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Pequot Lakes author Simar releases eighth book - Celebration event Tuesday

Candace Simar recently released her eighth book. Submitted Photo1 / 2
Author Candace Simar will read from her newest release Tuesday, May 15, at The Crossing Arts Alliance in Brainerd. Submitted Photo2 / 2

Pequot Lakes author Candace Simar has no problem with writer's block. You may find her working by the fireplace at Wendy's in Nisswa or sitting in the corner of Brick House Pizza in Brainerd.

One might think it distracting to write in a public area, but Simar proves differently. She recently released her eighth book, "Escape to Fort Abercrombie" with Five Star Cengage Publishing.

"I was approached by a large publisher in 2012 after I received the Spur Award for 'Birdie,'" Simar said in a recent interview. "They asked me if I would be interested in writing a frontier book about my area of the country."

She thought it sounded like a good idea, especially since she had already done extensive research about the Great Sioux Uprising for previous books.

"A local person shared a family story about his great-grandfather coming home from school near New Ulm to find the family massacred. I borrowed that story line and moved it to the Fort Abercrombie area. 'Escape to Fort Abercrombie' tells the story of children traveling alone through 10 miles of tall grass to find safety at Fort Abercrombie after losing their parents. It will appeal to Abercrombie Trail fans," Simar said. "The publisher wanted a book appealing to both kids and adults. I think I have enough action for kids and enough character development for adults in 'Escape to Fort Abercrombie.'"

The book has already received positive early reviews. Midwest Book Review says, "Another simply riveting read from a master of the frontier fiction genre, 'Escape To Fort Abercrombie' is certain to be an enduringly popular and appreciated addition to any community library collections."

Book List says, "The bittersweet ending leaves the reader just the right amount of unfinished drama to complete the next chapter in his or her own mind. A good read."

Simar has spent her adult life in Pequot Lakes with her husband, Keith.

"I started writing historical fiction about the Great Sioux Uprising because I found out that my great-grandfather drove the stagecoach to Fort Abercrombie during the Civil War," Simar said with a laugh. "Once I got started, I didn't stop. I love both history and words. That makes for good historical fiction."

Simar began releasing her award-winning Abercrombie Trail series in 2009. The series recounts the story of Scandinavian immigrants during the 1862 Sioux Uprising. The series includes "Abercrombie Trail" (2009), "Pomme de Terre" (2010), "Birdie" (2011) and "Blooming Prairie" (2012).

Simar has received awards for her writing from The Western Writers of America, The Midwest Book Awards and The Willa Literary Awards in Historical Fiction. She credits Brainerd Writers Alliance and Heartland Poets for helping her get started.

She also has attended numerous writing workshops around the country to learn the writing craft.

"There's more to learn," Simar said. "If I live to be 100, I'll never learn it all."

A book launch celebration will be hosted by The Crossing Arts Alliance, 711 Laurel St., Brainerd, from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, May 15. Simar will do short readings at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.

"This is the book many people have been waiting for," Simar said. "I hope they stop by to help celebrate."

The event is free and open to the public and will include refreshments and live music. Simar's books will be available for sale.