Loreen Niewenhuis grew up in Michigan and has lived there most of her life. She pursued a life of science, getting a Bachelor, then Master of Science degrees. She worked in various aspects of that world including a hospital laboratory, basic animal research, and a bone marrow transplant group.
While taking a break from this work to raise her young sons, Loreen began writing fiction. This evolved into a passion and she returned to school to get her MFA from Spalding University.
In 2009, her short story collection, Scar Tissue, was a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Award.
From the time she was a young girl climbing sand dunes and splashing in its cool waters, Loreen has felt connected and drawn to Lake Michigan. She decided to explore the lake fully by walking around it. The fascinating account of her journey, A 1,000 Mile Walk on the Beach: One Woman’s Trek of the Perimeter of Lake Michigan, was released in 2011 by Crickhollow Books. It became a Heartland Indie Bestseller.
Loreen’s novella, Atlanta, will be published in 2011 by Main Street Rag Publishing.
In 2012, she took another journey, a 1000-mile hike touching all five Great Lakes. The book about this latest adventure, A 1000-MILE GREAT LAKES WALK, explores the entire Great Lakes system. This book was released to select indie bookstores in April 2013, then widely in June 2013. A 1000-MILE GREAT LAKES WALK won the "Great Lakes Great Reads" award from the Great Lakes Indie Booksellers Association.
In this book, she takes the reader along the shores of all five Great Lakes and many of the waterways connecting them. She explores the geology, hydrology, and natural history of the largest system of fresh water lakes in the world. She also illuminates the threats to this massive ecosystem: invasive species, pollution, destruction of wetlands, and the gradual warming of the lakes.
Niewenhuis speaks with the authority of an expert as she has a M.S. degree in the biological sciences. She raises important questions about preserving our wild places and protecting the fragile ecosystems on which we all depend.
Loreen is currently working on a novel, Tumor Board, set in the medical world.