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  • Writer's pictureJoie Lesin

Catch-Latch, Books and Magic

Updated: May 14

I have a love-love relationship with books. Always have. I have a snippet of a memory from the house my family lived in when I was four and five. The white painted, side by side, two story home back in Massachusetts where we lived before pulling up roots and moving to Minnesota. In this house, on the second floor was a little storage closet with one of those tiny brass catch and latch handles. I liked turning the tiny, oval knob and feeling the catch snap into place. Inside this storage closet, I remember books. In this early memory, I see dozens of children’s books.

Joie Lesin, author of speculative fiction, "Catch-Latch, Books and Magic"

As with any memory from so early in life, I wonder over the accuracy of what I see in my mind’s eye whenever I think of this closet full of magic.


Books are and always have been a form of magic to me. As a small child, I loved to be read to and I loved to make up stories. I had these miniature imaginary friends much like the characters from The Littles and the stories they told!


As soon as I learned to print, I started recording stories. It felt like the right thing to do for a quiet little girl who found she enjoyed spending time with books. I viewed Sarah Crewe, The Little Princess, as that friend who taught me about India and how to make the best of a sad experience. She helped me learn empathy. Jo from Little Women showed me that other girls like me dreamt of writing books for others to read.


As I grew, I discovered so much in the world of books and stories. Countless have stayed with me through the years. There are, also, those that I’ve wished I hadn’t read so I could experience them again for the very first time.


In upcoming posts, I plan to talk about some of those very books. In doing so, I’ll explore and remind myself of their influences on my own stories and why I write what I do.


Until next time, what books have stayed with you long after you finished them?



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About the Author

Thanks to a family with a grand imagination and a love for books of all kinds, Joie learned to value a heartfelt story. Early on she realized writing and storytelling were as essential to her as oxygen. She recorded her first story at six and finished her first novel at twelve. The Passenger is Joie’s first published novel.

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