New ’30A Living’ book now available

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DEBORAH WHEELER @WaltonSunDeb

After five years in the works, Lynn Nesmith’s “30A Living” is out and available for special gift giving and coffee tables.

“30A Living” is a coffee-table book for those who embrace and are intrigued by the homes and lifestyle on 30A, and have ever wondered what is behind the doors of architecturally intriguing homes along the corridor.

Nesmith spent the past several years collecting photos and notes of homes she would come along working as a free-lance writer for various magazines.

“30A Living” is Nesmith’s sixth book — her third coffee-table book to pen alone, and she has one other that she co-wrote.

Nesmith brings a strong background of writing to her compilations, beginning in the 1980s with Architecture Magazine in Washington D.C.

“I started at the bottom and worked my way up to editor and writer,” said Nesmith. “I learned all aspects of the job, but the industry has changed dramatically. I like writing books because I am in charge and complete control. It’s nice to be able to do it the way I want it done.”

As the industry evolved, so did Nesmith’s career.

She traveled from D.C. to Birmingham in the 1990s to write about the new Southern Living Corporation headquarters building. That trip turned into Nesmith applying for a job with them. She went onboard with Southern Living as architecture editor.

“At that job, I wrote about (the South Walton) area,” she said. “My first time here (in the 1990s), I came working instead of vacationing and was taken by the area.”

That first visit led to more and it became a place she came for work and vacation again and again.

In 2001, Nesmith moved to South Walton.

“I was ready for a change,” she said. “After working at Southern Living for seven years I had made connections at Seaside and was hired to work on their 20th anniversary celebration. If I was going to leave Southern Living I wanted to be some place fun. There aren’t many places you can live at the beach and surrounded by things to write about. It was an exciting time. A time to explore living on 30A,” said Nesmith. “I grew up about 25 miles from the North Carolina beaches and feel a connection to living along the water.”

Nesmith’s first book was on healthcare architecture, then she wrote “Instant Architecture” with facts from the early 1990s. She followed with “Seaside Style” in 2004 and “30A Style” came out in 2011. She co-wrote “Tracery” with Paige Schnell.

“It was a risk publishing ’30A Style.’ I had not done anything like that on my own. But it was incredibly successful, selling over 12,000 copies. So I thought I needed to do another,” she said. “I wanted something similar but different.”

Nesmith’s photographer is Jean Allsopp, who has photographed a lot of the houses on 30A, and a couple of the houses in the book are in magazines Nesmith writes for. Some have been considered for other magazines. Nesmith spends years collecting the houses that will be featured in her books, and now she will begin collecting anew for her next project.

“I love to hold a real book in my hands,” Nesmith said.

Her next project will be a guest book.

“I do a lot of distribution and book signings so I know a lot of shop owners. I have gotten a lot of requests for a guest book to place in rental houses, for weddings, and for memory books,” she said.

Twenty-five stores located between Destin and Panama City sell “30A Living.” They can also be purchased at www.30alivingbook.com. It sells for $50.

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