September 5, 2016 by Maureen Zambito
WEST LIBERTY, Sept. 5, 2016 — Imagine a tree that thinks that he’s balding as fall takes hold and his leaves begin to drop. Well that’s the storyline of the new children’s book, “Leif’s First Fall,” written and illustrated by two talented alumni, writer Alexander Lloyd King and artist Jeremy Gordon.
“Leif’s First Fall” is a meaningful look at fall and the changing of seasons. Available on Amazon and at other retail sites, the 40-page book is the sixth title for King.
“I’ve been writing professionally for a while and wanted to be a writer even before I could read according to my parents who claim I told them that when I was little,” he said.
A native of Sistersville, W.Va., he earned a bachelor’s in communications with emphasis on broadcasting in 2011 and currently works fulltime a substance abuse specialist for Tyler County. King also is the director of Middlebourne Parks and Recreation on a part-time basis.
His other books include three poetry books and two short story collections. Like most writers, he is an acute observer of life, people and nature and the idea for “Leif’s First Fall” came to him when he was driving.
“I was driving home from work one autumn day and thinking about the leaves falling. Wouldn’t it be funny if a tree thought it was balding and tried to cover it up? The tree might do a comb over or try to hide it because it doesn’t know what’s going on,” he explained. (He also knows that many men in his family go bald.)
Leif the tree is a maple tree that lives in a park location and as summer wanes and falls kicks in, he learns about changes and talks to the other tree a wise elder tree and learns the ways of nature and how to deal with change. Everyone goes through changes throughout life is the moral of the tale.
“Reaction has been great so far,” said King. The book sells for $17 for paperback and $30 for hardback.
“I was very pleased with the finished project. It wouldn’t look so great without Jeremy’s artwork. He did a fantastic job and he’s very diverse in his skills,” King said.
King met illustrator Jeremy Gordon who’s from New Martinsville, W.Va., right here on campus. “I knew he was talented. He liked my concept for the book and the draft developed from there.”
Gordon resides in Sebastian, Fla. now and has collaborated with King three times before. He earned his bachelor’s in graphic design and is a freelance illustrator there.
“West Liberty University taught me so much about broadcasting and writing,” King said. “I’m very grateful for my education on the hilltop.”
King is already at work on his next book, a novel for adults that is a twist on a haunted house story.
“I hope to have it ready next year.”