Making his debut

Leon Doom of rural Cottonwood publishes his first novel

Leon Doom of rural Cottonwood browses through his first novel, “Our Red Blue Family,” while sitting in his favorite summer chair on his front porch where he says he spends many summer evenings reading, one of his favorite hobbies.

COTTONWOOD

Move over Don Muenchow. Step aside Nick Kissner. There’s a new country writer in the area.

Leon Doom of rural Cottonwood recently self-published a novel called “Our Red Blue Family,” using Lulu Publishing in Indianapolis, Indiana.

“It is a fictional story detailing the life of a family living in rural Minnesota,” Doom said. “It deals with rural issues including financial challenges, mental health issues and political turmoil among family members. It delves into how mental health can cause financial strain and the stigma that comes with that.”

The book did not evolve overnight, according to Doom, who lives on a farm and herds cattle. As busy as that keeps him, he was able to use the winter to write this novel at his home computer.

“(Farming) gave me an off-season to write the book,” he said. “it also gave me a rural perspective for the story, but the book isn’t necessarily about a farm.”

Doom added that all of his life experiences come out in this fictional novel in the various characters, but not all in one.

One life experience, he said, was reading on the front porch during summer evenings.

When asked how his wife, Deb, and their three grown children reacted to the book, he said that they had a similar reaction as he had: It was hard to read because it was written by someone they know.

“They found it difficult to read because I wrote it,” he said, “but they were glad I took a chance on something different. It’s hard for me to read it.

“I don’t believe anyone will take offense to anything in the book,” he added. “They might object to parts, but I tried to represent all sides.”

“I just had a lot of different ideas about several topics that combined into a fictional book,” Doom said. “Fiction is easier to write than non-fiction.”

Doom’s writing style included typing a paragraph or two, checking it for typographical errors and moving on, never returning to it. The title came last but depicts the political differences aired in the book and that fact that they are found in one family.

Doom was encouraged to write by one of his college professors.

“My decision to write was influenced by Jack Hickerson, former professor at Southwest Minnesota State University,” he said. “I tried to look him up but haven’t been able to find him.”

Eventually, the novel was ready to be published. The softcover book is available on Lulu.com, amazon.com and at the Columbian Imports store in Marshall.

“I was a little disappointed in the assistance in marketing from Lulu,” Doom said. “It was a little weak, but (Lulu would work for) any author who wants to do a lot of their own marketing.”

Doom’s family includes his wife, Deb, who works for Schwan, daughter, Kendall and husband, Dana, who live in St. Paul with their son, Oscar, 3; daughter Camille, a lawyer in Charlotte, North Carolina, and son, Winston, who is a statistician for the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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