‘The Other Night I Had A Dream’ release party to be held today

St. Olaf pastor publishes his first children’s book



The Rev. David Grindberg is a man of many hats.

Not only is he the pastor at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Fort Dodge and not only did he start his own publishing company, but he recently authored his very first children’s book.

Titled “The Other Night I Had a Dream” and subtitled “Crushing Violence,” Grindberg said the inspiration for the book came from a Mark Twain quote.

“The quote was ‘Forgiveness is the fragrance the violence sheds on the heel that has crushed it,'” Grindberg said. “As I do with so many things, I printed it out and stuck it in my pocket to live with it for awhile.”

That quote inspired Grindberg to write a sermon, and part of that sermon included a short story, which formed the basis for his new book.

Although this is not Grindberg’s first published book, this is his first book that is geared specifically towards children.

“I personally did the book for my grandchildren,” Grindberg said. “But I also think it’s worth sharing.”

The plot of the book involves a kingdom where “people carry their anger on their back and a king who gives his life in the hopes that maybe they might change the way they live,” Grindberg said.

He described the book as “start(ing) very dark and at the very end of the book it’s a very bright, beautiful book.”

The book was published by Grindberg’s own publishing house, IndianGrass Books.

But he didn’t create the book on his own; Grindberg said he received help from Jillian Svendsen, a former art teacher at St. Olaf who now teaches in the state of Nevada.

Svendsen was responsible for illustrating the book.

“We have been working long distance for almost three years now,” he said. “Neither of us had ever done a children’s book and so we were literally starting from square one.”

Grindberg said they met in person a few times, but all their other contact happened online.

“And then we opened up a Google Doc subfile and shared with each other,” he said. “I put stuff up and we’d do almost like storyboards.”

They would give each other feedback on how they thought the story and illustrations should work.

“Our first meeting, she brought her portfolio of stuff she’d done,” Grindberg said, adding he would look at her illustrations to decide which ones were perfect for the book. “That’s too realistic. That’s too detailed. Let’s have something that sort of looks the part.”

Grindberg said he was very happy with how the final product turned out, and believes that he and Svendsen made a great team.

“We ended up with a city that is slightly off-kilter, this kingdom that the king lives in,” he said. “And the people have a very distinctive look as well. From one page to the next, this is Jillian’s work.”

The conversations the two had with each other sometimes got interesting.

“We would have weeklong discussions on what shade of purple to use,” Grindberg said.

This afternoon, Grindberg said the book will make its official debut with a celebration at Soldier Creek Winery. The event is from 3 to 5 p.m., and Grindberg said “we’re going to have a lot of fun.”

The celebration will include Matt Drees, the choir director for Fort Dodge Senior High, who will be providing Christmas music. There will also be snacks and refreshments available.

Grindberg said he will also be giving a presentation on how he came up with the book and the process of getting it published.

As for whether he’ll write another children’s book, Grindberg said he wants to wait and see how well his first book does. But he’s not opposed to it, and he said he would like to collabrate with Svendsen again.

In fact, he said he already has an idea for a possible follow-up story.