Retired English teacher still learning in new career

By Nicole Brodzik
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Duane Eide spent 35 years as a Mound high school English teacher. Now, as retiree of over 20 years, Eide’s never far from the Mound Westonka High School doors.
“It’s funny,” he said. “Sometimes I’d turn around and just look at it. I’m never far away.”
Eide’s condominium has a view of the school from its front window. He’s not working in a classroom these days, but he’s still using the writing skills he said he hopes he passed on to his students every day in his novels.
Eide has published five novels and has a sixth in manuscript form. The English PhD estimated he’s spent over $3,000 on marketing his novels in the last year and would like to avoid spending that kind of cash on his most recently finished work, “Tropical Lure.” He’s hopeful that a major publisher will pick it up and help with the fees of printing and distribution.
“It’s been seen by 12 different publishers,” Eide said. “Everyone says it’s great, but I haven’t gotten any offers. It cost me almost a thousand to publish my last book.”
But that cost comes a pretty big reward, said Eide. After growing up on a farm and not doing well in grade school, Eide said he never saw himself with a successful teaching career, let alone a second one in novel writing.
“I had a lot to overcome early in life,” he said holding a copy of his favorite book “Leaving Home” on his living room couch. “It’s great seeing this. Do you see who’s name is on the cover? That’s mine. It’s really satisfying.”
Looking at his name printed across the spines of all five of his novels, Eide said the writing in them was shaped by a much more personal form of narrative.
“I’ve been journaling daily for 30 years,” he said. “That kind of writing is so important for developing your personal writing style. It really gives you practice for those language skills.”
Eide said the journal helped shape the way he writes more than what he writes about. He said he gets out what he needs to say about his life in the journals and said he uses his imagination for the novels he writes for publication.
That imagination has been running wild for the last five years, as he’s put out all five novels in that short time span.
Eide says he never saw himself publishing one novel, let alone five, but notes he thinks it should show everyone that you can do anything you set your mind to.
“You can accomplish a lot if you’ve got the determination,” he said.
The next step for Eide is to get a publisher before sending “Tropical Lure” to the press, and after that he’s ready to get going on his seventh book, which is already in the works.
“I’m always going,” Eide said. “Hopefully (“Tropical Lure”) gets picked up and I can really get going on the next one.”