Rebecca Fjelland Davis is an award-winning author and a record-setting senior cyclist.
White Bear Lake plays a role in Davis’ upcoming novel, P.O.W: Pastor’s Other Wife, though Davis says she may give the town a fictional identity.
“That part of the story is based on when my husband at the time and I were living in White Bear,” says Davis. “My husband was an associate pastor, and I was the ‘pastor’s wife.’ My husband had attended a traditional seminary, and I had grown up in a very traditional church, so I had an idea in my head about what a pastor’s wife was expected to be.” Davis says that her husband’s church was much more liberal than the seminary he attended, and the church didn’t hold these expectations of her as a pastor’s wife, but she was still reacting to the preconceived notions she had.
"The role I thought I was expected to play didn’t resonate with me," says Davis.
Davis’ book, a mystery titled Slider’s Son published by North Star Press in September 2018, won the Midwest Book Award for young adult fiction. Other books Davis authored are Medusa Tells All, Chasing AllieCat, Jake Riley: Irreparably Damaged, Girl Meets Boy and other books for younger readers, including Beaches and Bicycles and Zoo Animals.
She received her Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Minnesota State University, Mankato and is now a professor. She teaches composition, literature and children’s literature, creative writing and humanities at South Central College in Mankato.
Davis is not only an acclaimed author and a professor—she is one tough woman. She is a two-time women’s champion at the National 24-Hour Challenge, a bike race near Grand Rapids, Mich. Davis set an age-group record for women 40–44. She rode 391 miles in 24 hours. In June 2018, Davis set another record—she returned to the National 24-Hour Challenge and set the high record for women ages 60–64. She rode 345.9 miles, beating the previous age-group record by more than four miles. This race held its own unique challenge for Davis—she had been on hiatus from biking after a ruptured brain aneurysm in 2015. She returned to training in January 2018.
Davis logs in several thousand miles on her bike every year, she says. Cycling plays a role in one of Brook’s books—Chasing AllieCat features a female competitive cyclist. “I think that growing up on a farm in Iowa and having a passion for riding horses translated into a love for biking,” says Davis.
South Africa is another of Davis’ passions. Davis says that she read the novel The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay in the 1990s, and the book sparked a lasting interest. Davis shares her love for the country by leading tours there.
It’s hard to know where Davis’ adventures will take her, but we’re watching to see what’s next. Keep on the lookout for P.O.W: Pastor’s Other Wife and see if you can recognize our city!