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The City Journals

Nationwide Book Release for Midvale Author

Sep 09, 2015 12:23PM ● By Bryan Scott

By Tori Jorgensen

This month marks the national release of a Midvale author’s children’s book about childhood exploration and wildlife preservation.

Scott Lieding, a Midvale resident, tried many trades throughout his life including truck driving, hauling horses, rounding hay and commercial deep sea diving, but this is his first time as an official author. Lieding said he has always been weaving tales based on his life experiences, and is excited to share them with the world. “Jessica and the Lizard Tree” tells the story of a young girl who goes on a quest to catch and capture lizards that inhabit a dead tree that is engulfed in a orange tree orchard near her home. 

“I suppose one inspiration I had for this book was when my daughter, Jessica, wanted to catch lizard, and I showed her how,” he said. “Also, I grew up in Glendora, Calif. and there were the lizards near my home with endless oak trees. I spent my time playing and hiking. I sort of put those two things together and wrote the book.”

Lieding wrote his story several years ago, and let his friend Brett Allen read the unpublished manuscript.  Allen advised Lieding to cut out some descriptions to keep a focus on the storyline. 

“I used to do some technical writing, but [Lieding] didn’t know when he asked me to read it. He needed someone to bounce it off of,” Allen said. “I surprised him with my proofreading abilities, so I ended up finding the typos, and I helped him send in the final manuscript.”

Lieding said associates tried to convince him that rejection was normal in the book-publishing business, but when Lieding contacted Tate Publishing in Feb. 2014, they readily agreed to publish his book. The company set him up with an illustrator from the Philippines. Lieding said the distance was not an issue. 

“I verbally gave him descriptions and it is like he read my mind!” Lieding said. “He messed up one picture, the one of the scary house, but I sent him a sketch of what I intended it to look like, and he fixed it right up.” 

In the future, Lieding hopes to do the artwork for some of his own books. Lieding has two more stories in the “Jessica” series, also based off of his daughter’s experiences. Lieding said he wrote a story about his other daughters, as well. This story, “Who Put The Purr in the Kitty,” is the story of two girls who try to figure out what is inside a cat. 

Most of Lieding’s stories involve outdoors and animals. One story he said he is most excited to publish is “Flying Fred Far Flung Adventure,” which is a story about a spider. Lieding’s inspiration from this story came when he was on a hunting trip with friends. He was intrigued as he saw spiders use airborne dispersal to balloon through the air.

“The spiders were everywhere. I got more fascinated with spiders than shooting some poor bird, and I began to think: What would happen if one of these spiders got carried far, far away. That’s what this book is about.” 

Lieding said to look for his new stories in months to come. “Jessica and the Lizard Tree” is available for purchase on Amazon and through the online stores on and