Local man co-authors science fiction paperback

Jerrett Praske, aka Jerrettt James, wrote "Diggers" in colloboration with Shannon Heather, an online friend. (Photo by Bruce Strand)
Jerrett Praske, aka Jerrett James, of Elk River, wrote the kids’ Sci Fi story “Diggers” in a joint effort with Shannon Heather, an online friend. (Photo by Bruce Strand)


by Bruce Strand, Arts editor

All his life, Jerrett Praske says, he’s had this uneasy feeling.

“I’ve always felt that we are being watched,” he said, “by something much bigger.”

Praske, 38, of Elk River, decided last year to turn this feeling into something fun by creating a science fiction story. He collaborated with an online friend, Shannon Heather of Colorado, to write and publish “Diggers the sharp edge of the universe,” a 205-page paperback.

“It’s about this kid, Finn, who is a ‘digger’ in space,” said Praske, who uses the pen name Jerrett James. “His family has been on the space ship for several generations, so he has never seen Earth. He takes the classes to be a digger.”

When the ship smacks into an object in space, Finn and his buddies steal a digger ship to investigate. To their shock, they find it’s a piece of glass, and that they are all just tiny objects on a microscope slide, being studied by giants through the microscope. Then they have to find ways to communicate with the “giants.”

Added Heather: “Jerrett and I live on opposite sides of the country, but we have a lot of things in common. We both love a good story. We both love anything sci-fi. We both have wild imaginations. One day, Jerrett told me about an idea he had for a book. A few months later we were emailing ideas back and forth.”

The book is written for probably about the 10-to-15-age range. It has a website (www.diggersbook.com) and is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Heather wrote a previous novel, “Talon’s Reach” and published it with her small firm Expressions Ink. She published “Digger” right around New Year’s.

Praske, a 1992 graduate of ERHS, operates a cleaning and maintenance service and still lives in his hometown.

In second grade, enthralled by the children’s classic “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White, he wrote a “sequel” to it which his teacher, impressed,  read to the class, he said. He also enjoyed creative writing class in high school, but never got around to anything substantial until “Diggers.”