Book: Old Gent by Marie J. S. Phillipscategories: Book, Norway Spruce, Tuliptree, History, Biography, Love, Trees
Marie J. S. Phillipsabout this book: This book, OLD GENT, shows the story of my beloved 100 year old Norway Spruce through his senses. Yes, from the tree's point of view, in the tradition of BIG TREE.
I estimated that he sprouted in an old abandoned field around 1895, which eventually became lots for houses, where our 110 year old home rose first above the fallow fields. In this story, I follow his life from sapling, to death and beyond. I am, was, and always shall be a great admirer of trees, and they are highly individual in subtle ways most people never notice.
In this semi-fictional biography, Old Gent grows into a majestic towering specimen of his species, protective of the old home he sees built on his lands as a stout sapling. Human activity amuses, startles, frightens and sometimes hurts him, thus he never trusts the beaver-like species, until the fifth owner in nine decades moves into the old house he shelters.
The old tree experiences new emotions, and gains the name of Old Gent from me. I shower him with adoration, admiration, and tender loving care. When terror from the skies threatens the lands, he stands strong, determined to shields those he loves, and pays a price. As decades weakens his ancient body with internal decay from injuries, he knows his time draws near. He spirals a few seeds against the foundation of the old house, where his offspring sprouts, poised to continue his sire's legacy.
In writing this book, I return to childhood roots, back when I created picture book style books about a tree main character, inspired by a neighbor's dogwood tree. I finished OLD GENT in about nine months, and I researched the history of the area around our home, to give insight and accuracy to what Old Gent might have witnessed and experienced.
The title came very easily, since the story is about the old tree and his life.
Anyone, any age, can read this book.
I created this cover from one of the first photos I ever snapped of the old tree. The book is full of actual full color photos to illustrate his life.
I learned from writing this book and several others, that it is almost impossible to get a traditional publisher to even notice a new author. I am not truly new, since I have written stories since grade school, but if publishers do not know you or your agent well, all you see are rejection slips, enough to wall paper two rooms.
Thus I turned Independent and have not regretted it at all. I write because the muse drives me, and has since early childhood, and though I write to please myself more than any market, I do hope readers will enjoy the strange and wondrous worlds I created as much as I have writing them.
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