Monday, May 22, 2023

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: The Giving Back Tree by Tarky Lee @GoddessFish

The Giving Back Tree

by Tarky Lee

GENRE: Children's (and all ages)


The Giving Back Tree is an original take on the classic tale of a tree who gave everything. Love is a healing force in this tender and magical story that reminds us the end is also a new beginning. We CAN grow back.

Interview with Tarky Lee

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

This is my FIRST illustrated book and I am so excited to be sharing a new take on a classic tale that is beloved by generations. My hope is that the new generation will appreciate the way time and care can heal old wounds.

If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your

plans for it?

No sequel, since The Giving Back tree is already a sequel of sorts. But I do plan on releasing many more projects from poetry, non-fiction and other books for kids to help them understand life.

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to

build a body of work with connections between each book?

I would like each book to stand on its own, but have a theme of love tying them together.

How did you come up with the title for your book?

Well I read Shel Silverstein’s original work to a kiddo one night and made her cry with sadness. While in bed together we decided to make up a new story for what happens to the tree stump, and it felt like giving back to the tree hence the title, The Giving Back Tree. When we give back to others who have given us so much magical things can happen.

How long did it take you to write this book?

From the day the idea was born to the day it was published was about two years.

What does the title mean?

The title is meant to remind us to give back to those who gave us everything.

What did you learn when writing the book?

I learned how humbling it is to bravely make edits that are better for the story and less about my own emotional feelings about a story. I learned how healing it can be to let words and emotions that don’t serve the greater purpose.

What surprised you the most?

That I would be editing things right up to last week. Other writers told me this would happen but I was still surprised.

Have you ever killed off a character your readers loved?

Nope not yet, but my mother Sandra Woffington is a writer of murder mysteries in her Wine Valley Murder Mystery series, so I have seen her kill off many characters for her detectives to solve.

What do you do to get inside your character’s heads?

I simply just had to think of myself as a child for this work. I am sure others will be different, but for this work I just kept asking my inner child, hey is this good enough? Does this make you smile?


Tarky Lee is an Oakland, California based queer artist, writer, activist, and professional child care provider. She believes the stories we tell ourselves and others have the power to reshape our lives and heal our hearts. This is her first illustrated publication. She looks forward to sharing many more of her books, ideas, and art with the world.

Tarky is a name given to the author by a powerful spirit she nannied named Alaska. Lee is the author's middle name. The pen name Tarky Lee is a dedication to the child that lives in us all.

To follow this and other works @TarkyLee or email


Amazon Author Page


$15 Amazon/BN GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Marcy Meyer said...

This sounds like a great story. Love the original.

Sherry said...

Sounds like a great read.

Madonna said...

I love that she and her mother are both writers. Enjoyed reading the excerpt

Ally Swanson - FAB said...

Great interview!! I really enjoyed reading it!!

Debbie P said...

This sounds like a wonderful book.