'Silver lining': Former Tucson TV reporter authors kid's book about clouds

Just in time for monsoon season, former local TV reporter Megan McNeil has released her first children’s book “The Silver Lining,” about a little cloud with a big decision to make.

“I have always been a storyteller,” McNeil said. “And I had always wanted to write a children’s book.”

“The Silver Lining” tells the tale of a little cloud who is trying to decide what type of cloud it’s going to be. The little cloud meets four clouds—Cumulonimbus, Lenticular, Cirrus and Fog—all depicted in playful illustrations in shades of blue, gold and red, created by illustrator Venus Angelica. 

McNeil said she had been pondering a story idea about a cloud since 2016. However, when she moved to Tucson with her husband in 2018, she found herself inspired by the monsoon storms that take place during the summer.

“It looks so beautiful when the storms roll in and it felt like I met the character in my book,” said McNeil, a former staffer at KOLD.

As a reporter, McNeil said she is drawn to stories about nature and stories about people engaged with nature, specifically in Arizona.

“I kinda used my reporting background—I interviewed friends who are meteorologists,” McNeil said. “I don’t have a background in science but I Googled things. I did lots of research.”

“The Silver Lining” is described by McNeil as a “whatever you are, be a good one” story that’s also educational for children ages five to 10.

“I wanted readers to learn something. Like the cumulonimbus, which is a difficult word, is the cloud that makes thunderstorms like monsoons,” McNeil said. “I was really inspired by nature.”

McNeil is a self-published author and her book is available through Amazon.

“A self-published author is as legitimate as an author that got published by a big team,” McNeil said. “Self-publishing gives power back to the author. It’s been a big learning curve because it’s my first book, but it’s like I don’t need permission to tell my story.”

Two readings for “The Silver Lining” have been tentatively arranged for August. One is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 3 at 10 a.m. at the Bookmans River Entertainment Exchange on Stone Avenue and the other for Aug. 15 at 10: 30 a.m. at the El Rio Public Library on Speedway. These dates and times are subject to change.