Emily Brafman, now 40, grew up spending summers on Fire Island. As a college assignment, she wrote a children’s book about what days were like on the barrier island: playing on the beach, getting ice cream cones at UnFriendly’s in Fair Harbor.
Every summer afterward she would think, she says, “I should do something with this.” The urge got stronger as she returned each summer with her own kids, Nicky, 7, and Celia, 5. “I’m really reliving my childhood through them now,” Brafman says. And, at the same time, self-publishing became easier and more acceptable in the book industry.
When she turned 40, Brafman decided this would be her year to “Just Do It.” She learned it would cost $5,000 to illustrate and publish 1,000 books. She launched a Kickstarter campaign and, within 12 days, she was fully funded, with support coming from Fire Islanders, people familiar with her father Kenny Goodman’s eponymous Ocean Beach store, and strangers. She’s just published “I Know a Place: A Fire Island Story.”
Wednesday, Aug. 13, at 4 p.m., she’ll be reading and signing the book at Pixie Dust, 125 W. Main St., in Bay Shore. The event is free, but buying the book is $14.95. She’s also been selling them out of a wagon on the dock at Fair Harbor and at various Fire Island locations. Can’t make the event? Order the book at mascotbooks.com.