When I was young -- really young, I wanted to be a chipmunk.
At least, that's what I said any time anyone asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Some times, I imagined being a gull catching air currents above the waves rushing onto shore
or becoming Amelia Earhart flying around the world. After reading National Velvet,
I wanted to be a jockey, galloping alongside the fastest horses in the world.
I remember the night my mother was sitting on my bed, listening to me rattle off all the things
I wanted to be. “You can be anything you want,” she’d said, "providing you're a writer."
“Story writers make things up all the time, but it's tricky."
"Tricky, how ?"
"Making readers believe that what you've made up is real." She kissed my forehead, then whispered,
"And the only way to make the pretend seem real is to become the pretend."
It wasn’t until after I had finished my M.F.A. in Creative Writing, an M.A. in Education,
and left a twenty-five year career in Education that I started writing children’s stories. While teaching,
I continued to write short stories and poetry and had my students do the same. What I found most exciting
was collaborating with my students on creating the Hap and Chauncey Series,
stories about two zany dogs known for reciting Shakespearean sonnets while howling at the moon.
I loved teaching and my students, but I began to feel a tug:
you need to devote more time to your writing. The feeling grew stronger
when a friend said, "Mary, why don't you turn your art into a business?"
Thus began the most unexpected journey: the founding of MarmooWorks,
a company featuring original, whimsically rich children's books engaging readers of all ages
and creating companion pieces designed to make stories fly off the cover and pop up anywhere.
In March 2012, I founded MarmooWorks, a company featuring
original children's books that promote literacy and
a love for learning & language at an early age. Six months later,
I earned the prestigious InnovationErie Award, the first
contestant to win in all categories:
• Grand Prize for overall business concept,
• 1st Place in the Multi-Media Design Arts Competition, and
• the People's Choice Award.
For this, I feel blessed to have the family and friends I do.
Publications & Creations
2012: Christopher Counts The Constellations
(book e-book, audio, interactive app, and Readable Wear);
2013: A Hero at Three (book, audio, Books on Walls --
high quality prints with story imagery and text, & Readable Wear);
2014: A Hullabaloo of Hippos: A Lollapalooza of Language
from A to Z (book, audio, and Readable Wear);
2014: Goin' Explorin' (book, published by masonjars.com);
2016: When the Camel Sneezed (book, coloring book);
2017: Sheldon and the Hot-Nosed Husky (book, prints,
personalized mugs with story imagery).
A visual storytelling of Mary's founding
MarmooWorks: its Trials & Triumphs