WDIV Anchor Devin Scillian Releases 20th Children’s Book

Detroiters know Devin Scillian as an award winning journalist and news anchor, but when he’s not delivering the news, he’s making music and writing books for children.

When the stay-home order was put in place, WDIV’s Devin Scillian was still heading to work everyday to anchor the Channel 4 newscast.

“I realized that a lot of people were spending time searching for distractions, diversions, and music is always, I think, a real comfort to a lot of people.” — Devin Scillian, Songwriter 

But at home, he’s writing music and writing books. With a guitar always nearby, he decided to perform a solo acoustic song and put it on Instagram with the title “Quarantine Interludes.” He thought he would do one every couple of days, but the response was so immediate that he now posts a song everyday covering everyone from Bob Dylan to Kacey Musgraves, Tom Petty to Kermit the Frog.

Click on the player above to hear CultureShift’s Ann Delisi talk with WDIV’s Devin Scillian.

On April 19th, Scillian played one of his own songs to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, a tragic event that he covered before taking the job at WDIV in Detroit.

“It’s one of the most pivotal moments of my life, the saddest day of my life in so many ways. Journalists, I think we try to separate ourselves from so much of what we cover, otherwise we might just be crushed by the weight of it. It was kind of impossible that day because the blast in Oklahoma City at 9 o’clock that morning shook my house and I lived 12 miles from downtown Oklahoma City. If you didn’t know somebody who was there, you knew somebody who knew somebody or had a family member in it. That was a very pivotal moment for me in so many ways.”

Although Scillian tells nightly stories about the world around us, he has spent years telling different kinds of stories altogether by writing children’s books. These books tell stories about love, friendship, following your dreams and stories about our military and our country, but his latest book, “Memoirs of a Tortoise” tells a different kind of story. 

“It feels different to me. I write a lot of books that aim at a funny bone and this one isn’t really quite that. It’s a book about loss and death, which is a little unusual in the children’s space, but tortoises can outlive their owners and so it’s a twist on a person losing a pet and in this case the pet loses its person.”

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  • Ann Delisi
    Ann Delisi hosts Essential Music, the Essential Conversations podcast series and the Essential Cooking broadcast and podcast. Born and raised in the Motor City, Ann is a broadcaster, interviewer, producer, music host, storyteller and proud Detroiter.