The Backstory of The Tree
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 of THE TREE... was written in September 2010. It wasn't very good. I put it away, and went back to the story in the autumn of 2012. It got much better. By November 2012, the finished manuscript went to my agent, and was sold to Random House. After Peter McCarty was hired to illustrate the book, it took another three years for his schedule to clear; the book was published on March 8, 2016.
THE TREE IN THE COURTYARD has so far been translated and sold in Russian, French, Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese and Korean editions. Below and to the right are photos of Anne Frank trees grown from seedlings taken from the actual tree in the courtyard, and planted around the world.