Deborah, whose previous holiday offerings include co-writing the seasonal tune, 'Rockin' Little Christmas,' with Bruce Channel, originally penned 'The Loneliest Christmas Tree' in 1986. It was around that same time that she developed a friendship with a local Nashville woman who happened to be living on the streets.
"The character in the book, Christmas Carole, is named after that woman," she notes. "She turns out to be the hero in the story. Unfortunately, she passed away several years ago. I wrote 'The Loneliest Christmas Tree' to communicate that anything is possible. We all have the capability to move mountains, even when it seems all hope may be lost."
One of the mountains in need of moving, in order for her to get the book published, was finding the right illustrator. But as it turned out, the songwriter didn't have to look to far beyond her roster of co-songwriting partners.
"Kix Brooks was at my house and we were writing," Deborah explains to The Boot. "We've been friends ever since Kix came to town. After we finished writing that day, I was walking him out to the driveway. He had ridden his motorcycle. I was asking him about Molly, his daughter. He told me she was doing great and she was a great artist. So I took a look at her artwork [online]. She is super talented. So I wrote to Kix and Molly and said, 'I really want Molly to illustrate my Christmas book.' I read her the story and she asked me when I wrote it. I told her 1986, and she said, 'That's the year I was born.' I should have remembered that because I knew Kix then but it didn't dawn on me. She said, 'Guess when I was born? Christmas Eve!'"
'The Loneliest Christmas Tree' is published by Carpenter's Son Publishing and is available now.