OSKALOOSA — In 1992 a book was published that became a best-selling sensation. It brought the covered bridges of Iowa’s Madison County into the hearts and minds of readers the world over, including Ben Stellino

Stellino, who lives in Canada, is a poet, photographer and writer. The Bridges of Madison County, by Robert James Waller, inspired Stellino.

“I’m just trying to revive what was the Bridges of Madison County romance and I’ve had some really good feedback so far,” she said. “Basically, to make a long story short, I read the book in ‘94, I know it came out in ‘92 and I was just really awestruck. I had been writing for years and a lot of what I read really just struck a chord, as did many.”

Stellino said it was always a dream of hers to publish something related to The Bridges of Madison County. That final project is a book of photography and poems, ‘This Thing Between Us.’

“I even entered a poetry contest in 1995, entitled ‘Residual Thoughts After Having Read Bridges of Madison County,” she said. “I just kept these poems and writings and about a year ago, I decided it was time to do something.”

In July of 2017, Stellino decided she would go to Madison County in October, which she did, and is launching her book at the Rosen Bridge on Thursday. Stellino will be visiting Book Vault starting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11.

“I’m a photographer, a poet and a writer and everything in the book is not only part memoir, but there’s a lot of poems that reflect Robert and Franscesca and their mindset and what they may have been thinking and after they left each other,” she said. “And most of the photography, of course, is in and around Madison County.”

It was a passion project, Stellino said.

“I’m just overjoyed, thrilled, that finally I put it together and I think some people can finally stop hearing me talk about it. It is a real dream come true. I’m pleased. I’m doing my own promo and I self-published it,” she said. “When it’s a passion project, as you know, it has a different feel and a different flare and I just find I haven’t had many obstacles, everything’s going very smoothly and it’s been a lot of fun and I’ve had some really good feedback so far.”

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