Minnesota author Fredrick Soukup’s debut novel, “Bliss,” launched March 2, merely weeks before the state’s stay-at-home order began. Despite a postponed Minnesota book tour, the author’s novel had made a name for itself in the independent literary community, a news release stated.

“Bliss” was recognized with a 2020 Independent Publisher Book Award and named a finalist in the 2020 Eric Hoffer Book Award.

The work of fiction, partially set in Minnesota, paints a picture of love complicated by a young couple’s socioeconomic and racial differences. In addition to earning an IPPY bronze medal for Best Regional Fiction of Great Lakes, “Bliss” was named a finalist in the Eric Hoffer Book award, an honor that goes to thought-provoking books that illuminate, redirect or progress thought.

“The outpouring of support for ‘Bliss’ from the Minnesota community has been overwhelming,” Soukup said of launching his first novel during a pandemic. “I feel especially grateful to readers in my home state.”

Soukup will donate all author proceeds from sales through September to Second Harvest Heartland, one of the nation’s largest hunger relief programs in Minnesota.

Soukup was due to receive his IPPY in New York City last month; however, the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus.

Interested readers can order the book in paperback from Regal House Publishing, bookstores, and major outlets.

Soukup is a St. Paul-based literary fiction author and a graduate of Pequot Lakes High School and St. John’s University. He has published works in Fluent Magazine and Sou’wester. He was a semifinalist for the 2017 American Short Fiction Prize and shortlisted by C&R Press for their 2019 Book Award.