Jen Porter with book, "The Frozen"

Jen Porter of Cedar Rapids returned to Sioux Center for a book signing held at the Sioux Center Public Library July 20 for her new book, “The Frozen.”

SIOUX CENTER—A new author with Sioux Center roots held a book signing at the Sioux Center Public Library on July 20.

Jen Porter, 45, of Cedar Rapids, published her first book, “The Frozen” on April 12.

The book takes place in 3019, where the world prizes biological and spiritual purity above all else. Those deemed impure — either because of certain biological traits, diseases or having committed certain crimes — are frozen until such a time comes in the future that they can be cured of their problems. It’s seen as being done for the Impures’ own good, a blessing that will ultimately bring them closer to perfection.

The main character, Shaan, begins to have second thoughts when she develops a telepathic connection with a young boy.

“The Frozen,” the first in a series she is continuing to work on, can be purchased through Amazon or her website, jenporterauthor.com/books.

Growing up as the child of an Air Force engineer, Porter moved around a lot growing up. Her mother, Wanda Peat, is from Sioux Center. Porter attended a portion of her kindergarten year at Kinsey Elementary School when her mother was pregnant and attended her sophomore year at Sioux Center High School when her father had to serve in Korea.

Porter began her book in the spring of 1994, during her senior year of high school.

“I had just written it for fun, it wasn’t an assignment. I was taking advanced placement English and it was that teacher, who read it for me. She is the one who told me to save it and finish it. She was very encouraging,” Porter said.

Life, however, has a way of being distracting. With going to college and having kids, she didn’t get around to finishing it. She had done some work on it after high school, but she wasn’t able to get around to finishing it.

Instead, she found herself teaching. Her teaching career started in 2001, teaching language arts for grades five-12, but she found her true calling teaching students with autism and other special needs in 2009.

Since 2016, she’s also operated the Special Needs Spa.

“I wanted to still be able to help people with special needs, as well as teachers and parents. I really loved working with the families I worked with,” Porter said.

Still, she missed creative writing.

“I had been teaching special ed for so long, the only kind of writing I ever got to do was e-mailing parents and writing up curriculum things and newsletters. I wasn’t writing creatively and I wanted to get back to that,” Porter said.

A dream in July 2016 spurred her into action and gave her what she needed to finish her book.

“In the middle of the night one night, I woke up and was kind of tortured awake by details and ideas for this book. There were so many of them, like a flood or a download of information, I credit God for them. It like he was telling me, now’s your time to write it; here you go, this is the part you’re missing. I got all excited about it again,” Porter said.

She joined some writing programs and went to conferences where she found support and learned from others trying to write books of their own, too. That included lessons on business, websites and such that she also benefited from.

“This has definitely grown me as a person and as a writer,” Porter said.

What she ended up with was a Christian dystopia book that she hopes causes people to reexamine themselves and they treat others.

“The people in my book are really trying to be good Christians. One of the bad guys is trying to be his best version of himself. He’s trying to be like Jesus as he knows it. He makes a couple of wrong choices and wrong turns for good reasons,” she said. “It’s ways we would justify to ourselves some wrong choices, too. … I wanted for you to see yourself even in the bad guy and be able to relate to him and look at your own life and maybe make some changes to reach out other Christians and other people you might not have reached out to before.”