The Book, The Statue, and The Children…

These past months, I have been focused on promoting my children’s book, “Samuel and The Magic Tree”. I have undertaken traditional practices (readings, bookstores, etc.) as well as the new viral sources of Instagram, Facebook, etc.  I have learned a lot and have been pleased with the overall results. And the journey is ongoing. I am continually seeking marketing opportunities that embrace the essence of my book.

Told through the metaphor of sharing discoveries and adventures while visiting a “magical” tree, ultimately, my book is a story of the special bond between grandparent and grandchild.  I strongly believe this because the story is true; based on a summer of unexpected surprises and joy with my grandchildren. The book was written to honor a special time and special relationship. Its ultimate visibility and success must respect and embrace the imaginative and joyful essence of this story.

As a writer and photographer, I am excited about showcasing the messaging. My marketing background challenges creative expression. Not a day goes by when I don’t brainstorm and strategize.

And then this happened…

I live in Sonoma, California. In the center of this picturesque town is an equally charming, tree-filled Square. It is filled with playgrounds, gardens, a pond (filled with obligatory ducks), and statues. It is a place of serenity and peace. Likewise, it is a gathering point for community rallies, parades, and summer concerts. I often walk through as there is always a bounty of opportunities to people-watch and enrich my photography taking. I am never disappointed with all the possibilities.

I have become charmed by a particular statue that sits on the north side of the square. It is of General Vallejo, the founder of town, sitting on bench.  His legacy is omnipresent.

I find the actual statue compelling.  His seated pose is at such an inclusive angle that he seems to invite the passerby to sit beside him. His presence is strong, welcoming, and personal. I have witnessed children climbing on and staring into his eyes. Older people seek respite from his wise gaze. Yes, I have fallen into his allure. Every time a friend visits, there is the obligatory group shot taken with the General.  And there are the everyday times when I simply share a few silent, knowing exchanges.

On a recent walk, taking local photos as I do, I stopped and again sat myself down beside the General. My mind was full of ideas and hopes for the book. What next? I looked at the General and… it suddenly “hit” me. I needed to read the book to the General. Actually no. I needed a CHILD to share the book with him. And I would photograph the magic moments of connection, discovery, and joy!!! I began to envision possibilities. I confidently knew this had potential.

And, with that, on that park bench with a statue, I moved forward with the vision.

During the past weeks, I have completed three photo sessions with adorable little ones, the General, and my book.  Surprisingly, every shoot has unfolded in manners that were unique and personal to each child. I did not directly pose…I followed their sweet interactions and snapped the spontaneity. General Vallejo, the children, and the book created moments beyond my expectations!!!!

I thank little Ana, Jeffrey, Jackson, and Fiona for their adorable spontaneity.  I thank their grandparents and parents for bringing them to Sonoma and allowing me to capture the essence of their beautiful babies. 

I also share this photo of Grandmother Karen, little Fiona, and the General. Again, it was one of those unplanned moments that turned into a perfect shot.  It conveys the essence of the story– the strong bond, love, and magic between a grandparent and a grandchild. That is what it’s all about.

I invite you to create your own sharing with my book, “Samuel and The Magic Tree”. It is available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Balboa Press.  I invite you to read through the book’s website for links to these sales sites and to read about all the events, history, and goals for the project. Please also subscribe to on Instagram to enjoy all the latest photos, news, etc.

Thank you!!!!

For your enjoyment, slideshows and a video from the photoshoots…

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