Sunday, September 6, 2009

Meet Gordon Frederickson

RL meets Gordon W. Fredrickson-

Born in New Prague, Minnesota, Gordon W. Fredrickson was raised on a 120-acre dairy farm in hilly, rocky eastern Scott County, and like all the local farm children, he began farm work as a young child. Gordon served in the U. S. Army for three years, earned a Master of Education Degree at the University of Minnesota, and taught high school English for 16 years. During the first five years of teaching, he and his wife Nancy farmed 160 acres in western Minnesota where they raised cattle, hogs and grain. All his books are based on actual events.

1. What do you want readers to take away from your books?
I want readers to have fun reading my books. My priority is to provide realistic entertainment for children and adults. Since the books are about events on a farm in 1950, I am hoping children come away with some knowledge and accurate impressions about the animals, the farming practices, and the lives of children of that era. I am hoping adults will experience a sense of nostalgia about times past and a desire to tell their stories to others. Also, I am hoping the stories provide intergenerational moments when kids are inspired to ask their parents or grandparents questions about their childhood on the farm.

2. Are you a believer in outlines, or do you write spontaneously?
I do most of my spontaneous writing to help me form ideas that end up on scraps of paper stored in a container labeled with a story idea. As I move forward with the idea, I create a file on my PC, but even as I am writing “spontaneously” my mind is organizing it into a story. If I do not have some kind of organized approach in mind, I cannot proceed. I do my best writing when I have a general outline in my head and do not have to think consciously about organization and can just write the scene as the characters would live it. However, if the script is in verse that has meter and rhyme, I will have to reorganize. If the manuscript is prose, reorganization may or may not be necessary, depending on how clearly I had it mapped out in my head. Only after I do a fair amount of spontaneous writing and thinking about the work, can I come up with an informal outline that will actually reflect the manuscript, but I never begin with an outline.

3. What do you think it is about your books that will keep readers turning pages?
For little kids, it’s the animals that will keep them interested, but as children grow older, my stories take on more meaning because they show realistic kids experiencing believable adventures in realistic surroundings. The colorful illustrations display the action of animals and people in accurate detail, and the relationships between the family members reveal a bond that children and their parents will find moving.
For adults, the accurate details about farm life and activities reveal the way things were then. Adults like to check if the author “got it right.” If adults feel a story is “true” to the times, they will read it again and again.

4. How can readers learn more and get in contact with you?
Visit my website at and Email me at My website explains more about each book and why I write the kind of stories I do. If anyone has any questions or comments, send me an Email.

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