In March 2012, I founded MarmooWorks, a company featuring
original children's books & companion pieces that promote
literacy and a love for learning & language at an early age.
Six months later, MarmooWorks earned the prestigious
InnovationErie Grand Prize for overall business concept,
first place for the Multi-Media Design Arts Competition,
and the People's Choice Award.
For this, I feel honored and thank my family and close friends.
Publications & Creations: Where Art & Technology Meet
2012: Christopher Counts The Constellations
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
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?"
Sometimes, I imagined being a gull catching air currents
above the waves or becoming Amelia Earhart flying
around the world. I dreamed of becoming a ballerina.
If I couldn’t fly, I thought, I’d leap. After reading
National Velvet, I wanted to be a jockey, even though
I’d never ridden a horse.
The day I was assigned an essay to write about Career Goals,
I stared at the blank paper, the clock, then the paper. My mother
must have heard me moaning. She walked into my room and
listened to me rattle off a litany of possibilities.
"Why not become a writer?" she said. "You're always
telling stories and you love poetry." She kissed my
forehead and left the room.
Eventually, that is what I chose to do. However, I didn't start
writing children's stories until after I had received my M.F.A.
in Creative Writing, a Masters in Education, and taught for
twenty-five years. Teaching didn't keep me from writing short
stories and poetry; in fact, it prompted me to write more.
How could I expect others to write, if I didn't practice the art
myself? Then, something incredible happened: my students
and I collaborated on the Hap and Chauncey Series, stories
about two zany dogs who leaped parts of speech in a single
bound, diagrammed sentences faster than a speeding greyhound,
and recited Shakespeare's sonnets more powerfully than Kenneth
Brannaugh, They barked in figurative language, chased squirrels,
and howled at the moon -- all at the same time.
Then, another incredible thing happened: I left teaching,
despite my love for my students and the subjects I taught.
You need to devote more time on your own writing, a voice
nagged inside me. As it grew louder, a friend said, "Mary,
why don't you turn your art form into a business?"
Thus began the most unexpected journey I could ever imagine:
the founding of MarmooWorks: a company featuring original,
whimsically rich children's books that promote literacy and a love
for learning & language at an early age; a company that engages
readers of all ages; a company that produces the element of
surprise -- creating companion pieces where books fly off
the cover and land anywhere.