Saturday, October 13, 2007

Who am I and what am I doing here?

No, I'm not Admiral James Stockdale who's running for Vice President with Ross Perot (is that too old of a reference?) I'm Marley Gibson and I'm a young adult author.

Here's the "famed" picture everyone saw at RWA in Dallas this year...(sorry, I don't have an official author photo yet.)

I love saying that. "I'm an author." And, come May 2008, I'll be a published authors. A dream come true. Here I am with my first contract/advance.

People ask me when I first started writing and I answer with "I don't remember a time when I wasn't writing." I used to pen stories for my family and would then have an auction after dinner where my mother, brother, father and sister would "bid" on the stories. It was stuff like: "My teddy bear is Donny. He has a green body. His head is brown. The end." As I grew up, I wrote all sorts of stories. When I was fifteen, I started writing my first young adult story. It was about a cheerleader and a basketball player who fell in love. I still have it and it's not half bad.

In college, I took a lot of writing classes and majored in advertising where I did a lot of creative copywriting. All through my career as a marketing events planner, I've written newsletters, client sheets, white papers, advertisements, press releases, direct mail, you name it.

In January 2001, I decided I could no longer prevail in the world that demanded twelve hour days from me and massive travel. I wanted to downsize my career, but I wanted to do something with my writing. And I did. From January to August, I wrote my first completed novel. All 863 pages of! OMG! But it got me writing and I haven't stopped yet. I've written fourteen manuscripts and five partial manuscripts. And I have two books coming out next year!

Here's the first book: SORORITY 101: ZETA OR OMEGA?, writing as Kate Harmon.

In the first book, three heroines from very different backgrounds become friends during Sorority Rush at Latimer University. There's Veronica Van Gelderen (please call her Roni), a Boston Brahman who has rebelled against her parents' money and wishes for a Harvard education to strike out on her own at Latimer. Jenna Driscoll seeks to find a close-knit family, just like the one she left in Atlanta, while trying to hide her diabetes from her new friends. Lora-Leigh Sorenstein is a local gal who dreams of going to design school in New York City. However, her father, Latimer's Dean of Students, insists she stay close to home and her mother insists she Rush. Each girl must decide which sorority house is right for her...and why. The excitement of Sorority Rush is seen through each girl's perspective, ending with their emotional decision and ultimate excitement on Bid Day.

SORORITY 101: THE NEW SISTERS, writing as Kate Harmon

The second book, which comes out at the same time as the first, picks up right after Bid Day, when Roni, Jenna and Lora-Leigh are getting used to the college scene and their life as new sorority members. Roni struggles long-distance with her relationship with her hand's off parents, Lora-Leigh tries to win back her mother's trust after disappointing her, and Jenna is reluctant to share her diabetes with her new sisters until she's struck with a seizure and has her sisters to thank for getting her to the hospital. The story follows each girl as they settle into their academic life, attend fraternity swaps, meet cute guys, and bond with their new sorority sisters. The story ends with the girls being initiated into their chosen sorority.

I'm really excited about the books and I hope you will be too when they come out. I had a great time writing them and feel like there's a little piece of me in Roni, Jenna and Lora-Leigh.

As we get closer to the release date, look for advance copy giveaways here on Books, Boys, Buzz!

Marley = )

What I'm currently reading: Simone's LEAVING PARADISE...and you'll have to excuse me because I have got to get back to it!!!! It's phenomenal!


TinaFerraro said...

Oh, my, my, Marley, 863 pages! Wow, it sounds like once you let that muse run free, it was taking no prisoners! :)

As someone who has had the pleasure of a pre-read of SORORITY 101: ZETA OR OMEGA?, I can tell everyone that it's a richly written page turner, and you'll not be able to stop at just this book. So go ahead and buy them both when they hit the stands, then settle in for the fun!

Anonymous said...

Hi Marley,
I know that photo of you well! It was fun watching the Buzz Girls carry you around with them in Dallas. I'm looking forward to your books and to living the sorority live through your characters, as that is something I never did in college.


stephhale said...

Man, I love your covers! Those books are going to fly off the shelves. I also had the pleasure of reading the first in the series and can hardly wait for the second!

Heather Davis said...

Can't wait to read the second book, Marley -- and I'm with Tina -- 863 pages? That's what I'd call a novelist's marathon. Good thing you had the gumption and dedication to write that massive first book though, because look at you now! Unstoppable!


Me said...

Yay for persistence and following your dreams and getting them big time. Like Tina said, book one was wonderful and I can't wait for the second installment--or to see your series lined up on the shelves!

Anonymous said...

863 pages?! Yikes!

Your covers are so fabulous. Can't wait to read the books!