For Marny Duncan Cary, it was a story told to her by her father that lit her imagination for her latest book, 'Who's that Man?'
The author and singer, who has a body of both written work and music behind her, was in Carlyle recently to share her story about her father's story, and how this came about in a book.
"My father didn't meet his father until he was four-years-old," Duncan Cary told the assembly. "That sense of having some strange person come into your life, and he is your own dad, well, that set me thinking."
Writing a song based on those recollections of her father's story, about when a strange man showed up one day after the cessation of World War Two, Duncan Cary decided later to make the story into a book form.
"I thought that it was a great story idea, and the chance to work with my illustrator again, Megan Mansbridge, really set me going," Duncan Cary said. "Megan was the only one I think I would have wanted to illustrate this story."
Mansbridge had worked previously with Dunca Cary on her first book, 'Linger.'
"Megan is just such a wonderful artist," Duncan Cary said of her illustrator. "It is really amazing the things she can do, and the way the images carry so much with them."
Duncan Cary said that the book took only six weeks to write, but the project took close to two years in total.
"Megan's art is very detailed, and she needs a fair bit of time to do her thing," Duncan Cary said. "I've been working with Heather Nickle from 'Your Nickles Worth Publishing,' so that helped things along on the production end."
Once she had completed the story and all of the illustrations were ready to go, Duncan Cary took the step of getting the book physically printed at the Friesen's book printer in Manitoba.
"It is amazing how large their facility is, and how many books they print," Duncan Cary said. "We were really quite happy with the work they did."
'Who's That Man,' covers the story of a young boy who gets called home to see a large man dressed in a uniform standing in the kitchen of the boy's home.
As the story progresses, you have the opportunity to see that the wonderment and oddness of the situation is two-sided, with the boy's father querying to his wife, "Who's that boy? Is he my son?"
A truly touching short children's story, Duncan Cary included in every book a DVD that includes a short video, as well as the song upon which the book is based.
"I guess what really brought back the memory and made it pertinent for me was Sept. 11, 2001," Duncan Cary said. "I was in the kitchen when my kids started yelling about something on the TV."
"At first, I told them it must be a television show, but when they continued to make a fuss, I went out to see," Duncan Cary said. "When I sat down, I couldn't understand at first what was going on."
"I flipped from channel to channel, and it was all the same thing," Duncan Cary recalled. "It was about that time I started getting scared, because I knew there was going to be a war."
"There was going to be some sort of retaliation."
Duncan Cary stated that she was at first worried about how her children would see everything that was going on in the world following the event.
"I wanted to protect them from war, and protect them from that kind of thing," Duncan Cary said. "It was sometime around then that I began to think about my father's story about meeting his father for the first time."
Duncan Cary presently lives outside of Lumsden, SK.