Southfielder Spotlight on Francine R. Stevenson: Author

February 25, 2022

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Imagination and Nostalgic feelings

Francine Stevenson always has imaginative ideas popping in her head and put her pen to paper to author her children’s book titled “Mashed Potatoes In The Sky.”

As Stevenson’s first self-published work, the book is already a popular read and is currently available on Amazon, Kindle Unlimited, and selling in four store locations; three local stores and a Toledo, Ohio retailer.

Categorized as a children’s book, “Mashed Potatoes In The Sky” is written for adults as well. Ideal for story-time sessions, her children’s book certainly has parent appeal. From the customer reviews posted, it appears that families are really enjoying the book. (Please see reviews below.)

“Quite a few adults have shared with me that my book invites feelings of nostalgia.” Stevenson believes that adults often need to be reminded to feel like a kid again.

Without one more excuse that she was unprepared to tackle the process involved with writing a book, Stevenson fought past apprehension and got it done, with the first publication in February 2021. “I was adamant and I challenged myself. I was unequivocally determined to complete the process from beginning to end,” she said.

Stevenson ran a free download Amazon/Kindle Unlimited promotion for customers before the end of November 2021 and “Mashed Potatoes In The Sky” ranked #26 for the week. In addition to all the excitement on Amazon, she recently completed a radio/podcast interview with "Chat & Spin" located in Ireland/United Kingdom.


Amazon Rank #26
Amazon/Kindle Unlimited Rank #26

Family and Background

Stevenson was born and raised in Detroit, but has lived in Southfield for twelve years and likes that the City is centrally located with a lot to offer the community. She has six sisters and five brothers and half of her family currently live in Southfield as well. “There’s such a comforting, coziness to Southfield,” she shared.

Stevenson has made her own mark as a writer; however, she was born into a family of writer influencers, including her siblings, whom she credits. One of her sisters that studied Language & Linguistics for her Graduate program often utilized Stevenson to review her papers. That proofing experience was one of the many catalysts to her writing success. “Several of my brothers have their Master’s degree and are extremely talented writers, also. There’s so much more I can say about my other siblings as well…it’s definitely in the genes.” She admires people who are proficient at writing and learned early on tips as a young child. “I watched a ton of programs on PBS and I loved “Reading Rainbow” and “Sesame Street. PBS is still one of my favorite stations,” Stevenson added.

Stevenson shared that her talented father is a very skilled writer and wrote a beautiful book of poetry that has been tucked away for years, yet to be published. But, she understands that self-publishing a story is no easy task. "Writing a book is definitely vigorous," said Stevenson. Most notable, it was her mother that shined a bright spotlight on publishing possibilities. “My Mom was the first to take a step into book writing and successfully published “Behold His Glory.” It documents a plethora of miraculous experiences detailing how God intervened in our lives over the years.”

Writing Process

For her book “Mashed Potatoes In The Sky,” Stevenson said her writing process didn’t contain any particular flow. On many days the process was random, but filled with creativity and spontaneity. "At any given moment, I'd grab a piece of paper and jot down a thought, here and there. A few days to a week later, a section of rhyme would pop into my head and the book came together piece by piece over a short period." 

While the actual writing for the book itself came swiftly, Stevenson’s editing process was lengthy, as she was her own editor. She recognized that writers have the tendency to keep revisiting their words. She realized self-editing was a process within itself and a tremendous learning experience.

Ambition and Next Steps

Book promotion has kept Stevenson busy, but she still finds time to write more and dream big. Her second and third titles: “Big Words for Little Kids” and “Hey There! It’s Plenty to Share” are near completion and she’d love to have these books and “Mashed Potatoes In The Sky” to be in local schools and daycare centers, for both children and adults to enjoy, during story time sessions. Stevenson is a firm believer that childlike moments are imperative—especially during trying times. “There’s a level of innocence that God intended for us to maintain…we tend to forget the necessity of it in everyday life.”


"Big Words for Little Kids" Book Cover
"Hey There! It's Plenty to Share" Book Cover and "Big Words for Little Kids" Book Cover

Book Availability Online

Contact the author

Stevenson looks forward to hearing feedback on her book from her community. Contact her at (248) 688-4013, or visit her website if you’d like to carry her books/partner with her: Email:

1. What made you want to write a book?

Kids tossing around the idea of mashed potatoes felt like a cute idea and I was finally ready to get the book out of my head and put it on paper. I always have great ideas popping in my head—a lot of imaginative things. I thought to myself, “why not bring something to life?” Or, at the very least, make an attempt to do so. From there, “Mashed Potatoes In The Sky” was published in February 2021.

2. Are there any authors, published or unpublished, that have influenced your writing? How about influential relatives or friends?

I have several family members that are skilled writers, yet they don’t view themselves as writers. In 2019, my Mom published her book "Behold His Glory" and set the pace for me to publish my book. She also inspired my father to write his book of poetry. Also, one of my sisters studied language and linguistics and relied on me to read her papers so that she could get my thoughts.

I learned from that experience of extensive paper writing.

3. In three words, describe the feelings you want your reader to come away with after reading your book?

          1. Happy
          2. Lighthearted
          3. Content

4. Describe your process of developing the “Mashed Potatoes In The Sky” book concept.

The concept evolved from what every human being partakes in on a daily basis—daydreaming. I was sitting on my sister's sofa, staring out the window. The clouds were particularly fluffy that day and I instantly thought of mashed potatoes. The clouds were particularly fluffy that day and I instantly though of mashed potatoes and how adorable the concept would be.

5. Tell me about the feeling you had when your book was accepted to sell at various locations.

Relief! At that point, the process felt culminated. Getting the book published was the ultimate feeling. It was sheer, top notch happiness! There's still a lot of work to be done and plenty more retailers and store shelves for 'Mashed Potatoes in The Sky' to be placed on. The first local mom & pop shops to accept my book were a huge accomplishment—it felt great.

6. Did you have a mentor in your childhood that turned on your “lightbulb” to writing?

I don't consider myself a "skilled writer", but I was inspired by a variety of people over the years. There are so many talented writers on this planet that I could never narrow it down to just one individual. I wouldn't even say that I had a mentor or a key person that stands out. If something is well written, I instantly become a fan of the author. Even if it's just a short paragraph, the admiration still hits.

7. What kind of reading material typically appeals to you?

One of my favorite past-times is reading local periodicals and news articles. I always feel drawn to those types of writing.

8. Have you visited the Southfield Public Library or Library Friends BookShelf this year?

Yes, I visit quite often. I love bringing my laptop and sitting by the windows. The atmosphere usually helps me get a lot accomplished. I was recently added to the Southfield Public Library's ‘Local Authors' section as well.

9. Who illustrated “Mashed Potatoes In The Sky?”

I've been drawing since I was a kid and wanted to illustrate my book myself so badly, but decided to use a graphic arts software program instead. I didn't want to prolong the book production process any further by being nitpicky with my drawings and wanting perfection.

10. Anything else you’d like to share?

“Mashed Potatoes In The Sky” is available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. I'd love for it to be featured in schools and daycare centers. I think it's great for read-aloud and story-time sessions. Speaking of clouds in the sky, I'd certainly be walking on them, if I could get that accomplished. I even have an awesome idea for a full length animated feature that would be great for Netflix.