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Decorah author makes her debut with children's book Late Side of Midnight

Posted: Mon, Jan 11, 2021 9:50 AM
Photo courtesy of Ashely Heier

Decorah author JoAn Stevenson, with Fox Pointe Publishing, will be releasing a new children's book called Late Side of Midnight on January 20th.

Illustrated by Kim Hanzo, Stevenson's book tells the story of a little boy who can't sleep. In the story, animals he sees out of his bedroom window come in and visit him. Stevenson says, "The story just came to me! I wrote it as a bedtime story."

Stevenson might be too busy herself to find time to sleep as she has several other books in the works. She hopes to work with Fox Pointe Publishing again on editing and illustrating a fairy tale she wrote over 10 years ago that has characters based off of seven of her grandchildren. Stevenson states, "I am really enjoying it! It is keeping me very busy! It would be great if more of my books are published and more children read them. I hope that I can continue to come up with more stories!"

No matter the story's topic or characters, one of Stevenson's goals with her writing is to help a child feel empowered. One way she encourages this empowerment is through reading and writing. She says, "I do think that we all have one (creative side) and I encourage everyone, especially children, to express their feelings and ideas through writing or some other creative outlet they enjoy! It's important! Reading as a child - getting lost in the story- was my saving grace. Reading and writing go hand in hand!"

Another one of Stevenson's goals is to "add joy to what can be the difficult task of learning how to read."  To accomplish this in Late Side of Midnight, she wrote the story in a rhyming, poetry style. She explains, "Rhyming the words is more challenging for me but to create a story in rhyme is also sort of fun! I do know that many children's stories are written in this style because rhyming engages the child and teaches them how language works. A rhyming book helps children learn how to read by anticipating the rhyming words."

When Late Side of Midnight is released on January 20th, it will be available locally at Sparrow's Candles & Gifts, Dragonfly Books, and The Landing Market in Decorah or online here. For more information about the author, check out this link