Photo courtesy of Beverly Moss.

As an adult, Beverly Parkhurst Moss became an advocate for Sudanese girl refugees. She and others were giving a presentation at an event in Austin, and on their way back, they decided to stop at the Stagecoach Inn (now the Shady Villa Hotel) in Salado for lunch.

In the courtyard, there was a large tree with branches growing into nearby boutiques. She never forgot that tree, and it became a source of inspiration.

“Over time, this little girl, and the little boy, Presley, kind of took on a life in my mind,” says Moss, a Preston Hollow resident who has lived in Dallas since 1961.

The girl, Sophie, and Presley became central characters in Moss’ young adult book, Sophie’s Adventures in Time, which was published earlier this year. Moss started writing it years ago but wasn’t happy with it. She put it on the shelf and then rewrote it, adding a second part.

The story starts out in Lakewood. Sophie, 8, wakes up one morning after having a fight with her mother the night before, and she finds her mother gone. Her father was a soldier in Afghanistan, and after his helicopter is gunned down, he goes missing, too.

“Sophie’s Adventures in Time” by Beverly Parkhurst Moss.

Sophie is forced to live with her aunt Rose for a while. Eventually, when Sophie is 12, her father is found. He is reunited with Sophie, and he starts a travel magazine, which requires them to travel around Texas, along with Sophie’s two pets.

They check into a hotel in Salado, where Sophie sees an animal in a tree in the courtyard. She and her new friend Presley — the grandson of the hotel owner — set out to capture it, but in the process, they fall. When they wake up, they realize they’re in prehistoric Texas. Throughout the book, mostly set in prehistoric times and in the 1800s, Sophie searches for her mother. At the end of the story, the characters return to Lakewood.

“All the characters — these little kids, they just became so real to me that I expected them to walk in the door,” Moss says.

In April, Moss pitched the story to producers in New York. Two of them asked to read the manuscript and “both indicated it would be a very good animated series,” she says.

“It’s kind of a story of redemption,” Moss says.

She hasn’t made definite plans, but Moss says the book sets itself up for a follow-up.