FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Iron Range Novel Launches Kickstarter Campaign
Virginia, MN – May 20, 2014 – More than 120 years after iron was discovered on Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range, a woman whose family traces back to those pioneer days is telling the history of the early mining years. And she’s using the fundraising organization Kickstarter to get her book in print.
Cheryl Gordon, of Albuquerque, NM, publisher and producer of the novel, Mesabi Pioneers, says the idea for the novel has been germinating for decades.
“The idea was my father’s ,” she says. Russell Hill, Gordon’s father, who died in 2011, originally outlined the novel back in 1968. “He wanted to tell the story of the men who not only dug the iron out of the ground, but also the men and women who built the Range culture and community.”
Working with Maryland based author J.L. Smith, the book’s co-author, Gordon has spent the years since her father died working to write the novel. “I promised him I would finish his story,” Gordon says. “When I met J.L., I knew I’d found my father’s voice reborn.”
Gordon found Smith on a website that links creative people with projects. The two connected immediately over the rich and diverse cultural history of the immigrants who settled in northern Minnesota.
Using Kickstarter to fund the book’s publication came about as a natural extension of that history. “The Iron Range has always been a diverse, yet tight knit, community,” says Gordon. “Kickstarter is the same thing: disparate groups of people coming together to build something grand.”
Adds Smith, “Our Kickstarter campaign seeks to bring together Rangers, history buffs, lovers of historical fiction, anyone, really, who enjoys a good read. We want to use this modern day community to help us get our story out there.”
Kickstarter is a vibrant online community where backers join creators to fund projects as diverse as games, art, music, design, technology, and writing. Since its launch in 2009, 6.1 million people have pledged $1 billion, funding more than 61,000 creative projects. Backers of Mesabi Pioneers receive rewards such as electronic copies of the novel, signed hardcover or paperback versions, and framed cover art.
Mesabi Pioneers tells the story of Arthur Maki, a Finnish immigrant hired in 1891 by the ambitious Merritt brothers to help build a new mining venture in the dense pine woods of northern Minnesota. As the mine expands, the stretched finances of his employers threaten all that Arthur has worked hard to build.
The project has already generated some interest on the Range. The Virginia Area Historical Society, in addition to assisting with research, will host a book launch party.
To find out more, or become a backer, go to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mesabigirl/mesabi-pioneers. The Kickstarter campaign runs through June 15, Fathers’ Day.
CONTACT: Jeff Smith