Larry F. Sommers is a Wisconsin writer of historical fiction, seeking fresh meanings in our common past.
He wrote Price of Passage: A Tale of Immigration and Liberation, published under a traditional contract by DX Varos Publishing in August 2022. He won Honorable Mention in the 2018 Great American Story Contest for “The Lion’s Den,” a tale of childhood in the 1950s, and has published other stories like it in the online version of The Saturday Evening Post.
He edited The Congregationalist, a national church-related quarterly magazine, from 2009 to 2016 and previously worked 23 years for the State of Wisconsin as a writer, editor, photographer, writing coach, and public affairs consultant in a fast-paced workflow punctuated by crisis communication events.
He posts a weekly blog at https://LarryFSommers.com with varied reflections on Past and Present, Spirit and Faith, Story and Narrative, Writing and Writers.
His middle grades coming-of-age novel, Izzy Strikes Gold!, is in manuscript form seeking a publisher.
He is a fan of Strunk and White, the Chicago Manual of Style, and the serial comma.
“I seek a new understanding of ourselves and our world, leaping out as if by miracle from retrospective writing,” he says. “Reflective readers of all descriptions may hope for something true and enduring. My stories simply aim to supply whisperings from the past for the nourishment of readers’ hearts in the struggle of life.”
Price of Passage: A Tale of Immigration and Liberation
[Historical Fiction, 83,000 words]
It’s 1853. ANDERS, the law at his heels, sails from Norway to seek a life of honor and respect in America. MARIA, a boat builder’s daughter also seeking a new start, knows that she is just what Anders needs.
DANIEL, a young plantation runaway, flees northward to “free soil.” Newlyweds Anders and Maria find him in their barnyard, hiding from slave catchers who can legally capture and return him to his master. Daniel’s plight draws Anders, and drags Maria, into the conflict that is tearing the country apart.
Price of Passage is a tale of three pioneers whose lives depend on one another. The coming of civil war puts one in the Navy, one in the Army, and one at home, where she strives to save her farm and herself from a merciless creditor and finds a unique solution.
Their harrowing journeys—filled with death and despair, love and hope—take Anders, Maria, and Daniel from New Orleans up the Mississippi River, into America’s wild heartland.
"The Lion's Den," Honorable Mention short story in Best Short Stories from The Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest 2018 Kindle Edition2018