Written by Mary Divine and Originally Published in Pioneer Press on July 23rd, 2013
The mother of Zach Sobiech, the Lakeland teenager whose song "Clouds" went viral shortly before he died of cancer at age 18, has inked a deal to write an inspirational book about her son.
Thomas Nelson, a Christian bookseller, has bought the North American rights to "Clouds," by Laura Sobiech.
According to Publishers Weekly, Thomas Nelson is "comparing the inspirational book to the megaseller 'The Last Lecture,' and said it will give readers 'the story behind the music and the boy behind the phenomenon.' "
"Clouds" is scheduled for publication May 20, 2014, the first anniversary of Zach Sobiech's death, Laura Sobiech said.
"After Zach died, I started writing," Laura Sobiech said. "I've been thinking about writing for a long time because I think there is a story underneath what everybody has heard that should be told, too. I've always been more interested in the spiritual side of things and that thread of what God did for us and for Zach, so that was the story that I wanted to tell."
Sobiech was diagnosed with bone cancer three years before he died. Last fall, he wrote and performed "Clouds" as a farewell to family and friends. It has received more than 7.7 million hits on YouTube.
Proceeds from the sale of the song and YouTube views are being donated to the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund through the Children's Cancer Research Fund. More than $360,000 has been raised to date.
Two months after Zach Sobiech's death, Laura Sobiech said Tuesday that her family was weathering "the calm after the storm."
"We're doing all right. We're kind of getting used to life," she said. "A lot of changes were going to happen now anyhow. Zach would have been going off to college, and Alli (his sister) was getting married and moving away. A lot of that would have happened anyway, and I guess there's some comfort in that."
Efforts are underway to have "Fix Me Up," a duet about friendship and cancer by Zach Sobiech and his best friend and songwriting partner, Samantha "Sammy" Brown, appear on the soundtrack of an upcoming movie. The movie, "The Fault in Our Stars," is based on a best-selling novel by John Green that was Zach Sobiech's favorite book. It's about two teenagers who meet and fall in love while attending a support group for children with cancer.
Fans of "Fix Me Up" have been using Twitter and other social media to promote the song for the movie. "It's a real grassroots effort," Laura Sobiech said.
Brown, 18, of Stillwater, will travel to Los Angeles on Thursday to meet with singer Jason Mraz's management team. Justin Balboni, director of the "My Last Days" documentary that featured Zach Sobiech, arranged the meeting.
Brown will be accompanied by her mother, Anne Greenwood Brown; Laura Sobiech and her daughter Grace; and Amy Adamle, Zach Sobiech's girlfriend.
"(Sammy's) excited and a little nervous but in a good way," said Greenwood Brown.
The women will be attending Balboni's wedding Saturday. Brown will sing at the ceremony, and Laura Sobiech said, "They're going to have a empty seat for Zach."