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Penning Pictures

Picture in Cooley’s head becomes children’s book

COAL CITY — When Stephani Cooley started writing poetry, she was heavily influenced by the emo music she listened to.

“The poetry started with music,” said Cooley. “Everything kind of just spun off of that.”

As such, the poems that made up her first collection, “Fading Images,” were, as she puts it, “depressing.”

Now a mother of three and in billing for a physical therapy office, the Coal City author’s new release seems to represent a change of pace.

It’s a children’s book called “Little Maggie Rae and the Rainy Day,” and tells the story of a little girl who learns a little rain isn’t so bad.

“I started this story with just the picture in my head,” said Cooley. “Then came the title.”

Thirty minutes later, Cooley said, she was finished.

Now instead of music, Cooley draws inspiration from other sources.

“My kids are crazy imaginative,” she said. “I could probably just write down what they say and have a book.”

Cooley — whose husband Paul wrote the young adult novel, “The River Witch,” in 2005 — has plans to write another children’s book for the kids who come into the therapy office she works at.

“The kids tend to be a little scared when they come in,” she said. “I think it would be nice to write something that would make them feel better.”

She also plans to write two more “Little Maggie Rae” books. One will be about Maggie and her dog and another will be about going to ballet.

“Little Maggie Rae and the Rainy Day,” out now from Publish America, is available at online book retailers.

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