Skip to content

Two must-read books about Mackinac Island

Authors Dave McVeigh and Jim Bolone met on the docks of Mackinac Island in the mid-1980s

If you have ever been to Mackinac Island, you have seen how busy it can be on the docks and on Main Street.

Some of the hardest working and busiest workers are the dockporters. They are the people who load up your luggage onto their bikes and take it all to wherever you are staying.

Seeing how much luggage a dockporter can haul is quite the sight.

Enter Jim Bolone.

Bolone started working on the docks in the mid-1980s. He became friends with Dave McVeigh at that time and bonded with him because of their common interests in entertainment, be it writing, acting or film.

"The island is special for myriad reasons, but at the top would be the people and of course the geography. By 'the people' I mean those who are from there by birth or by other connection and understand the realities of such a place, its nuances and its particular and unique influence on their lives. Mackinac is a place of dreams and truths," Bolone said.

Then came their first book.

McVeigh was already working on The Dockporter script, then they eventually novelized it.

"The process was engaging and exciting, especially experiencing each other's impression of scenes and transposing them to literary form," Bolone said.

The Dockporter was published in 2021.

Bolone has quite a LinkedIn page. His statement on that page says it all.

"Secondary creative writing teacher who practices the craft, with a passion for motivating and guiding young writers."

"I think the desire to write is natural. It's challenging, as it is fun. When you're committed to doing it, nothing will stop you. I believe Dave and I plow through the obligations we have in life (family, work) and make room for the commitment, the passion to tell, to write stories. Our website serves as a hub for readers to see more of the people, events, and the memories of our Mackinac past, and present," continued Bolone.

Bolone feels a special connection to the readers of their books and the community.

In addition to The Dockporter, they recently published Somewhere in Crime.

"They're simply the best, especially because they have an affinity toward the island and the great state of Michigan. We're always and forever grateful for our friends, our readers. In terms of each book, I'd say for The Dockporter, bringing Dave's script to book form was a wonderful challenge. Being selected by the Library of Michigan was an unexpected nod to our effort. With Somewhere in Crime, I'd say the anticipation by our readers for it, and its subsequent reception by them," added Bolone.

The 62-year-old Bolone and 56-year-old McVeigh are pleased with where they are in each of their lives.

"This venture is both rewarding and exciting at this juncture of my (our) life/lives. The amount of support from family and readers has been astounding. I am convinced that we'll continue on, so long as we can. It's a joy. It's also wonderful to realize how we've managed to inspire more writers," concluded Bolone.