I have now reached a milestone in my writing career that leaves me a little sad. The Music Tree, my first acceptance, has gone out of print and the rights have been returned to me. There are no more copies in the warehouse and silly me didn't think to check how many were left. I can still buy copies on Amazon UK or Amazon US. Since they've been reduced over there they are actually much cheaper than they would be here, even taking postage into account. So I'm going to order some of those last remaining copies. Seems silly that they'll have travelled all around the world to end up back where they started. A bit like our family really!
I loved The Music Tree because it was so good for reading aloud to children at school visits. I had my little suitcase full of bells, hubcaps, clangers and bangers. When I went to the UK, I even started up another collection which I sadly had to deposit back at the charity shops when we left.
Liam, the subject of the story, has long since deserted his music tree for a basketball court and is now in high school. Lothian, my original publisher, is now part of Hachette, a huge multinational publishing company. Helen Chamberlin, the editor who gave me my first break has retired. The world moves on and we must move with it.
Liam put his arms around the trunk of the ree and laid his cheek against the rough, war bark. 'Goodnight Music Tree,' he whispered.
Back in bed, Liam thought he heard the wind chimes call, 'Goodnight, Liam', but he couldn't really be sure.