By Lizbeth Selvig
Based on the way I can talk anywhere, anytime, to anybody for any length of time, and based on the fact that, as a writer, I inevitably translate my gift of gab into word-heavy first drafts desperately in need of trimming, I worried that writing a short story would be torturous for me. I’m proud (and relieved) to say the process was anything but a torture.
In fact, it was pure pleasure. And I’m so honored to be part of the anthology “Love in the Land of Lakes” with 16 of my very favorite Minnesota authors.
There are a handful of reasons writing a short story about Minnesota, love, and lakes came easily to me. First, I started my writing career doing “short” work as a reporter and as a wannabe Good Housekeeping/McCall’s/Ladies’ Home Journal short-story-ist. I have a substantial body of short work living with the dust bunnies under my bed. I’m also a born and bred Minnesotan. Scandinavian names are ubiquitous in my world—from Lena and Inga to Narve and Knut. And relating to the natural “don’t make waves” nature of Minnesotans is natural for me. So, thinking up a good Minnesota heroine like Sophie Tollefsrud was easy.
Most importantly, visiting lakes, camping at lakes, paddle-boating, fishing, and listening to loons on lakes has been part of my life since I was old enough to hold up a crappie by its tail. Not that I’m much of a fisherman anymore. But recalling the sights, sounds, and smells of a lake took little effort.
So it was when coming up with ideas for my story “What’s Up Dock?” a hundred images and mini-ideas flooded my brain. The fun thing was, these mental pictures weren’t only of the serenity, the beauty, and the peacefulness of Minnesota lake country. I was inundated with memories of the crazy stuff: animals getting into places they don’t belong, mosquitos, poison ivy, storms, power outages, inner tubing, old wooden docks, crazy cabin owners . . .
And, I remember heading out camping and bringing along friends who knew nothing about the out-of-doors. There’s not much funnier to a kid than another kid who’s jumping at the sound of a rabbit thinking it’s a bear, or picking a bunch of berries and leaves and learning he’s collected a bouquet of poison ivy. (Hey, admit it, kids are mean.)
When I started writing “What’s Up Dock?” I wanted to bring some of those funny experiences to my heroine and her hero. Sophie is a seasoned resident of lake country. She can handle raccoons, poison ivy, and summer storms. Alex, on the other hand, is a lakeshore newb who runs from raccoons, and doesn’t know poison ivy from petunias. Plus, he has the added “eccentricity” of using Sophie’s neighbor’s yard as a place in which to bury five-foot-five-inch, lumpy plastic bags.
How do you make such a clueless, worrisome hero heroic? The magic of a Minnesota north woods night with the lake as a backdrop and loons as dinner music can turn a killer into a Casanova. How? I hope you’ll pick up a copy of “Love in the Land of Lakes,” and find out.
And, the really cool thing is—there are the Minnesota memories of sixteen other wonderful authors that have been translated into fun, fanciful, even historical tales, so you don’t have to stop at just one little story. We’ve got Minnesota Lakes to last you all winter long!
Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, and just as many love stories. Love in the Land of Lakes brings you seventeen of these stories, from two childhood sweethearts connecting on the end of a dock on a warm summer's evening, to a city boy's chaotic weekend at his girlfriend's primitive cabin. We bring you the story of a savvy horse who leads her owner to love in post–Civil War farm country, and the haunting romance of an ageless gambler who inhabits a historic riverboat and charms the boat's new owner.
A kaleidoscope of sunshine, snowstorms, and thunderstorms grace our contemporary, mystery, historical, and paranormal stories as the authors of Midwest Fiction Writers spin lovely romances that will send you drifting into happily ever afters.
Click here to see where the authors are stopping to blog and chat with you the reader.
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Bobbers 'N Bait - The evocative marketing gimmick at the new bait store in town has the fishing outfitter all hot and bothered.
A Cut Above the Rest - Rachel knew that a simple haircut had the power to change someone’s life. What she wasn’t counting on though, was how it would change hers.
Lira & Gavril - A dilapidated riverboat brings together a passionate historic preservationist and a man who called it home during the Victorian era.
Lake Dreams - Olivia had her life all planned out. All except for that one impulsive night with her childhood crush. Can he convince her the result is worth the risk?
Hook, Line and Stinker - An LA makeover artist comes home to Minnesota and must use all her skills to tame a wild man.
Snowbound - Caught in a snowstorm, the last person she expects to need her help is the man she loved but lost to someone else.
Rose Marie Meuwissen
Dancing in the Moonlight - Anna Thorstad never imagined reopening her parents' lake cabin would also open her heart to love again.
Hooked - An avid outdoorswoman takes her city born and raised boyfriend for a chaotic weekend at her family's primitive cabin on the lake.
Henrietta's Man - A savvy horse carries her Civil War-torn soldier north in search of healing and a future.
Coming Home - A young widow’s faith and courage are tested when she falls in love with her husband’s best friend.
Her Stranger - Each night a stranger comes to Rachel’s cabin door. What is it that makes her fall into his arms?
Lake Secrets - A weekend getaway at the scene of the crime has Elly struggling to keep a secret from her best friend.
Unwrapped - Movie star Sloan Leighton sells love; she doesn’t believe in it. Then one frozen midnight on the shores of Lake Superior, everything changes.
The Bouncing Bobber - Will a budding romance, sidetracked by youth and ambition, be what it takes to lure Jacob and Nate back into love’s net?
What's Up Dock? - Sophie’s handsome new neighbor is burying body bags in his garden. But he’s afraid of raccoons—how could he be a killer?
Wind from the Lake - Wishing on a star? Alien contact? When childhood friends Connie and Hank meet again, they don't need to believe in anything but each other.
Roadside Catch - She swore off relationships with doctors, until one finds her injured on the roadside and has her rethinking the possibilities.