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Into the Lake Superior Wind: Author tacks headlong into first novel

Aug 11, 2017 10:59AM ● By Editor

Persistence is not Jane Fredericksen’s middle name; but it could be.

The Mahtomedi author knew she had a book in her, it just took 15 years to come out.

Called “Redemption’s Run,” her first novel has already garnered media attention. The adventure story was selected out of 150 entries for the StarTribune’s 2017 summer series that just wrapped up Aug. 6.

Every day, the newspaper published a couple pages of Fredericksen's book online and in its Variety section.

The company retains all rights to her book, but Fredericksen said the compensation was fair and the arrangement allowed her to work with experienced editors and art directors. According to the author, this is the fifth year the StarTribune has published a summer serial to help promote a strong literary community in the Twin Cities.

Fredericksen tried pitching the story line early on to Hollywood as a screenplay and got some nibbles, but no bites. “I felt some things needed to be reworked so I pulled it from the market,” recalled the author. “I got serious a couple years ago and thought 'OK, I’m going to try it as a novel.'”

Here is a synopsis of her book:

“Twelve-year-old Kacie Aldrich has never known her father. She sketches him as a pirate, based on her mother's romantic stories and dreams of the day he will return to their hometown of Bayfield, Wisconsin. When her mom suddenly dies, Kacie’s dreams are shattered. She fears for her future, until a mysterious young captain hangs a wind chime on her mother's casket. That's when Kacie believes she has found her pirate.”

The story goes on to tell of Kacie’s search for answers by stowing aboard the man’s boat, Redemption. “Her desperate actions drive them into the heart of the storm to confront old ghosts, long-buried secrets and the unholy wrath of Lake Superior.”

“Redemption's Run,” the author said, is a “heartfelt story” of how family can run beyond blood and how redemption can come in unfathomable ways.

Fredericksen set her novel in one of her favorite places, the Apostle Islands along Superior’s south shore. “I can feel my blood pressure drop whenever I'm near the lake,” she said. “It is so wild and unpredictable. Having sailed it, you really learn to respect it. It is its own entity; a terrible force or peaceful and beautiful. I love that about it.”

A fair weather sailor, Fredericksen uses the wind to help weave her tale.

“Trusting the wind is a recurrent theme in the story,” she explained. “I think that’s an analogy to life. Sometimes we don’t know where we’re going or where the story is going to take us in our life, so we have to trust the wind and hope it takes us to where we’re meant to be.”

During the school year, Fredericksen is a paraprofessional in special education at Mahtomedi Middle School. She worked in radio for 20 years and freelanced for Press Publications, reporting on the arts and entertainment scene. “It helped me focus on deadlines,” she said.

Her husband, Bruce Fredericksen, is a video producer. They have two sons, Noel and Derek, both Mahtomedi High School grads. Noel, 28, is a chiropractor in the Twin Cities and Derek, 23, lives in Madison, Wisconsin. He teaches guitar and performs in “multiple bands, living his dream,” his mother said.

The longtime resident, 60, has a lot to say about persistence when it comes to creative writing. “Don’t give up. And write from the heart to things that speak to you,” she said.

“The secret to writing is to just sit down and do it,” added Fredericksen. “Don’t be afraid of it. Listen to the quiet whisper inside. The one that says, 'this idea might be really good.'

“Look for the character or world that won’t go away; that keeps coming back even after you shut the door, that startles you awake in the dead of night. Because the really good ones don’t let go.”

The characters in “Redemption’s Run” are too good to let go, she said. That’s why Fredericksen plans both a prequel and sequel to her first book; just like a good Hollywood movie script.

The Kindle version of the book can be purchased on Amazon by following this link.