Norman, Michael 1947-
NORMAN, Michael 1947-
PERSONAL: Born June 29, 1947, in Macomb,, IL; son of James W. and Elizabeth Jean (Hoffman) Norman; married Janell E. Belisle, December 21, 1968; children: James Edward. Education: University of Wisconsin, B.S., 1969; Northern Illinois University, M.S., 1973.
CAREER: De Kalb Daily Chronicle, De Kalb, IL, staff writer, 1971–72; WRHL-Radio, Rochelle, IL, news director, 1972–73; University of Wisconsin, River Falls, 1973, began as assistant professor, became associate professor of journalism, 1973; chairman of journalism department, 1981–99; advisor to WRFW-FM, 1973–1981. Director of Midwest Writers Conference and of River Falls Press. Member of board of directors of Friends of WHWC-TV; member of Council on Public Broadcasting; member of Pierce County Library Board and other civic organizations.
MEMBER: Authors Guild of America, Society of Professional Journalists, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
AWARDS, HONORS: Haunted Heartland was named among twenty-five outstanding books for young adults by the University of Iowa.
(With Beth Scott) Haunted Wisconsin, Stanton & Lee (Sauk City, WI), 1980, revised edition, Trails Books (Black Earth, WI), 2001.
(With Beth Scott) Haunted Heartland, Stanton & Lee (Sauk City, WI), 1985.
(With Beth Scott) Haunted America (young adult), TOR Books (New York, NY), 1994.
(With Beth Scott) Historic Haunted America, TOR Books (New York, NY), 1995.
(With Beth Scott) Haunted Heritage: A Definitive Collection of North American Ghost Stories (young adult), Forge (New York, NY), 2002.
(With Beth Scott) Canadian Hauntings, Scholastic Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2004.
Contributor to newspapers.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Haunted Homestead; a screen adaptation of Haunted America; a stage play; television programs based on his writings.
SIDELIGHTS: Michael Norman and his collaborator, Beth Scott, present mysterious legends of hauntings in books such as Haunted America, Haunted Heartland, and Historic Haunted America. From haunted college campuses to inns and private homes, the stories presented all have some foundation in fact or folklore. Norman has described himself as a skeptic about supernatural visitors, yet in his years of research he has interviewed many people who had strange, inexplicable tales to tell. They are not always frightening or dramatic, but as Joe Collins noted in a Booklist review of Historic Haunted America, "It may take a while for your spine to tingle,… but eventually the chill sets in." Ann E. Cohen in the Library Journal recommended the same book as "perfect Halloween reading" that is both "mesmerizing" and "spinetingling." Discussing Haunted America in the New York Times Book Review, Keith Dixon concluded that while some of the stories are hard to believe, they are nevertheless "intriguing and amusing."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Armchair Detective, spring, 1996, review of Historic Haunted America, p. 250.
Booklist, October 15, 1995, Joe Collins, review of Historic Haunted America, p. 365.
Detroit Free Press, October 11, 1985.
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 1995, review of Historic Haunted America, p. 1258; September 15, 2002, review of Haunted Heritage: A Definitive Collection of North American Ghost Stories, p. 1370.
Library Journal, November 1, 1994, Eloise R. Hitchcock, review of Haunted America, p. 82; November 1, 1995, Ann E. Cohen, review of Historic Haunted America, p. 72.
New York Times Book Review, November 20, 1994, Keith Dixon, review of Haunted America, p. 22.
Resource Links, February, 2005, Linda Irvine, review of Canadian Hauntings, p. 26.
Science Fiction Chronicle, December, 1995, review of Historic Haunted America, p. 63.
Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 1996, review of Historical Haunted America, p. 57.
University of Wisconsin-River Falls Web site, http://www.uwrf.edu/ (October 11, 2002), review of Haunted Heritage.