Listening Point: A Novel

As the climate crisis fuels mass migration and social unrest in the 2060s, Andrew Hochevar, a young priest in northern Minnesota, has a mysterious, powerful encounter one hot August day at Sigurd Olson's Listening Point. The experience upends his traditional understanding of God, the Church, and his own calling. It also propels him along a spiritual journey that brings healing to the sick, puts him at odds with his bishop, and threatens a growing movement of white supremacists.

It’s a fast-paced story about the importance of “listening with inward ears,” as Sigurd Olson put it.

All good story ideas begin with a “what if.” As Sigurd’s biographer and someone who has spent a lifetime writing and teaching about nature and the human spirit as well as major environmental issues, I began wondering a few years ago how Sigurd Olson’s writings might influence people decades from now and a century after his most prolific period of the 1950s and 1960s.

At ordination, a priest makes a promise of obedience to the bishop. The root meaning of the word “obedience” is “to listen to.” A Catholic priest torn between listening to his bishop and listening to what Sigurd Olson called “the God within” provides both the necessary narrative tension and the spiritual dimension that Sigurd saw as foundational for our crises and their solutions.

You don't need to consider yourself religious to enjoy this book. I have written it with an audience in mind consisting largely of readers who see themselves as "spiritual but not religious" or as spiritual seekers of one sort or another. The kind of people who have loved Sigurd's books.

(November 2022) I am ready to start researching potential literary agents. I've never needed to do that for my six nonfiction books and understand it could take quite some time. Meanwhile, I'm planning a follow-up novel and may spend some more time on something else I also enjoy, making videos for my recently-started YouTube channel.