My name is Marilyn (Miss Marilyn to my Storytime friends.) I write stories, create Storytime programs, nurture big gardens and put up the harvest. I am happy to share ideas with you.
Here is the beautiful cover of my debut novel. Many readers have sent letters - yes, real handwritten letters - to let me know how much this story meant to them. What a gift to receive these letters. I wrote this story with one hope, one prayer - that it would reach the reader that needed it. I felt I had been called to write this story and I knew that if I reached just one person, all the effort would be worth it. I knew this was my way to send this message: Do not give up. Tomorrow the sun will shine again. It will all be well once more. Have faith.
Carolina Harmony is my first published novel for children. It is a story about a young girl hoping to be part of a family again. She is on a journey, one full of adventure, and she will experience sorrow but also joy. This is a story of faith. I have learned that if your heart is in the right place, a loving place, somehow a path is laid before you. She will find her way. (You will find your way, too. Have faith. Journey on.)
The publishing process was quite a journey for me. I made a lot of mistakes but I did a lot of things right, too. My journey continues for I am writing and polishing many, many stories. I write picture books and middle-grade novels and I'm working on two young adult novels. I write poetry too, and song lyrics. I am a writer.
Publishing is a business. Sell books. Sell a lot of books. Writing stories is altogether different. Something magical happens as imagination transports the writer to another world and the writer journeys with the characters. Reading a story is also falling into another world. The best stories capture a heart. Sometimes the book one most needs has been gathering dust on a neglected shelf until you, the reader, finds it. It has been waiting for you. You open it, read the first page and you know. You just know. Yes, this one. Stories are like messengers; the best stories showing you the right way to live. I know this for I am a reader too, always have been, and I am so very grateful that I can walk into a library and borrow any book on the shelf, for free. What wondrous gifts I have found right there in the library, free for the taking. I love libraries. Today, I am happy to be giving back by working as a children's librarian, doing my best to encourage a love of reading. When I am home at my desk, creating a story, I give it my whole heart, my full attention, because young readers deserve my very best work. It is not an easy thing to construct a story but it is so worth the time and effort, and I love the craft. One day, more of my stories will be published but for today I am happy to write, to get to know my characters and tell their stories in the best way I can.
A story must be shared. It needs readers. It needs listeners. Only then is the circle complete.