Pequot Lakes native earns recognition for book

The book cover of "Bliss" written by Fredrick Soukup. Submitted Photo

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.

Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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