Last Friday, two authors who are new to us at Van Meter came to visit our library and the 5th graders.
Marybelle and Tom Harris are the authors of Tree Leaf Tornado Fighter. They live in Central Iowa so were close enough for a visit.
Marybelle and Tom wrote their first book together. It was really interesting to hear how they worked together to create their book. Marybelle started out by reading the first few chapters....The kids would have listened to the entire book. They all loved it.
One of our students Olivia read the book last week and gave it a terrific review, recommending it to all of her classmates.
We were at my brother's house in Michigan for Christmas in 2008. We were sitting around the kitchen table talking and Chris started telling us about Rory's imaginary friend, Tree Leaf Tornado Fighter, and his father Sea Shore Rainbow Hunter. We said those would make great names for characters in an adventure story.
On the way home we started trying to write a poem, but we never finished it. We set it aside and didn't give Tree Leaf much thought after that.
Thanksgiving of 2010, Rory called us and asked where her story about Tree Leaf Tornado Fighter was. We were surprised that she remembered the conversation. We didn't want to disappoint Rory so it was decided we'd better make an attempt.
The story writing started out as a very slow processa s we both worked fill time and we hadn't written anything creative since college days. Also, we now just had the name of Tree Leaf Tornade Fighter as Rory couldn't remember much about their adventures.
We enlisted a friend to act as our initial editor and began to send the story, chapter by chapter, to Rory and her parents. So Rory suffered through many of the rewrites along with us.
About two thirds of the way through the story, our friend Lynn suggested that we pursue publishing it instead of just writing it for Rory. She thought the story had potential.
So long story short, we listened to Lynn, hired Deb Engle, and Tree Leaf Tornado Fighter was published two years after we started."
You can find wonderful information about the authors, book and so much more on their website.
You can even read the first chapter of TreeLeaf Tornado Fighter online here. After Marybelle read the first few chapters to our 5th graders they were definitely hooked. They cannot to finish reading the rest of the book.
Marybelle and Tom are excited to speak to other young people about writing, publishing a book, and TreeLeaf Tornado Fighter too.