(Meet the author and illustrator of this colorful kids book Thursday, July 14, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at The 30A Store in Gulf Place! If you can’t make it, tune into 30A’s Facebook page for a live broadcast, a chance to win prizes and an exclusive offer for 30A Fans.)
Grace Skertich had just given birth to her first baby when she unexpectedly became a children’s book author.
She had three months maternity leave from her law firm in Memphis and a baby who never cried — something most moms can only dream of — and she hungered for a new project.
Why NOT write a children’s book?
It’s not something she’d ever dreamed of doing — or even thought of doing. But it wasn’t long before she and her husband, Ryan, had put their heads together, found an illustrator and were soon hard at work creating Goodnight Memphis.
Their first book was published in August 2014 and was very well-received. In fact, Grace said she had so much fun doing it, she started to think about the next one.
“The only other place in America I know as well as Memphis is 30A,” said Grace.
That’s when Grace reached out The 30A Company to see if she could incorporate the iconic 30A logo into some of their illustrations.
It was an easy sell.
“The illustrations in Goodnight Memphis were so colorful and vibrant, and the draft of their 30A story was obviously heartfelt,” said 30A’s Mike Ragsdale. “We knew we’d be proud to have the 30A brand associated with the project.”
Goodnight 30A was born.
David Lynch, the book’s illustrator, starts each page with a big, blank canvas — literally. His bright, original paintings are then scanned in and sized down to become the pages of the book.
“It’s really colorful and whimsical,” said Grace. “It’s not digitally created, and I think that’s one of the things that has made the book so successful. It’s truly a work of art.”
Goodnight 30A features many famous local places and activities, especially family-friendly ones like Bud & Alley’s Pizza Bar, YOLO Boarding, The Red Bar, George’s at Alys Beach, Charlie’s Donut Truck, Frost Bites, Seaside, WaterColor, Rosemary Beach and Grayton Beach.
Grace said she’s thrilled with how the book turned out and is excited for everyone to finally see it.
“Never in a million years did I think I would be a children’s book author,” she said. “It was just sort of the perfect storm after practicing law for five years in a corporate setting, which can be kind of monotonous. I do love to write, but I’m typically writing legal briefs. This is much more fun.”
Goodnight 30A is now available for purchase online. Also, check out these beautiful postcard packs made from the book’s artwork.
CHECK OUT THIS INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR: