Book Signing

Upcoming Events for April and August 2017

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 | Book Signing, Books, Speaking | No Comments

April 13 – Governor Terry Branstad will appear at the Newton YMCA for a special book signing on Thursday, April 13, from noon until 1:30 p.m., and Mike will be with him. Mike was the author of the book “Iowa’s Record-Setting Governor: The Terry Branstad Story,” which came out in December of 2015. The book is 234 pages long with over 50 photos, covering the governor’s life from growing up on a farm in tiny Leland, to attending high school in Forest City and then the University of Iowa and Drake law school. The book details his career as a politician, up through 2015 when he became the longest serving governor in American history.
 
Also, Mike will debut his latest book called “A Journey: Reflections on 50 Years on Writing, Wrestling, Weightlifting and Heroes. “ it is a 286 page book with nearly 200 photos, including stories on some of the best-known figures in U.S. history – from  Ronald Reagan, Muhammad Ali, Robert Redford, and Lou “The Incredible Hulk” Ferrigno to Iowa icons like Dan Gable, Hayden Fry, Dan McCarney and, of course, Terry Branstad. it is Mike’s 29th published book.
 
August 3-5 – Mike will be one of the special guests at the 2017 Dum Dum held at the Quality Inn and Suites in Coldwater, Michigan. The annual event is the largest gathering of fans in the world to celebrate the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author who created Tarzan of the Apes and other characters such as John Carter of Mars.  Other special guests are Jim Sullos, president of ERB., Inc.; Martin Powell, writer for ERB., Inc.; Bo Hampton, artist for Dark Horse Comics; Bob Zueschner, author of “Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Biography,” and Cathy and Tyler Wilbanks, of Team ERB. The host for the event is Michael Hatt, author of the book “Tarzan Slept Here”, which details the times Burroughs stayed in Coldwater.
   
Mike has written two books about actors who played Tarzan in the movies and his latest memoirs has a lot of Tarzan stories in it. He will have all three books for sale, along with other Tarzan memorabilia.
   
The dum dum is a gathering of apes that Tarzan called by beating on jungle drums. Mike hosted Dum Dum events in 1997 (Newton, Iowa), 2004 (Fort Collins,Colorado) and 2008 (Waterloo, Iowa) and is a recipient of the Golden Lion Award, given out by the Burroughs Bibliophiles to persons who have to perpetuate the memory of ERB and his works.

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February and March 2017 Appearances

Thursday, February 9th, 2017 | Book Signing, Books, Speaking, WIN Magazine, Wrestling | No Comments

February 10, 2017 – The inaugural class for the Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School Athletic Hall of Fame will be inducted prior to the Jefferson basketball game and Mike has been asked to represent Larry and Ted Lawrence, who are both deceased. There will be a social in the Jefferson Cafeteria at 4:30 p.m., with a hall of fame ceremony to follow at 5:15 p.m.

There will also be a brief presentation between the girls and boys varsity basketball games in the gymnasium and then a social and greeting time back in the cafeteria.

Larry Lawrence was an all-state football and basketball player at Jefferson and went on to become a star quarterback at Iowa for two seasons. He also played two seasons each in the Canadian Football League and the NFL. Larry died of heart problems in 2012 at the age of 63. Mike and Larry became good friends when Mike was sports editor of the Cedar Rapids Gazette in the years 1978 to 1984 and they even co-hosted the Mr. Iowa contest in 1983, when Larry owned Ra Power Fitness Center. They remained in close contact until Larry’s death. His father, Ted, was a legendary high school coach at Jefferson for many years.
 
March 1, 2017 – Mike is producing a documentary on Bill Smith, one of the most important figures in American wrestling history. Bill was 1952 Olympic wrestling champion, an undefeated, 2-time NCAA champion in college and coach of the San Francisco Olympic Club team, leading it to 7 national team tiles in the 1960s. In this documentary, you will see many rare photos of Bill’s illustrious career, and be with Bill as the University of Northern Iowa dedicates its official mat in his honor in 2013. Then Bill reminisces about his 70 years in the Sport of Wrestling. Coming in March of 2017.

March 16-18, 2017 – As a guest of the WIN Memorabilia Show between sessions of the NCAA Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, Mike will be signing many of his 28 published books and will have the new Bill Smith DVD documentary available. Dale Anderson, two-time NCAA champion for Michigan State in the 1960s, will be with Mike and selling copies of his new book, “A Spartan Journey: Michigan State’s 1967 Miracle on the Mat”. Mike wrote the introduction to the book and Dan Gable wrote the foreword. The WIN Memorabilia Show is free and open to the public.

March 29, 2017 – Mike will be the featured speaker at Flag Day held at the Knoxville Library. He will give a talk on “Iowans of Impact”, based on his book of the same name, and on his book “Triumph and Tragedy” which tells the stories of football heroes Fred Becker and Nile Kinnick, who lost heir lives while serving in World War I and World War II, respectively. The talk begins at I p.m. and is open to the public. Contact the Knoxville Library for further details.

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November 2016 through March 2017 Appearances

Sunday, October 30th, 2016 | Book Signing, Speaking, Wrestling | No Comments

November 12 – Mike will be one of the featured speakers at the Jack Van Bebber Lifetime Achievement Celebration held in conjunction with the Perry Memorial Wrestling Memorial event in Perry, Oklahoma. The event begins at 11:30 in downtown Perry and is open to the public. Van Bebber was Olympic champion in 1932 and was an undefeated, three-time NCAA champion for Oklahoma A&M. Other speakers will be John Smith, head coach at Oklahoma State and a 6-time World/Olympic champion, and Lee Roy Smith executive director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum, located in Stillwater. Van Bebber is one of 34 wrestlers profiled in Mike’s popular book “Legends of the Mat,” along with another Perry legend, Dan Hodge.

November 19 – Mike will be appearing at Governor Branstad’s Birthday Bash at the Place Theater at Adventureland Park, beginning at 5 p.m. . He will be signing copes of his book, “Iowa’s Record-Setting Governor: The Terry Branstad Story”. He will also have copies of his historical novel LOWELL PARK for sale. It is the story of an Iowa girl who travels back in time to meet both a young Abe Lincoln in 1832 and a young Ronald Reagan in 1932, in the same location now known as Lowell Park. The movie rights have been purchased by a movie company and it is currently in pre-production status with a noted Hollywood director, Charles Robert Carner, assigned. Matt Bevin, Kentucky Governor, and Tom Cotton, Arkansas Senator, will be special guests at the Birthday Bash. For more information on prices and seating, contact Jake Ketzner at Jake@BranstadReynolds.com

March 1, 2017 – Mike is producing a documentary on Bill Smith, one of the most important figures in American wrestling history. Bill was 1952 Olympic wrestling champion, an undefeated, 2-time NCAA champion in college and coach of the San Francisco Olympic Club team, leading it to 7 national team tiles in the 1960s. In this documentary, you will see many rare photos of Bill’s illustrious career, and be with Bill as the University of Northern Iowa dedicates its official mat in his honor in 2013. Then Bill reminisces about his 70 years in the Sport of Wrestling. Coming in March of 2017.

March 16-18 – As a guest of the WIN Memorabilia Show between sessions of the NCAA Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, Mike will be signing many of his 28 published books and will have the new Bill Smith DVD documentary available. Dale Anderson, two-time NCAA champion for Michigan State in the 1960s, will be with Mike and selling copies of his new book, “A Spartan Journey: Michigan State’s 1967 Miracle on the Mat”. Mike wrote the introduction to the book and Dan Gable wrote the foreword. The WIN Memorabilia Show is free and open to the public.

Book Signings with Governor Branstad

Monday, February 1st, 2016 | Book Signing, Books, Radio | No Comments

Mike will be travelling the state to do some book signings with Governor Terry Branstad for the recently released biography about Branstad ““Iowa’s Record-Setting Governor: The Terry Branstad Story.” Here are some dates:

  • Feb. 2 – Newton YMCA from 11:20 am-12:30 p.m.
  • Feb. 9 – Sullivan Brothers Museum, Waterloo, from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Additonally:

On Feb. 4, 8:30 am. — Mike will be on the Van and Bonnie radio talk show on WHO (1040) in Des Moines, talking about the book.
On Feb. 9, 10:30 a.m. — Governor Branstad and Mike will be on KXEL radio (1540) in Waterloo taking about the book.

You can listen live to both radio stations on their sites.

Upcoming Events for 2015 and 2016

Sunday, December 6th, 2015 | Book Signing, Speaking | No Comments

December 10, 2015 – Mike will be part of the Pints and Politics program hosted by The Gazette newspaper of Cedar Rapids to discuss the legacy of Governor Terry Branstad. Mike has written the governor’s biography and will be one of several panelists discussing the governor’s record-setting career. The event will be held Dec. 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Lion Bridge Brewing Company, 16th Avenue SW in Cedar Rapids. The public is invited but seating is limited.

January 12, 2016 – Mike has been invited to discuss his popular book “Triumph and Tragedy” at the noon luncheon of the Altoona United Methodist Church at 602 5th Avenue in Altoona. The book was written in 2010 and tells the story of four legendary football players from the state who met tragic ends. They are Fred Becker, Iowa’s first All-American football player who was killed in combat along the Western Front in World War I; Jack Trice, who died as the result of injuries suffered in a 1923 football game for Iowa State University; Nile Kinnick, Iowa’s only Heisman Trophy winner who was killed on a pilot training mission off the coast of Venezuela on June 2, 1943, and Drake’s Johnny Bright, who was the top offensive player in the nation before being injured in a foul play during a game in 1951, knocking him out of the running for the Heisman Trophy. Mike has given the speech numerous times around the state, emphasizing the great qualities in these men and explaining why their stories are so relevant yet today.

January 29, 2016 – Columbia University in downtown New York City is celebrating “Nat Pendleton Night” at the wrestling dual meet against Harvard, and Mike will be the guest at a book signing and will give a speech on Nat’s role in the history of wrestling in America. Mike is the author of a new book called “Pendleton: The Amazing Story of Columbia’s Wrestling Olympian and Star of Hollywood”. Nat Pendleton was born in Iowa in 1895 and became one of America’s first amateur wrestling stars, winning two national titles and a silver medal in the 1920 Olympics. He then moved to Hollywood and appeared in nearly 100 movies, from the 1920s through the 1940s.

April 30, 2016 — Mike will be the guest speaker at the Charles City Excellence in Education Foundation’s fundraising and awards banquet at the Charles City Elks Lodge on April 30. The event is not open to the public.

July 3, 2016 – The first ever Frank Gotch Catch World Championships will be held in Humboldt, Iowa – the hometown of the legendary Frank Gotch — and Mike is one of the event organizers. He will have a booth of wrestling memorabilia on display at the event at Humboldt High School, and also many of his books and posters for sale. Catch wrestling is the type of wrestling that Gotch participated in during the start of the 20th Century and involves joint-lock submission holds not allowed in amateur wrestling.

SPECIAL NOTE: As the author of the forthcoming book, “Iowa’s Record-Setting Governor: The Terry Branstad Story”, Mike will be appearing with Governor Branstad at select book signings around the state. Dates have not yet been set but will be included here when the schedule is announced.

Upcoming Events for Mike for 2015

Thursday, May 14th, 2015 | Book Signing, Books, Movie Scripts, Speaking, Wrestling | No Comments

May 18 – As the author of 27 books, Mike will be speaking to a creative writing class at West Waterloo High School, talking to young students about the joy of writing and how to get started as a writer. He will also discuss his latest adventures in Hollywood, with two movie projects under way. Mike has talked to these West Waterloo writing classes five times in recent years for Donna Huff, teacher extraordinaire (and wife of wrestling coaching legend Don Huff) and enjoys it very much.

June 27-30 – One of the biggest wrestling events of the summer is set for June 27-July 2 in Orlando, Florida, where the Scholastic Duals Wrestling Tournament will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Over 1,600 wresters are expected to compete. The AAU Wrestling Hall of Fame banquet will be held on June 29, and Mike will be the featured speaker at the banquet. Mike was inducted into the AAU hall of fame in 2005 but this is the first year he has been able to attend the event. Mike and Bev will have several tables of wrestling items for display and for sale during the wrestling tournament.

July 11 – Mike and Bev will be the guests at the 2015 Midwest National Wrestling Tournament in Bloomington, Illinois. The event will be held at the Shirk Center on Illinois Wesleyan University campus, with over 1,000 wrestlers expected to compete. Mike and Bev will have several tables of memorable items for display and books, posters and card for sale. Plan to stop by and visit them.

Sept. 15 – On this date, Mike will be the featured speaker at the “Golden Opportunities” program for senior adults at the First Baptist Church in Marshalltown, beginning at 11 a.m. He will talk about his books “Triumph and Tragedy” and “Lowell Park”, as well as his overall writing career.

Iowa History Journal at the Iowa State Fair

Monday, August 18th, 2014 | Book Signing, Books, Iowa History Journal | No Comments

photoMike was a special guest at the Iowa History Journal booth at the Iowa State Fair last week. He signed dozens of books for fairgoers and hung out with Michael and Rebecca Swanger, the new owners of Iowa History Journal. Bev also worked at the Fair two days.

Upcoming Speeches and Appearances

Sunday, February 10th, 2013 | Book Signing, Iowa History Journal, Speaking, WIN Magazine, Wrestling | No Comments

February 20 — Mike will be talking to the Knoxville Rotary Club on Wednesday, February 20, at noon at the Swamp Fox Pub and Grille in Knoxville. His speech is about famous Iowans and Iowa History Journal.

March 21-23 – Mike and Bev will be appearing at the WIN Memorabilia Show between sessions of the NCAA Wrestling Tournament in Des Moines on March 21-23. Mike and Bev created the WIN show 23 years ago and they will be greeting wrestling fans and showing memorabilia, as well as selling books, posters and videos. Numerous Olympic champions will be the special guests and an estimated 10,000 wrestling fans are expected to attend the WIN show. It will be located inside of the NCAA Fan Festival in the HY-Vee Hall. There is no charge to attend the WIN show.

July 9 – Mike will be giving a speech on the life and legacy of Frank Gotch, former world heavyweight wrestling champion, on Tuesday, July 9, at 7:30 p.m., at Joe Sheldon County Park in Humboldt. The talk is being sponsored by Project AWARE, which is a volunteer weeklong river cleanup. Each year, hundreds of Iowans join together for a week in canoes to remove trash from 80-90 miles of a different river. To date, more than 2,500 AWARE volunteers from across the state have cleaned up over 780 river miles, removing more than 250 tons of trash (70% of which has been recycled) from rivers all across Iowa. This year’s event will be held July 6-13 on the Des Moines River from Algona down through Humboldt and Fort Dodge.The event is open to the public.

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