June 19 Speaker: Fred Plocher

Former Rotarian and newly published author, Fred Plocher with his new book "Stealing Watermelons."
Former Rotarian and newly published author, Fred Plocher with his new book “Stealing Watermelons.”

Fred Plocher, former Rotary colleague and past-president (1984-85)) of Chaska Rotary, returned from Arizona to spend the summer with family. The big news is that Fred has become a published author with his first book, “Stealing Watermelons.” This adult novel is a moving story that takes place during the placid 1950s and turbulent 1960s and 1970s. It ranges from upper-Midwest to Asia and Europe, Job creation, entrepreneurship and military veterans’ employment, all issues relevant today, are part of the story.

Fred was introduced by John Zirbes who orchestrated a Q & A session.:
Q: So what made you want to write a book?
A: Having lived in Victoria, graduating from Hamline and being in Army Intelligence and retiring to Tucson, Ariz., Fred joined a writing group in his neighborhood and was encouraged by others to write a book (it had always been on
his bucket list) and believing that he could do it So he just did it!

Q: Why did you choose the title “Stealing Watermelons?”
A: In the book, stealing watermelons together bonded the two main characters, thus taking risk and getting rewards or failure. When asked if he had ever stolen watermelons, he said, “On the advice of my attorney.”

Q: So what part of the story is from your history?
A: It’s fiction, although I changed the names slightly from friends in the area using words such as the Flein Bank.

The Q & A went on for some time. Fred noted that it took 3 years to write the manuscript working primarily each morning. The book is 93,000 words and he submitted it to 33 publishing companies and was rejected by all. Then he turned to a local publisher, North Star Press, and the rest is history. It will be available in almost every bookstore and on Amazon. He noted there were 4 typos in the book and he was unhappy about that, but they assured him on the next printing they would be fixed. Fred shared the difficulty of getting a book published and shared his humility in completing this project. Congratulations, Fred!