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"The boy in the story didn't follow me while I was writing the story; I followed the boy and wrote about the adventures that he had." -- Willis Thoen, Author (Contributed photo)

A lasting mark on the heart, blossoming into a book

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For Alexandria's Willis Thoen, most of his writing career has been spur-of-the-moment, and this is no different for his latest book, The Planter.

"I just like to write down things that happen or that pass through my mind," Thoen noted. "And this book was the same. I woke up one morning at 3 o'clock and decided I wanted to write it. The ideas started and they just kept coming."

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