Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Meet Candace Simar, Writer, Author and Poet

Candace Simar is a writer and poet from Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, in the heart of Lake Country. As a life-long Minnesotan, the grandchild of immigrants, Candace nurtures a passion for Minnesota History. She is the author of the Spur Award-winning Abercrombie Trail Series which combines Candace's love of history intertwined with stories of her Scandinavian heritage. 
"Birdie", part of the Abercrombie Series, received the 2012 Spur Award for best juvenile fiction and is set in the west. "Blooming Prairie", also part of the series, was honored as a finalist for the 2013 Spur Award. 
"Farm Girls" was co-written with her sister, Angela F. Foster. This memoir written in poetry and prose celebrates growing up on a Minnesota dairy farm. 
Candace's books are also available in audio, e-book, and large print. She is a member of the Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, the Loft Literary Center and The Crossing Arts Alliance.
"Shelterbelts" is Candace's newest historical fiction. The book offers all the best of Candace's talents with a mesmerizing read. Her story chronicles Minnesota farming life during a tumultuous time period of World War II.  Candace draws on her Norwegian culture and crafts a compelling story whose characters' stories stay with you long after the book is closed. Grants from Five Wings, a non-profit organization, workshops, along with family and community support helped make "Shelterbelts" become a reality.  

Tia Fiskum, the old maid of Tolga Township, yearns to retain her hold on the family farm after her shell-shocked brother returns from World War II. The neighbor she hopes to marry chooses a town girl for his new wife.The Potato King listens to the radio preacher and prays for a miracle. Eddy Root fears a return to the asylum. A German war bride struggles to find acceptance in this tight-knit Scandinavian community. Woven throughout is the man who walks lizards, a grieving father, a disillusioned pastor, and the neighborhood gossipmonger. Shelterbelts chronicles the life of a community struggling to return to normal after war. This is a story true to history of those difficult times while rich in the complications of the human spirit.

The story is character driven and told from multiple points of view. Candace skillfully navigates the story, changing the narration from chapter to chapter with a different family in Tolga township but always keeping Tia and the town focal points of the story. The characters are well developed and everyone has a story to tell.  Readers feel their emotions as they react to community events and their relationships with neighbors. Each character is passionate about finding their place in the world despite the cruelties of war and having to live on the land. One of the best points of Candace's writing is she makes you care about her characters and what happens to them as the story unfolds. 
Candace draws upon her own farming experiences and infuses realism into plot development. Even though Candace grew up in the 50's her meticulous research for the World War II time period makes you feel a sense of place and time as if you are actually experiencing the events. Toga Township is a composite of Candace's childhood home, neighboring farmers, church and school.  
Currently Candace has several writing projects she is developing. But as one of her loyal fans I can only hope someday Candace will write a sequel to "Shelterbelts." My interest is piqued as to where these characters' lives may take them.  I lost my heart to each of them. 

Visit Candace at learn more about her writings, book events, guest blogs and book ordering. 

I was fortunate to be able to spend some time with Candace at her home in northern Minnesota.  This is where the writer spends the majority of her time in her office at a very large L shaped desk, the envy of every writer.  
Candace is a proud recipient of the 2012 Spur Award from Western Writers of America. It was an impressive looking plaque as well as a distinguished award hanging on her wall.  
The framed enlarged book covers from each of Candace's 5 books made a creative wall arrangement. 

Candace lives in a semi rural area surrounded by her 10 "girls" which no doubt provided her with inspiration as she wrote about Tolga Township, a small farming community in her newest book "Shelterbelts." 
The book can be ordered following this link 


  1. I love Candace's writing. Excited to read her new book.

  2. Candace is not only a great writer, she is the amazing person to just sit and talk to. I wish I had more time to do just that with her!