Jesse and Jessica Terry have been a rock-solid team through their decade-plus of marriage. They have managed to be road warriors, allowing singer/songwriter Jesse to cultivate his music career as a rising star in the folk/Americana world. After having their first child, Lily, in 2018, they continued to tour as a family—with Jessica securing remote employment–until the pandemic forced them off the road in 2020. But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise that allowed for an organic collaboration between the couple to write a children’s book based on a song from Jesse’s latest album, When We Wander—a song about Lily called “If I Were the Moon,” which also happens to be the title for this book, slated for release via Schiffer Publishing in 2023.
“When I started performing the song, my audience immediately responded and urged me to adapt the song into a children’s book,” says Jesse. “When the pandemic hit, my wife and I made a vow to fulfill that vision.”
The response from fans to the video for “If I Were the Moon” added to the spark for this idea. So, after a meeting with their good friend Josh Chalmers (author of Change the World Before Bedtime), they were provided with invaluable guidance and introduced to Schiffer Publishing, who in turn connected them with illustrator Jacqueline East, who the Terrys thought was a perfect fit for the book.
“We’ve been very fortunate to land with a wonderful publisher like Schiffer Kids and an illustrator like Jacqueline right out of the gate,” said Jesse. “For us as first-time authors, they’ve been so helpful and supportive. Our goal has always been to bring beautiful work into the world, with the sincere hope of having a positive impact on people. It was evident to us that the whole team was operating under that same mission.”
It also helps that there has been an overwhelmingly positive response to When We Wander, Jesse’s seventh album that was released in May of 2021, and the first album of songs he wrote since becoming a parent. Critical acclaim from the likes of American Songwriter Magazine has rolled in, writing, “When We Wander is not only a personal milestone for the artist but a pivotal moment in his journey as a career musician;” while Red Guitar Music wrote, “Jesse Terry has made a record that is exquisitely played, sincerely felt and sonically beautiful. [He has] made the kind of record that thousands of singer-songwriters dream of making.”
But for the Terrys, it all comes back to family, which is why it means much more to Jesse that his wife is a co-author of this endeavor. Their teamwork and journey as new parents led to this natural next step for them. “This is the first time we’ve done anything like this together,” Jesse explains, “And I know it’s the start of a great new chapter in our lives and careers.”