A New York Times bestselling author who writes about relationships is using family ties in Thomson to illustrate some of his best selling books.
Local residents Lee Anne Cowart and Rosemary Register make appearances in books by Gregory Lang, who writes the "Why" series which explores the importance of relationships.
Mrs. Register, wife of Dr. Lang's cousin John Register, is pictured riding a motorcycle with daughter Christy on Thomson back roads in the book Why a Daughter Needs a Mom: 100 Reasons.
Mrs. Cowart, another cousin of Dr. Lang's, is pictured in an informal portrait with her sons in the book Why a Son Needs a Mom: 100 Reasons. She and her husband also appear in the book Why I Love You.
Mrs. Cowart said she was happy to be featured in her cousin's books.
"We have a very large, wonderful family. Greg has always been one of those people with many talents. I am so proud of him," Mrs. Cowart said.
Mrs. Register was also happy to pose for her cousin "who cares so much about families." She and her daughter rode a motorcycle around Thomson while Dr. Lang took photos from a moving pickup truck.
"It was exciting for her (Christy). We were having such a good time," she recalled.
Each of the nine books in the Why series features a particular relationship in a family. Photos, both posed and candid, serve as illustrations and the text then supports the book's title by listing 100 reasons why.
"All the introductions are personal stories. It's satisfying to me to share those stories and to memorialize people who are important to me," said Dr. Lang.
"The books were very well received," said the author who includes his e-mail in every volume. He has developed a fan base, and gets e-mails from all over the country and foreign countries.
The most touching e-mails are from soldiers stationed in Iraq who have received one of his books as a gift, he said. The givers sometimes personalize the books by adding photos of their own and by writing their own reasons why.
"They are taking the emotional intimacy to a higher level than I was able to do in the book originally," he said.
He is also touched that some readers have used his book Why I Love You to ask that special someone to marry them.
"I never expected people to use it in their proposals," he said.
Dr. Lang, who holds a Ph.D. in human development and marriage and family counseling, wrote his first book Why a Daughter Needs a Dad in an effort to put something into words about what his daughter meant to him. The book was rejected 63 times before a publisher became interested, and the year it appeared in print it landed on the New York Times Bestseller list.
He is currently working on his 10th book which will features families and will redefine the stereotypical family.