My Grandfather’s Story Makes it to New York
When Candace May tucks her three-year-old son into bed at night she, like so many mothers, goes through a list of books that she could read to him., “Dr. Suess, Bob The Builder, Mouse in the House. Which book tonight?” None are appealing, so she goes on, “What about Piggie Pie? Great Grandpa? or…”
Before she can go on he hollers out, “I want Great Grandpa Wozney’s Story!”
She looks at the picture of her grandfather on the cover and smiles because it is her favorite story too. She wrote it.
So they read what life was like when Grandpa was young, how he earned money, and what his favorite school subject was. They read about his life and it takes about ten minutes. As they turn to the last page she asks her son, “What does Great-Grandpa Wozney want you to always remember?” Her son rattles off the advice grandpa has for him, “Love your family, be good, don’t lie.”
“That’s right,” she says as she smiles again, pleased that her son will always know the story of this great man (the greatest man I’ve ever known).
People who have seen Candace May’s book about her grandfather wanted to write stories about loved ones in their own families. So, with her mother Dr. Sharon Murdoch and a good friend, Christine Crandall, she started a business called My Family Tales to make it easy for everyone to write and publish their special family “tales.” She pictured families everywhere pulling storybooks off their shelves-storybooks they have written about personal heroes like grandparents. To achieve this, the company developed three storybook kits (Grandparent, Baby and Wedding) that helps you quickly and easily put together your story to create one coil-bound storybook to read and cherish. If you choose they may send the storybook in to My Family Tales to have it edited, formatted and published. You are listed as the author. You can choose the quantity of published books so long as it is over five due to the nature of short-run publishing.
Though just a year old, with owners who are learning the ropes as they go and have never marketed before, My Family Tales have been featured in Saks Fifth Avenue, The Rightstart (Zany Brainy, FAO), InStyle Magazine and an article is pending in People Magazine. On May 24th, the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, they will be featured on the CBS Early Show with Jane Clayson.
A woman saw an article about the company in the BYU paper and went to a store to get a Grandparent Storybook Kit. The store had sold out so she tracked Candace down at their warehouse location, quite desperate for a kit. She explained that she was on her way to the airport to fly to be with her mother who was dying of cancer. She said, “Rather than sitting at my mother’s bedside mourning, I picture myself using your kit to record the stories of her life. I just thought what a positive thing to do as I spend the last few days with her.”
A young and dedicated policeman named Joe Adams was shot on a routine traffic stop in Lehi, Utah. When My Family Tales heard of this tragic death and how he had left a nine-month-old son behind, they knew they had to write his story. Their in-house artist knew the Adams Family and offered their service to them. The family accepted the offer and provided the information so Joe Adam’s life story could be written. They published thirty plus books and even started a scholarship fund in Joe Adam’s name.
While Candace helps other people write personalized story books, she says, “I am thirty-one-years old and one thing I have learned from this personalized storybook business is that I want to live my life in such a way that my grandchildren will have a desire to write MY story someday. I picture my great grand-daughter opening a wonderful storybook written about me. What will the pages read? What will be my legacy? That is yet to be determined, but I am working on it one day at a time.”
2002Meridian Magazine. All Rights Reserved.