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North Farmington Grad Writes His Way Home

Steven Hartman is holding a book signing today at Biggby Coffee in Novi.

Steven Hartman left Michigan in 1999, headed for Los Angeles and a career in the entertainment industry.

Today, he'll host a meet and greet for his first novel The Ten-Day Forecast at Biggby Coffee in at Grand River Ave. and Novi Rd. in Novi, between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. His journey from Michigan to the west coast and back started right after he graduated from .

Hartman attended Columbia College in Los Angeles and delved into writing scripts, but after eight years in California, he said, "I was getting frustrated with the people and the environment." At the nine-year point, he realized, "I wanted to do what I was doing, but not where was doing it. Between 18 and 27, my priorities in life kind of changed."

Something else changed, too. Someone pointed out that a script was really just a framework for a novel, so Hartman decided to try his hand at writing one. For eight months, he rose early and spent two hours at Starbucks every morning before work.

In August of 2008, Hartman returned to Michigan; in September of 2009, his first novel, The Ten-Day Forecast was published. A quick thumbnail of the book's premise, he said, is that "on the eve of a guy's wedding night, he looks back on all of his relationships."

The central character, Drew, returns to his home state after attending and out-of-state college, to find the world has moved on without him. Hartman said while the book isn't biographical, "My friends who have read it have said they can tell I wrote it."

Those who've read the book give it great reviews. Right after he finished The Ten-Day Forecast, Hartman handed the 175-page manuscript to a friend. "She didn't give it back to me, because she wanted to read it again," he said.

Since publication, he has promoted the book through local book clubs, the Jewish Community Center's annual Book Fair, where he was a speaker last year, and meet-and-greets like today's event. He juggles events with writing marketing copy for a sports company in Bloomfield Hills and freelancing with Jack Detroit magazine.

Thus far, he's sold about 200 copies. Friends have been generally supportive, but he said some don't think of recommending the book, because the author is someone they know so well.

On the other hand, some of Hartman's fans are spreading the word far and wide. A friend's parents sell the book in their Los Angeles deli.

"One of my best friend's moms buys them as Christmas gifts," he said.

To order The Ten-Day Forecast, or to read reviews, visit Amazon.com.

Do you know a Farmington schools graduate who is out in the world doing great things? Write to joni.hubred-golden@patch.com

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