Minnesota author draws upon experiences in hometown of Quincy in writing latest novel

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Herman grew up in Quincy but eventually moved to Duluth, Minn., after spending time in Denver. He has a degree in anthropology and works as an archaeologist and musician. | Photo courtesy of Adam Herman

DULUTH, Minn. — People remember where they grew up, even after moving away. Adam Herman is one example of an author who has lived in many places but still draws inspiration from his hometown of Quincy when writing his novels.

Herman grew up in Quincy but eventually moved to Duluth, Minn., after spending time in Denver. He has a degree in anthropology and works as an archaeologist and musician.

Herman also works as an independent author. He publishes his own books through his publishing company called Teal Island, allowing Herman buy ISBN numbers for his books so he can publish them and get them into stores.

Herman’s most recent release is called “Villa Leila.” It’s about a single dad named Theo Beckett returning to his hometown of Kenton, Illinois after getting a phone call about his father being on hospice. He discovers a talking catfish named Mr. Jones while visiting a secret fishing spot his father never allowed him to go to. A river monster joins the story, adding an element of danger.

“The book is very, very silly,” Herman said. “It has a very Monty Pythonesque humor. It doesn’t take itself seriously, but there are real moments with real heart in it.” 

Adam Herman holds a copy of his latest novel, “Villa Leila.” | Photo courtesy of Adam Herman

Herman has considered making his newest novel part of a larger series but ultimately decided against it.

“I like stories that have a beginning and an end,” Herman said. “If you try … to drag it out, I think it takes away from the potency of the story.”

Even though a sequel is not likely, readers may see recurring characters in future books.

“There’s one character named Dino who’s a 70-year-old retired detective,” Herman said. “It would be fun to explore a backstory of his. I do want to write all my books … in the same universe.”

Kenton, the fictional town in Herman’s novel, is based on Quincy. Herman drew inspiration from his hometown when writing this novel about a river monster living in the Mississippi.

“Limbo” was Herman’s first book, published in 2018. It’s about two friends stuck in Purgatory in the afterlife.

Herman spoke about the potential for his next book to be inspired by stories within his new home in Duluth. He says he likely will take a break from writing, since he has been doing it for the past seven years.

Noah Klauser is a Quincy native and a Culver-Stockton College student serving as an intern for Muddy River News during the spring semester.

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