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Home > Book, Children > Indie Saturday – Author Jo Marshall on her Children’s Series ‘Twig Stories’

Indie Saturday – Author Jo Marshall on her Children’s Series ‘Twig Stories’

Today, we have author Jo Marshall featured on the blog’s ‘Indie Saturday‘ for her children’s series of books Twig StoriesLeaf & the Sky of Fire and Leaf & the Rushing Waters.

Jo Marshall’s Twig Stories was one of the highly recommended books from our consultant for this month – ERIK of THIS KID REVIEWS BOOKS! Erik described the Twig series as books that “teach about conservation and the environment” and gave Leaf & the Rushing Waters a score of Five out of Five on his review!


Jo Marshall writes :

Thank you so much for sharing a little about me and my book series with all your readers. Your Randomize Me blog is so varied and impressive. I am grateful to be asked to post on it, and I appreciate your enthusiasm for the Twig Stories books. Another big thanks to Erik, This Kid Reviews Books, for the referral, too!

Twigs are tiny stick creatures born in the old growth forest in my back yard. They provided great entertainment for my daughter, Ali Jo, during her elementary school years. Ali had become increasingly distressed about threats to endangered wildlife and forests in our Pacific Northwest home, so one day we imagined what it would be like to be small stick creatures that fought climate change. For example, Twigs could fight bark beetle swarms that continue to devastate millions of acres of forests in Canada and America. We also imagined our little stick guys could fight shrinking glaciers and uncontrollable wildfires. We drove back and forth to school that next year, and our stories became wilder and wilder. Instead of reading books together at bedtime, Ali and I began creating our own stories about Twigs. Being a very, very old mom, I wanted to capture this rare, special time we had together, so I wrote Twig Stories.

It’s very important to note that we both decided right away to share all the royalties from the books with environmental nonprofits.

About the Twig Stories series

Both Twig Stories books received five-star reviews, and are on recommended reading lists for environmental nonprofits across the country and in Canada. Leaf & the Rushing Waters is about goliath beavers, who try to control an outburst flood. I was startled when biologists and nonprofit advocates for beavers offered their expertise, and actually loved the story. They believe beaver dams are a natural solution to mitigate flood and drought disasters, and so they embraced Leaf & the Rushing Waters completely.

Leaf & the Sky of Fire is about Twigs battling a swarm of “barkbiters” in an infested, dying forest. I submitted the manuscript to research scientists, who study bark beetles, and environmental nonprofit officers involved with wildlife protection. Surprisingly, they were really happy to see a fantasy for their own 8+ children about their critical research, and endorsed it right away! One scientist told me he read it aloud to his 5 year old, and they both enjoyed it very much.

I am fortunate to have wonderful praise for Twig Stories from librarians, scientists, educators, and – most importantly – a whole bunch of great kids. I posted most of these endorsements on my website and Facebook. I’m so proud that Twig Stories developed into exciting and fun adventures with fantastic, funny characters and lots of action. The stories also highlight endangered wildlife, and describe real peril from climate change events in a worthwhile, yet entertaining way.

Leaf & the Sky of Fire actually made the short list for the highly regarded Newton Marasco Foundation Green Book Award last year. It was an incredible thrill, especially since my book was the only independently published children’s novel on their list. I should mention that the Twig Stories’ manuscripts did receive some interest from agents and publishers, but none would guarantee the books would even be on the market within two years, or that D.W. Murray (a professional Disney artist) could remain as the series’ illustrator. Another illustrator was out of the question for Ali Jo and me, and I wanted to see the books in print before Ali grew up!

Right now we are finishing the next two books, Leaf & the Long Ice (about shrinking glaciers) and Leaf & Echo Peak (about adaption to change). We won’t be marketing all four until the series is finished. That will be, of course, if I have time to market them. Ali Jo has big plans for the next series about ‘Fern’ (Leaf’s sister), which will be about Twigs in the redwood forests of northern California. I’m not sure there is an end in sight to Twigs!

I worked for many years in D.C. as a legal assistant to the General Counsel of two nonprofit organizations. Enormously talented and caring people are there, who work hard every day to better our world. They take on huge battles of one kind or another. I worked in litigation, so when we won a suit for something as simple as requiring curb cuts for those in wheelchairs, or mandating cruise ships not dump their waste in the ocean, it was incredibly rewarding. I guess that’s why our Twig Stories hero, Leaf and his buddies are such fighters.

I am member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, Pacific Northwest Writers Association, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Read a Book Make a Difference, and many environmental nonprofits.


Leaf & the Sky of Fire is available at Amazon in Kindle and Paperback formats. Leaf & the Rushing Waters is available at Amazon in Kindle and Paperback formats. Check out Jo’s Amazon author’s page for more info! Jo Marshall’s books are also available at Barnes & Noble, and you may also request Twig Stories through distributors such as Ingram, NACSCORP, and Baker & Taylor. Twig Stories books are available worldwide.

To learn more about Jo Marshall, follow Jo on her website: www.twigstories.com (Discounted books are available via her Estore, direct from publisher, just follow the links from the Twig Store). You may also follow her on facebook via: her Facebook author page: http://facebook.com/twigstories and her Facebook book page: http://facebook.com/twigstoriesbooks. Drop by and say hi to her!

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Do you want to be a featured ‘Indie Saturday’ author too? Go here for more info!

Read an embedded sample of “Leaf & the Rushing Waters” and “Leaf & the Sky of Fire”after the jump!


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  1. June 2, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    I love your books! That is why I recommended your books! I can’t wait to read the next book!

    • twigstories
      June 27, 2012 at 1:04 am

      Thanks, Erik. You’re so much fun to know. I’ll be sure you get the new one (Leaf & the Long Ice) as soon as it comes out – hopefully, by Thanksgiving. Have a great summer!

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