The theme and Grand Marshal for this year’s Lafayette Christmas Parade are all set and they go hand in hand.
This year’s theme is “A Storybook Christmas” and the Grand Marshal for the December 4th Parade is Amy Parker, a mid-Tennessee native and author of children’s storybooks.
Parker has written over 70 children’s books, many of which have a Christian theme.
Parker was contacted by the Macon County Chamber of Commerce via their website about her appearance and role as Grand Marshal and felt the match was perfect.
âThey said the theme was going to be ‘A Christmas Storybook’, and I thought it was absolutely perfect, because I’ve spent my whole life writing stories for kids, and this year, I have a Christmas storybook that just came out, so it’s just perfect, âParker said.
Parker is from Watertown and said she visited Lafayette when Watertown and Macon County were playing football against each other. She said he was looking forward to returning to Lafayette in a very different role.
âI grew up in Watertown. I believe we played football in Macon County a long, long time ago. It’s been a long time, but I’m delighted to be back, âsaid Parker.
Parker got into publishing about 20 years ago working for Tommy Nelson, the children’s division of the Nashville Thomas Nelson publishing house. She was an editor there, but about six to nine months after starting her career as a children’s book publisher, the company suffered cuts and she was fired. There was a silver lining, however, as it gave her the opportunity to work as a freelance and it was there that she began her writing career in earnest.
Parker’s first children’s book was called âA Night Night Prayer,â published in 2008. This one was inspired by one of his children.
âThe first book ‘Night, Night’ was inspired by my fiery little redhead who didn’t want to fall asleep. And I woke up in the middle of the night with this verse ringing in my ears, and I wrote it down, she said. âIt was the first inspiration for the ‘Night, Night’ books. Other parents seemed to be able to relate to not being able to put their preschoolers to sleep.
âWe just extended this brand with everything we could think of of these interested kids. “Night, Night Train”, “Night, Night Zoo”, “Night, Night Farm” just to help kids fall asleep and build that bedtime pattern. This series was in a way born from this initial inspiration.
As it turned out, the “Night Night” series was something parents of young children could easily relate to.
â’A Night, Night Prayer’ was the first, and I think we all expected it to be the only one, but it really resonated with parents, so we tried to offer a variety of these. âNight, Nightâ books that help establish and slow down the bedtime routine, âshe said.
Since then, Parker has not only written his fair share of children’s books, she has been able to work alongside famous people, such as Christian comedian Andy Andrews, wildlife enthusiast Jack Hanna and Veggie co-creator. Tales Mike Nawrocki, who also voiced Larry the Cucumber.
In terms of ideas for new books, Parker said inspiration and ideas can come from almost any situation. Much of it is inspired by his Bible reading, but other ideas come from everyday life.
âI read my Bible every day, and sometimes. Inspiration comes from a variety of places. I’ll just say, ‘That would be a good idea for a children’s book.’ Just the things that have happened in my life combined with the scriptures would make a good children’s book, âParker said. âIt comes from everywhere. Sometimes it’s more strategic, like what’s the next step for this brand. And that’s where the “Night, Night Bible Stories” and the “Night, Night Devotions” came out, which I absolutely adore. It felt like we had done a lot with this brand, it’s time for a Bible storybook. Inspiration therefore comes from all kinds of places.