Rebecca Fjelland Davis https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com Official Author Site Sun, 19 Nov 2017 17:36:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9 https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/cropped-Rebecca-Fjelland-Davis-32x32.jpg Rebecca Fjelland Davis https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com 32 32 132898455 The Mankato Premiere of Chasing AllieCat the short film! https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/the-mankato-premiere-of-chasing-alliecat-the-short-film/ https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/the-mankato-premiere-of-chasing-alliecat-the-short-film/#respond Sun, 19 Nov 2017 17:34:52 +0000 https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/?p=4023

Chasing AllieCat, the short movie, opened in Mankato at Nicollet Bike Shop Saturday evening, Nov. 18.  The reception the movie received overwhelmed us.

Plus, it was a lot of fun to show the movie in the bike shop and talk about it with two audiences, at 4 and at 5 p.m.

I can’t relax while the story unfolds on the screen, no matter how many times I’ve seen it. It was gratifying to see other people’s faces as they watched…(My husband got these pictures; I was too busy watching the screen, even though I’ve seen it several times now!)

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We made the paper! https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/we-made-the-paper/ https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/we-made-the-paper/#respond Sat, 18 Nov 2017 14:59:43 +0000 https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/?p=4017

The MOVIE!  We made the paper:

http://www.mankatofreepress.com/news/local_news/scc-college-instructor-s-novel-made-into-short-film/article_12639482-cbeb-11e7-9b25-1b10572fc109.html

Today! After all this time, and all this work, Chasing AllieCat the movie will show this afternoon and Monday in Mankato.

Here’s Steph, doing her thing: directing, as she does so well. In this shot, she and I are consulting about a scene in the mountain bike race. (I am an extra in the bike race; hence the “costume”!)

Here’s Steph and me, ecstatic that the whole thing is working.

And here is make-up artist Clara Selena C getting Father Malcolm ready for the shoot.

And here are our young stars, Ana Chan (Sadie), Zach Huels (Joe) , and Emily Sukolics (Allie), relaxing before a morning shoot.

 

This afternoon, Nicollet Bike Shop is hosting two screenings: at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Can’t wait.

Monday, South Central College, Conference Center C, at 12, 1 p.m., and 5 p.m.

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Chasing AllieCat the MOVIE https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/4004-2/ https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/4004-2/#respond Fri, 17 Nov 2017 19:40:13 +0000 https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/?p=4004

It’s HERE! It’s REAL!  Chasing AllieCat premiered at the Citizen Jane Film Festival in Columbia, Missouri. This weekend it’s premiering in Mankato. You can see it at any of five different screenings. Remember, this is a film short, so it’s only 14 minutes long. Steph Borklund, the filmmaker, will be in Mankato, so she and I will lead a discussion after each screening to talk about making the movie. The public is welcome at any of these events:

Nicollet Bike Shop, 607 N. Riverfront Drive, Mankato, Saturday, Nov. 18, shows at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.

South Central College, 1900 Lee Blvd., North Mankato, Conference Center C                                                 Monday, Nov. 20,  Noon, 1 p.m., and 5 p.m.

Plan on 45-50 minutes for the whole program.

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Ballard https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/van-meter-and-ballard/ https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/van-meter-and-ballard/#respond Thu, 16 Nov 2017 05:09:31 +0000 https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/?p=3980

Here I am in the middle of the Ballard Middle School 6th and 7th Graders. What a treat to be in my own hometown, talking about Slider’s Son and about writing in the very building where I went to high school. The last time I spoke to a group in that building was at my own high school graduation! And this crew of students was amazing. They were superb listeners (in fact, the auditorium had that pin-drop quiet aspect while I was reading), they asked stellar questions, and their enthusiasm was palpable in the auditorium. I was nervous about coming to Ballard. “A prophet is not without honor except in his own hometown.” –Jesus

I’m no prophet (ha!), but there’s that stigma that it’s hard to be appreciated where everybody knew you as a kid. Maybe I’m old enough that that’s not an issue anymore. Also, if you bomb in your hometown, you really bomb. I mean, no one will forget that you made a fool of yourself (least of all you!), and it’s unlikely you’d ever be asked back for a repeat performance. At any rate, the morning in Huxley, first with the middle-schoolers, and then at the public library, was wonderful. I felt recharged and excited to get back to work on my next book by the time I left.

Here I am with the delightful librarian in Huxley (both public library and school library housed in the same space), Cathy Van Maanen. And here I am with Marilyn Greene, a retired teacher who was my neighbor for most of my growing up years. I babysat her son, who is now a middle-aged man himself!

Some other friends I have known since I was in grade school showed up at the library, too. What a treat to be in Huxley. 

This has been a busy few weeks, but the whirlwind has been fun. I feel as if I’ve been neglecting my own students, so I hope I can make it up to them by the end of the semester. I better get at some grading. Now.

 

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Book Events… https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/book-events/ https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/book-events/#respond Sun, 22 Oct 2017 21:56:22 +0000 https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/?p=3962

I have to say thank you to so many friends, readers, family members, cousins, and buddies who have been so supportive with Slider’s Son being out in the world.

The Cambridge, Iowa Library yesterday was an absolute blast. So many members of my family — my brother and sister-in-law, niece and her husband, great-nephews and great-niece, and SO MANY of my cousins came! It was much fun to have you there and get to read to you. Janet Thorson, sister of my sister-in-law Cathy, is the librarian in Cambridge. She did a beautiful job setting it up and publicizing a lovely event.  Cambridge is a very small town–population under 1000–but a cozy, welcoming, cute town with a great sense of identity (plus it’s part of Ballard School District, my alma mater). I am quite simply, grateful. What a good event.

The Arts Center of Saint Peter on Thursday was fun, too. We had a small crowd. I feel that I’ve sort of exhausted any following in the Mankato area, so it wasn’t a big shock, but those friends and readers who were there were fully engaged, and we sipped wine and had a good discussion (I read, too). I got to talk writing with a couple friends I hadn’t seen in ages, too, and I met a few new people, too.

This past Tuesday, I was at the Muir Library in Winnebago–also a small town with a small library, but a VERY active library with all sorts of terrific programming. Heidi Schutt does a wonderful job getting people involved and READING!  We also had a great time. Picture below is of me reading in Winnebago. 

This reminds me that I do love doing book events. That’s good, because let me say that by the time my novel has been out in the world for five and a half weeks, I am sick of trying to be my own promoter. The other morning, I woke up overwhelmed, and wondered if it’s all worth it. I was downright tired, and had nearly a hundred papers to grade for school, and needed to do paperwork for book events. I was wondering if it’s all worth it. Writing a book is not enough. It’s only about one-third of the work of having a book out. You HAVE to be your own promoter in this world and market. Nobody else is going to do it. If all I had to do was write, edit, write, edit, and read aloud what I write, and talk about stories, it would be a cinch. Well, almost. It would still be a lot of work. But the promotion–that’s what I hate.

And I am so sick of myself  posting yet another book event on Facebook, hoping people will show up and listen, and maybe buy a book. But yesterday, one of my cousins said that I shouldn’t think of it as promoting myself–but rather as promoting my book. True. Okay, I guess I can keep doing that.

Truth be told, I really do think most everybody would enjoy Slider’s Son. I think middle-aged people may like it the most. But the few kids I know of who have read it have seriously liked it. They don’t have to like baseball to like it, either. It’s adventure, mystery, and growing-up stuff.  I  think it’s a good story, and after all this work (ten years since I started writing it), it better be at least a decent read. I’m shutting up now. I do have to go grade papers.

But thank you, readers and listeners, for coming. And thank you for reading.

 

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It’s been an entire month… https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/its-been-an-entire-month/ https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/its-been-an-entire-month/#respond Fri, 13 Oct 2017 15:19:45 +0000 https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/?p=3954

It’s been a month since Slider’s Son came out in the world. What a crazy whirlwind. I’m happy with the reception it’s getting. I haven’t heard from a single person who hasn’t liked the book.  The problem is just getting it in more people’s hands–and getting people who matter to read it! If you are reading this, and can encourage that, please do! 🙂 If you have read it, and post a quick review on  AMAZON.com, on GoodReads, or on Barnes and Noble.com.

Please and thanks!

Monday, I took my Children’s Lit students to Betsy’s and Tacy’s houses–of Betsy-Tacy Maud Hart Lovelace fame, right here in Mankato. It was a fun little tour.

Today, my Humanities students and I are headed to the Twin Cities for Minneapolis Institute of Arts, dinner at the Ol’ Spaghetti Factory, and to see Romeo and Juliet at the Guthrie!  What an exciting day! (And week)!

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Slider’s Son Video Book Trailer https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/sliders-son-video-book-trailer/ https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/sliders-son-video-book-trailer/#comments Sun, 10 Sep 2017 20:01:27 +0000 https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/?p=3908

It’s here. It’s in bookstores. What a ride it’s been to get to this point.

Fifteen years ago, I listened to stories from a man who grew up in the 1930s in North Dakota. After a few nearly unbelievable anecdotes, I asked him if I could take notes while he talked. I filled a notebook with his stories.

Ten years ago, I wrote the first chapter of this book. Now that’s become chapter four of Slider’s Son. I used the stories my friend told me, and I added the fiction writer’s perpetual question: “What if?” I gave Grant O’Grady his own personality, which is quite different from the original storyteller’s. I added elements to tie everything together, and most of all, I made Grant a baseball pitcher who wants to be the next Bob Feller.  Grant’s dad, Slider, is almost entirely based on my storyteller’s real dad, who was indeed a sheriff in North Dakota. He was recruited to play ball on the local town team, but he needed a job. To get him to come, the townsfolk made him sheriff. 

This is fiction, and Grant O’Grady has a life of his own, but there are lots of roots in real history and events (including the murder) that really happened.

 

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Slider’s Son available now! https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/sliders-son-available-now/ https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/sliders-son-available-now/#respond Fri, 01 Sep 2017 12:28:05 +0000 https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/?p=3815

Slider's Son

Slider’s Son is making its way into bookstores. Now it can be ordered on Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

I finally am holding the book in my hands. And so are other people. It’s catching on!

I just read an article in Time Magazine about the professionalization of kids’ sports. Reading that, I realized that Slider’s Son, besides being a mystery and as story of friendship, is an homage to the days when we played pick-up ball for fun.

 


 

Here’s what the early readers had to say:

“Slider’s Son begins with the discovery of a dead body and quickly turns into a mystery. Who killed Big Joe Thorson? Plenty of people had motives. Rebecca Fjelland Davis deftly conveys the mood, the language, and the landscape of Depression-era North Dakota as we follow Grant O’Grady on his search for the truth and his discovery that life is a lot more complicated than he imagined. Slider’s Son will pull you in deeper and deeper, all the way to the surprising verdict in the end.”

–John Coy, award-winning author of Gap Life, Top of the Order, Game Changer: John McLendon and the Secret Game and many other acclaimed titles.


In Slider’s Son Rebecca Fjelland Davis has composed a powerful story about community, friendship, loyalty, and right and wrong, while at the same time creating a depression-era world that does more than most history books in helping us understand the daily challenges faced by Americans during the 1930s. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in reading a compelling tale and learning about the past at the same time.

 

–Brian D. Fors, PhD, Historian and Archivist, The History Writers


 

“Rebecca Fjelland Davis told me that stories move information from our heads to our hearts, and this book proves her point exactly. Readers will care so much about Grant O’Grady, Slider, Little Joe, baseball, and the murder mystery that they’ll forget that they’re learning essential information about the Great Plains in the late Thirties. This expertly-told tale allows students to absorb important history about Hitler, tuberculosis, and discrimination against American Indians right along with loving the characters. Highly, highly recommended!”

 

–Kirstin Cronn-Mills, author of ALA Stonewall Award winner Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, plus Original Fake, The Sky Always Hears me, and other nonfiction titles


“Slider’s Son is a compelling mystery set during the bone-cracking cold of a North Dakota winter, but the heart of the story is the boys’ friendship—a friendship so authentic you’ll want to bundle up, call your best friend, and go sledding.”

–Shelley Tougas, author of the highly acclaimed Finders Keepers, Graham Cracker Plot, and A Patron Saint for Junior Bridesmaids.


 

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Back to school and nesting all at once https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/back-to-school-and-nesting-all-at-once/ https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/back-to-school-and-nesting-all-at-once/#comments Mon, 21 Aug 2017 14:20:36 +0000 https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/?p=3765

  I am nesting. Nesting is a phenomenon common to pregnant women, shortly before they give birth. It’s as if they need their nests to be clean and safe, ready to receive the new little life into their own. Nature seems to tell them that they aren’t going to have the energy to clean and set thing straight after all that labor, so the need to put things in order sets in with a vengeance.

 

Anybody who knows me well knows that I am not a naturally neat person. I thrive in a bit (or a lot?) of clutter, and when I’m working–writing, doing school work, particularly, I simply am oblivious to my surrounding mess. I am focused on what I’m doing.

 

This past week, I’ve been a flurry of cleaning and straightening. I can’t figure out what inspired it. School starting? I won’t have time then? (Now be aware, there’s still plenty of mess around me. I’m still digging through the tubs of stuff I moved from my basement into Tom’s and my garage. But I made significant progress lately). Most signifcant: I cleaned my office at SCC. It’s not as clean as some of the type A neat freaks who are my office neighbors, but for me, it’s CLEAN.

 

I can only liken this overwhelming urge to the nesting instinct.

 

It finally occurred to me that the new life I’m expecting is Slider’s Son. This book I’ve been working on for ten years, that’s been simmering in my brain for sixteen years, is finally emerging into the world in THREE WEEKS. I think  I know it’s going to consume my time, and I want the transition to be a little less cluttered. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. I’m excited to welcome Grant O’Grady and his buddies and family into the world of stories.

 

That said, I better get dressed and get to school for my first day of class! Welcome back to the school year, everybody.

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Any book with dogs as a pivotal plot point wrenches my heart https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/any-book-with-dogs-as-a-pivotal-plot-point-wrenches-my-heart/ https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/any-book-with-dogs-as-a-pivotal-plot-point-wrenches-my-heart/#respond Fri, 04 Aug 2017 16:32:14 +0000 https://rebeccafjellanddavis.com/?p=3755

My friend and I read Nicole Helget’s book, The End of the Wild, aloud to each other on a long road trip, driving home from Calgary, Alberta. We both loved it. Although a few reviewers have said, “What? Another dead mother?”, the heaviness of Fern’s grief seems necessary to make Fern’s discoveries about life and the weightiness of her coming-of-age really work. I was expecting the novel to be a full-on rant (metaphorically speaking; I know Helget well enough to know she wouldn’t beat us over the head with her message) against fracking. Instead, she showed us clearly both sides of the issue. She couched both sides, wisely, in two best friends’ perspectives. I am reminded of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s comment in “The Crack-up,”: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” This book does that.

Any book with dogs as a pivotal plot point wrenches my heart, so this book did that quite successfully, and believably. The outcomes of this story weren’t cliche, but instead believable. My friend and I paused at the climax of the story, each trying to predict the final resolutions. We were only partly right, and happily impressed with how Helget worked against easy or predictable solutions.

My only critical question was wondering if Nicole has ever had poison ivy. I’m nearly an expert on getting it (not an expertize I enjoy), and I don’t think blisters ever show up for at least 24-48 hours instead of immediately. Stinging nettles, yes, but poison ivy is far more sinister and slow to appear. I wonder if there’s some other strain of it that I don’t know about.

My last comment here is that I’ve been working on a YA book about fracking for a few years, “Who the Frack is Maddie Jackson.” My protagonist also has a close relationship with a Muslim, and when Nicole came out with this book, the selfish part of me cried, “Wait! She stole my story!” But of course she didn’t, our stories are very different, and now I actually hope readers of this story will look for mine when and if I ever get it published. In the meantime, I can’t help but recommend this entirely. I’m hoping to use it in my Children’s Lit. class this fall, somehow.

Long story short: I LOVED this book! Thanks for writing it, Nicole Helget!

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