It’s always nice to see one of the books I illustrated read in a video, and this one is appropriate for the season. But, as with every book, there are usually backstories that no one knows about.
I loved working on this book. It is one of my favorites. Having been born and raised in the Southwest, it gave me a chance to whimsically illustrate the flora and fauna I love so much. And also a chance to reminisce about growing up in an area that was once filled with so many beautiful wide-open and unspoiled spaces. I hope the book brings a smile and some joy to all who read it.
I am reluctant to share this backstory; after all, it is the holidays. And it really isn’t the best way to promote a creative work. But what flows from the pen and brush doesn’t always reflect what is going on in real life.
This was one of the most difficult assignments I ever worked on because it was done while I was also my beloved late wife’s caregiver during her first occurrence of metastatic hereditary cancer to her brain*. Many late nights were spent working on the art while I also monitored my wife for signs of seizures or one of the other horrible side effects of whole-brain radiation as she slept.
If you are interested in the book, please know that any and all royalties I receive from the book get donated to hereditary cancer nonprofits.
The book is available from the publisher: Sunbelt Publications, your local bookshop (find one here: www.IndieBound.org), select National Park and National Monument bookstores, and of course, all the online booksellers. ISBN: 9781941384534
Thank you. And to ALL a good holiday season.
And thank you, Ranger Sorom at the Bureau of Land Management, for reading the book!
* Read more about my wife's hereditary cancer story at FORCE, FacingOurRisk.org.