The driving force behind this story was my daughter Morgan, who gave me the motivation to write Tree Story, originally published as The Family Tree.
I was divorced at the time, and it was my turn to spend the weekend with Morgan. I had just emerged from a long, drawn-out, annoying bout of writer’s block and was eagerly working on a screenplay when my thought process decided to suddenly go on an extended vacation! Out of desperation, I was trying to keep Morgan both happy and entertained. I was feeding my VCR with what seemed to be an endless supply of videos for her to watch. Just when I thought I had finally distracted her with Barney the Purple Dinosaur, she got really angry with me for leaving her out there stranded all alone on Barney Island. It was at that point that she let me know exactly how disappointed she felt.
She asked, “How come you never write anything I can read?”
I was taken by surprise and didn’t know quite how to respond. Finally, I asked her, “Well, what should I write?”
It was obvious that she had thought about this question for quite a while because she fired right back: “You can write about trees. You should make them family trees in a forest!”
I knew that I had just been put on notice by my five-year-old daughter. She had challenged me to write my very first children’s book. I couldn’t ignore what I perceived to be a dare of sorts, even though my first inclination was to somehow slither far away from her request.
Fortunately, my voice of reason immediately kicked in, and I decided to write a quick short story about a tree or two in the forest just to appease Morgan enough so that I could hurriedly return to the screenplay I had been writing prior to her attempt to redirect the entire course of my personal writing history!
As I began work on the story, I clearly remember thinking that I would dedicate only an hour or so to work on it. As I was writing what had originally been confined to a one-or-two-trees-in-the-forest scenario, it became clear that I couldn’t stop it from growing.
It kept getting bigger and better as I continued to write. It was peculiar because every time I put my fingers back onto the keyboard, I felt an unbelievable sense of power unlike any I had experienced before. When the story was complete, the forest scenario had transformed into a multitude of family trees accompanied by a wide array of wildlife, all living harmoniously inside of the boundaries of that forest. Ultimately, the story concept had grown beyond anything I ever could have ever imagined.
Tree Story is geared toward elementary school–aged children, and it follows a family of trees that are harvested, taken to a lumber mill, and made into wood products. Throughout the story the family members continually face the possibility of being separated forever—or do they?
The motivation that led me to write The Family Tree was reactivated on October 29, 2014, the day Morgan delivered her first child,
Skylar Nicole. The fire that had stayed dormant for far too long was reignited, and I knew instantly that the time had come for me to write another children’s book. I wanted to present Skylar with a book just as I had presented a book to her mother when she was a child.
Up in the Sky is written for and dedicated to my first granddaughter, Skylar Nicole.
I hope that you will enjoy your visit here at our home on the web!
Jere Silber, CEO
Morgan's Magical Media