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Author writes 'My Friend the Sunsphere'

She first saw the Sunsphere for the first time at the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville.

To many of us it is a landmark here in Knoxville, but to one local author it is much more.

"My family came to the World's Fair when I was a child and I remember it then it was just tall and gorgeous even then," Danielle Asher said.

That childhood visit to the tall and gorgeous Sunsphere stayed with Danielle Asher over the years.

She said she's taken thousands of pictures of it since she moved to Knoxville 10 years ago.

"Most the the pictures of the Sunsphere showed it in its full height. And then one day I thought why not take some pictures of it peeking and hiding? Just show a little slice of it. And I showed those pictures to my friends and they thought that was a hilarious concept," she said.

That concept evolved into a book called "My Friend the Sunsphere."

In the book, a child spots the Sunsphere while walking around Knoxville with mom and dad.

"The child sees it and wants to be friends with it. But the Sunsphere is of course shy, peeking and hiding. And mom and dad don't see the friend because as the child points out in the story grownups don't always see what kids see," Asher explained.

The story is kid-centric and inclusive.

"I made it a point to make the child non-gendered so any boy or girl can feel like they are the hero in the story," she said.

The hero loves the Sunsphere.

"I created the book with the intention of helping children fall in love with Knoxville. Kids that are growing up here or even just visiting," Asher said. "It provides a sense of belonging, a sense of community, not just belonging but belonging to something really cool."

Asher encountered the cool Sunsphere as a visitor, then as a resident and now as an author. When she started writing her book, she took that classic advice to write what you know.

"Sometimes you have to play the cards you're dealt," she said. "And it would have been a little tough to do My Friend the Eiffel Tower from where I lay my head."

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