Author Alfred Wellnitz is the grandson of a Prussian immigrant of whom he knows only a few facts.

Alfred Wellnitz is now retired from careers in engineering and real estate and lives with his wife in Bloomington, Minnesota, where he devotes his time to writing novels and short stories.

For those interested…more about the author.


There were many individuals who contributed to the publication of Finding the Way in many ways. I received much needed encouragement during the conceptual phases of the book from a writing group that I belonged to. Three of the writing group members, Laurel Ostrow, Joan Petroff, and Susan Swanson labored through an early draft of the book. To their credit, they were able to overlook the point of view inconsistencies, wondering tenses and mechanical errors, among other things, and convinced me that the story had potential. Though encouraged to continue, I was fully aware that what I had written needed extensive revising and editing before it would be in publishable form. I also needed to fill in historical information about the many places and events that were encountered during the travels of the main character and his friend. I was very fortunate to have an individual intercept one of my early queries for information about the area in Prussia from where my grandfather and immigrated. One day I had an e-mail message from a Janusz Justyna, a resident of Zlotow, Poland. Zlotow had been Flatow, West Prussia before WWII and was the town from where my grandfather had immigrated. Janusz volunteered to help me. He provided current and historical pictures of Zlotow/Flatow and information about the history and geography of the area. He reviewed the first two chapters of the book and made important corrections and suggestions. I am much indebted to Janusz for the contributions he made to the book.

A number of number public institutions provided valuable historical information used in the book.. My wife Joan and I visited historical societies in Baltimore Maryland, Chicago Illinois, Saint Paul Minnesota and Pierre South Dakota. These institutions were valuable resources used to make the historical content of Finding the Way authentic. The Chippewa Valley Museum and the adjacent Paul Bunyon lumber camp rendition in Eau Claire Wisconsin were the source of much of the historical information about the lumbering industry used in the book. The Adams Museum in Deadwood South Dakota was a valuable source of 1876 gold rush history.

After three years of writing and revising, I felt the book was as ready as I could make it. One thing that I had become aware of while learning the writing and publishing business was that the possibility of an unknown author being published by a major publisher was almost as good as winning the lottery. After retiring from two different professional careers, I was not a young man. I didn’t feel I had the time to deal with those odds and did not attempt to find a publisher or an agent to promote the book. I selected a print on demand publisher, iUniverse and self published Finding the Way.

Part of the publishing process was an editorial and copy editing review of the book. The editorial editing done by iUniverse was very helpful. The book was given good marks overall by the
editorial edit, but a number of weaknesses in the narrative were identified and suggestions made to improve them. The copy editing that followed found major difficulties with, punctuation, spacing, chapter separation, formatting, and other mechanics associated with the preparation for printing.

Two people came to my rescue. One was my oldest son Todd who, despite a busy schedule as an associate professor at Colorado State University, took the time to do a thorough top down content edit of the book. The resulting revisions improved the book substantially. The other person was Deanna Lackoff. She is a talented editor who was able to clean up all of the mechanical errors and made the manuscript ready for publishing. To these two I owe much for whatever success the book enjoys.

In addition to those individuals mentioned, there is my wife Joan who has been patient with my writing obsession and many other friends and acquaintances such as brother-in-law Bob Helgeson, who consoled me on the rules of poker, and neighbor .Roma Foti who provided information on the city of Baltimore.

There are others, some of whom I may have forgotten. To all—Thank you very much.

Since publication individuals are still contributing to the success of the book. My niece, Robin Goldstein, has designed this web site. Editorial writer Jennifer Neilson did a real nice article for the book in the Watertown Public Opinion as did Rebecca Cruse in the Pierre Capital Journal.

Available from, Barnes &, iUniverse, Inc. others, or your local book store.

Copyright Al Wellnitz. All rights reserved.