PHS Graduate, teacher/author shares The Lucky Clover, just released novel
Living in the Badlands of western South Dakota and forced into crime after one wrong decision is the basis of the new fiction novel, “The Lucky Clover”. Author Nick Heeb’s first novel was released Friday, January 18th. Nick, as most of Haakon County remembers him, graduated from Philip High School in 2006, then went on to receive his Bachelor’s Degree in History from Black Hills State University, Spearfish, S.D. in 2012. In 2018 he received a Masters Degree in Fine Arts (MFA) from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
Nick, the son of Ed and Becky Heeb of rural Midland, SD, grew up ranching and farming in Haakon County, where work ethic is very strong and family values are on the top shelf of life.
After graduating from Black Hills State University, Heeb moved to New Mexico to give fiction writing a try. He then received the chance to further his education. “After my time in New Mexico, I was accepted into the MFA program at Bowling Green State University, where I studied under Wendell Mayo,” said Heeb. During his time in the program he taught English, Composition, and Creative Writing. Heeb’s final two semesters at BGSU were spent fine-tuning the manuscript of his novel while also going to school full-time and teaching at the university. Upon graduation, he moved to Spearfish, S.D. and is currently teaching English at Black Hills State University.
Heeb names one book that drew him to the idea of writing a novel. “After reading Cormac McCarthy’s “Child of God” and experiencing the effect it had on me, I decided I wanted to someday do that for others, to write a book a person could read, and say. . . . .I’ve felt that way, too. I’m not alone,” said Heeb.
When asked to explain his passion for writing and sharing literature with others Heeb stated: "Literature is a record of history, a record of one’s viewpoint, a way to bridge generations, to reach across social and cultural barriers and make a connection with someone you’ve never met, someone who may live long after you’re gone, someone with an entirely different upbringing and set of ideas from your own. This is the connection that matters. One’s language, race, religion doesn’t matter where literature is concerned. Literature exists to open the mind, to share ideas, to spread knowledge. I believe in these things. That is why I write.”
Nick does give credit to two high school teachers who helped influence his passion for writing. “I have a couple Lauras to thank: Laura Jacobs and Laura O’Connor, both of whom were my English teachers,” said Heeb. “Laura Jacobs had us read John Steinbeck, who ultimately became an influence on me as a writer, while I discovered a passion for literature and the techniques of creative writing, an understanding of authorial choices, through Laura O’Connor’s in-class discussions."
The effort and hard work finally paid off for Heeb. “My novel was accepted by Shotgun Honey in the fall of 2017, after I’d shopped it around for about six months to agents and other independent presses” stated Heeb. “I’m at work on my next novel; that is to say I’m at work on three separate novels simultaneously."
Heeb said “The Lucky Clover”, very simply put is, “A novel about a man living in the Badlands of western South Dakota who is forced into crime after he makes one wrong decision. The entire novel takes place in the Badlands, in a fictional town called Paradise, and it follows the descent of a man as he falls into a life of violence after trying—and failing—to live an honest existence. The novel explores the themes of greed, loyalty, and fate.”
The novel is available now, where most books are sold. “A Kindle version is also available,” said Heeb. A book launch for the novel is scheduled for Tuesday, February 5th, in Spearfish, S.D. It will be held at 7:30 pm at the Black Box Theater in Woodburn Hall on Black Hills State University’s campus.