A middle grade and young adult fiction writer, Loren Gruber informs his prize-winning stories with Anglo-Saxon, Old Icelandic, American, and Native American lore.
He has completed his young adult historical fantasy manuscript set in Minnesota's North Woods. There, 16-year-old Caleb Wolfe sets out to find his father but finds himself. Caleb is the first of "The Windigo Watchers."
While revising "The Windigo Watchers," Gruber is half-way through its sequel, "Big Guns on the Lake."
Caleb's great-great-great grandson, John Anderson,finds himself battling something more than the Windigo.
He's caught between a Chicago family who sends a "mechanic" to take care of Julia's uncle, a member of the rival New Jersey family.
John Anderson's sweetheart, Julia Castiglione, is East Coast saucy; he's Minnesota nice.
Gruber began his writing career in third grade. He attempted to write a short story sequel to “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” but Montgomery Ward was not interested. Neither was Gene Autry.
Even his mother had laundry on her mind.
Washing his hands of fiction for the time being, and helping his mother fold clothes, he turned to other forms of expression.
Conceiving skirmishes around his Lincoln Log fort.
Lying about washing his hands and helping his mother.
One late afternoon, his mother made him dismantle the fort and deemed his lies about hygiene and chores as "stories." Loren decided to join Sky King Out West Somewhere.
That would show her!
As he was leaving with his Sky King Teleblinker Ring on his middle finger and a bandanna's worth of clean underwear and socks, his mother announced that she had baked his favorite. Banana cream pie.
Loren decided to delay his Westward trek until after dessert.
Years later, he chronicled his quest for the radio hero as “They Don’t Make Rings Like They Used To” in The Ozarks Mountaineer (July-Aug. 1991: 26).
Prior to that, a sale to The Upper Room (May-June 1960: 21) during high school made him think there was something to professional writing after all.
Nevertheless, he was sidetracked his senior year trying to master the craft of poetry.
That effort eventually netted the publication of poems in the United States and Iceland—and the indifference of Joseph Pulitzer.
Undaunted, but not content with living in a garret, Gruber kept his beard and re-discovered the joy of writing fiction: he created and voiced ADDY Award-winning radio advertisements featuring the adventures of several of his characters.
Gruber also scripted other forms of fiction. Radio news and continuity. Book reviews in Choice and elsewhere. Scholarly articles. Newspaper and magazine articles.
Chickenpox has nothing to do with poultry as “Name of disease derived from an English nickname” points out in Capper’s (31 Jan. 1995: 6).
"The Woman Behind 4-H” commemorates Jesse Field Shambaugh in Heartland View (Spring-Summer 1993: 54+).
Although some editors found his early writing laughable, Gruber’s humorous filler later appeared in Elizabeth Clarkson Zwart’s “Front Row” column of The Des Moines Tribune during the 1970s.
Two decades later, “Signs of the Season: Happy Hauladays” appeared in Reader’s Digest (Dec. 1997: 226).
As “The Muskie Professor” he is a regular on-air contributor to “In the Outdoors with Brad and Brian,” KMMO-FM, www.kmmo.com.
When he is not writing, teaching, or broadcasting, Gruber serves Jensen Jigs of Neenah, Wis., as a field tester and design consultant.
One of his clatterbait designs earned the name,"Loren's 'Old Reliable.'" His "Cass Lake Cisco" has netted muskie monsters. And the attention of fishing pros.
He retired as a muskie guide in 2009, however. Gruber discovered that the mighty muskellunge are fully capable of finding walleyes on their own.
SELECT CREATIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY
Gruber's prize-winning Middle Grade and YA fiction includes:
“Spoon Boy.” Hodgepodge: Short Stories and Poetry [MO] 6.21. (2000): 15-23.
“The Windigo Waits—and Watches.” Hodgepodge: Short Stories and Poetry [MO] 3.13. (1997): 6-10.
“Beowulf Earns His Name.” Hodgepodge: Short Stories and Poetry [MO] 2.10 (1996): 14-16.
His children's and middle grade poetry includes:
"The Tiger Said," Hodgepodge: Short Stories and Poetry [MO] 7.28. (2001): 11.
“Stephen’s Poem” (with his 3-year-old son's assistance), Lyrical Iowa (1977): 57.
Gruber has also published numerous adult mainstream poems in Lyrical Iowa.
Also: “Again, and Yet Again.” Huginn and Muninn [Iceland] 31 (1995): 4.
Haiku. American Haiku 1 (1963): 27.
SELECT ACADEMIC WRITING
Under royalty contract, and with assistant editors Meredith C. Gruber and Gregory K. Jember, he edited Essays on Old, Middle, Modern English and Old Icelandic for the Edwin Mellen Press.
With Br. Patrick J. Horner and Britton J. Harwood, Gruber edited “Middle English Research in Progress: 1977-1981,” Neuphilologische Mitteilungen (1978-1982).
His scholarly articles include:
“Inwit in ‘Barfield’s’ Beowulf: Epic and Movie.” In Geardagum XXVIII: Essays on Old and Middle English (2008):77-106.
“The Rites of Passage: Hávamál, Stanzas 1-5.” Scandinavian Studies 49 (1977):330-40.
“The Agnostic Anglo-Saxon Gnomes: Maxims I and II, Germania, and the Boundaries of Northern Wisdom.” Poetica [Tokyo] 6.2 (1976): 22-47.
Gruber recounted one method for students to gain confidence and to find their voice in “Shaping the Portfolio Course: The Uses of Direct Assessment and the Portfolio as a Critical Thinking Tool.” ERIC 5 Oct. 1992: ED 345 275.
MISCELLANEOUS PROFESSIONAL WRITING
MO Scribbles and MoMuskie News have published his writing and fishing tips, respectively.
Gruber has served as a board member of The Writers Hall of Fame, and as president of both the Missouri Writers Guild and the Iowa Poetry Association.
Member since 1996
Website: http://www.muskieprof.com and www.moval.edu
Published In Children's Market: