ROCKFORD, Mich. (WOOD) — Former WOOD TV8 employee Ginger Zee returned to her hometown of Rockford Friday.
After visiting two middle schools, the chief meteorologist for ABC News stopped at Epilogue Books to sign copies of her new children’s book, “Chasing Helicity into the Wind.”
Zee says the story is based on a young woman from West Michigan.
“She has the worst luck when it comes to weather ever. You’re going to follow her along this adventure, hopefully learn a lot about science and then hopefully learn about yourself,” explained Zee.
Zee said she wanted to write children’s books from the start.
“As we were talking, they said, ‘No, that’s an adult book.’ And suddenly I’m writing a memoir about my life. And I was like, ‘Where did that come from?’” Zee said.
Zee said the movie, “Twister” sent her down her career path.
“And when I saw Helen Hunt as this awesome scientist leading the charge in storm chasing, that’s when I found my place in life. I wanted to be a storm chaser,” she explained.
But it was her trip to see the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina while working at WOOD TV8 that inspired her writing.
“Within 10 minutes I realized that storm, every storm isn’t about the science, it’s about people,” Zee said. “And so that’s what this young woman learns, is she’s really interested in science, but she ends learning about science and other people, compassion, serving others. You know, all the things I wish I would’ve learned or I did learn, but it took me almost 40 years, she’s going to learn in a couple of years.”
Zee said growing up, she had Mr. Wizard and the next generation had Bill Nye. But she’s hoping the next mentor for children interested in science looks a little different.
“I feel like we have to have a female scientist be that next person that the kids and really everyone’s looking to, and I’d love to be her. Whether that’s through Helicity or with a different show, I don’t know, for Disney, something,” she said.