A lifelong habit of making up rhymes has turned into literary success for Julie Datko.

A lifelong habit of making up rhymes has turned into literary success for Julie Datko.

About eight years ago, the Northland resident and Dublin City Schools employee started writing down the rhyming stories she would make up throughout the day, a habit she said she picked up from her aunt at a young age.

"Once I had a couple, I picked a favorite and sent it off" to different publishers, Datko said.

Two and a half years later, the result is "Pearl H. Gray and the Bad to Good Day," Datko's first book, recently released by Tate Publishing.

The story follows the title character to school. She expects to have a bad day and be made fun of, but when she forgets her lunch, things turn around and she quickly makes friends.

The goal of the story, Datko said, is to teach children the important lesson of treating each other well but in a fun and interesting way that disguises the fact that they're learning.

"I think, just as important as math and science in school are character lessons," said Datko, who works in the communications office for Dublin City Schools.

Datko said the responsibilities of being a published author are just hitting her, as her publisher is setting up book signings and other publicity events.

"I'm still learning," Datko said. "We're still not at the end of this whole thing."

The process of being published has been exciting, Datko said, as she gets feedback from family, friends and those who have read her book.

"It's nice to hear people say, 'This is a nice book. I like the pictures; I like the characters,' " she said. "The best part of it is that my grandma's excited."

Datko said she hopes the publishing of "Pearl H. Gray and the Bad to Good Day" will be just the first step in a literary career. She said she eventually would like to go into schools to share her book and teach kids the moral of the story. She also has a few more stories that she would like to see materialize into books.

"I have more stories written, and I guess time will tell," Datko said.

Datko's book is available locally at book stores and through book sellers online.

Datko has her first book signing scheduled in Columbus at 2 p.m. June 20 at the Barnes and Noble Polaris location.

jnesbitt@thisweeknews.com