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The Tree
The Back Story
If there is one thing I have learned, it's that books come at their own pace. I got the idea for this one in the summer of 2010, having read an article in The New York Times about the actual tree in the courtyard coming down in a storm, and the seedlings being nurtured for planting around the
world. It was a fantastic and life-affirming story. The problem was, I wasn't sure how to tell it.

My first draft was in September 2010. By November 2012, the finished manuscript went to my agent. After Peter McCarty was hired to illustrate the book, it took another three years for his schedule to clear. 
 
THE TREE IN THE COURTYARD has been sold in English, Russian, French, Japanese and Korean. Below are photos
of Anne Frank trees grown from tree to tree in the courtyard, and planted around the world.
When you live in Nashville,
Tennessee for as long as I did,
some pretty weird stuff happens
to you.

I lived in Tang Town for the entire 1990s. Loved it.
Beautiful rolling hills, the greenest foliage and longest spring/summer/autumn you can imagine, perfect gardening, and some of the nicest folks you'd ever hope to meet.  

At a synagogue fundraiser-no lie-I was able to buy some studio time at a recording studio. My dear friend Joel Emerson and I were doing some songwriting together then; he music, me lyrics, and had finished a couple of tunes. One was called "God's Country, USA," and the other "You've Got a Home With Me." 

Joel knew people in the music business, and got this hot young talent to do the demos for us. Joel swore this guy was going to be big some day.

Brad Paisley. Yep. Want to hear Brad doing "God's Country, USA"?

Brad Paisley and Me
God's Country, USA
God's Country, USA - Brad Paisley
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