U.S. Highway 45.
For more information on the book, visit the Phantom's Crossing Facebook Page www.facebook.com/pages/Phantoms-Crossing/542484792440693?ref=stream.