Freeport alderperson and retired executive, James Berberet, published his first novel in early November  available in both paperback and eBook.  

His novel, Quest for the Pulitzer, is a story about the future of Illinois, what it could become, if changes are made. Now. What transpires in Quest may never come to pass, but if it does, it’ll be labeled Political Fantasy, a new genre in fiction. 

Berberet is a retired Executive Director of the local community college foundation and a former President/COO and Vice  President of Sales and Marketing for more than 35 years at several international manufacturing corporations based in  Freeport and Rockford. 

Berberet explained his writing passion and process, “As with many authors I’ve talked to, the story idea is born, begins to  develop, then takes on a life of its own. Heading this way and that way on different occasions. Changing inspirations.  Sometimes even letting the keyboard direct the narrative.” 

“What gradually emerges in Quest is the story of an inquisitive Journalism student and a maturing writer in his late 20s,  West Schubert, from Scales Mound, IL, who desires to earn the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism. West calls upon his digging deeper zeal to change Illinois by working with a motley but strategic crew to seek the downfall of the “Kingpin,” Illinois’  House of Representative leader Mulligan.” 

Berberet said he called on his years of business experience in manufacturing, observations about the decline of Illinois,  the challenging manufacturing and small business environment, and more recently as an alderperson for the City of  Freeport to explore and creatively conjure up what could be done to change the course of the continuing downward spiral  of Illinois. 

Journeys through northwest Illinois, a developing personal relationship between West and his inspiration Eve, and to-the point “knock-em-down” stories in state-wide media provide an undercurrent in Quest. Plus, hope for change and positivity  flow through Quest. Coming to Illinois are thousands of new manufacturing jobs, relocating from both coasts. Coming to  Illinois is DisneyAg, an entertainment and educational theme park focused on Illinois’ contribution to feeding the world. Gone will be gerrymandering of districts. Maybe even cronyism. Bringing on term limits and solutions to unfunded  pension liabilities. 

Berberet emphasized that “for my readers of Quest, the story develops as Political Fantasy

“But the potential for change, the need for change, is very real. This state needs to change.” 

Berberet added, “It will take someone, some organization with no political ax to grind to challenge the status quo. New  leadership is needed. They must be creative. They must bring our citizens together, and start to squeeze out the current, so  called leadership. That’s our future, if the truth be told.” 

Print editions and eBook Kindle versions of Quest for the Pulitzer are available at

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