Award Winning Author
Speaker & Creative Writing Tutor
Marion feels she was definitely born with a pen in her hand. She always loved writing and was desperate to become a 'proper author'. But it was a very long time before she managed to achieve that. But now she has had books published by five different commercial publishers.
Born in Essex, Marion moved with her parents to North Surrey at an early age. She attended a small private school which concentrated on entering boys for the Common Entrance Exam for Public Schools. The 11 plus exam for State Schools was virtually ignored so Marion failed it – twice! Fortunately a new teacher entered her for the 13 plus exam – where there was no intelligent test! She passed and entered the local Girls' Grammar School in the fourth year. She had done no Latin, and as it was too late to pick it up, she was unable to go to University as, at that time, Latin was a prerequisite to study for any Arts degree.
She did the next best thing and trained as a teacher at Bishop Otter College – now the University of Chichester. She specialized in English and Physical Education and her first teaching post was in Winchester where she taught P.E. for a year before being offered a similar post in Surrey near her home. She taught there for five years before her wanderlust took over!
Her great grandfather had emigrated to Canada at the end of the nineteenth century leaving only his eldest son, Marion's grandfather, in England. Consequently Marion has a large number of relatives scattered across North America and she decided to renew contact with them. She obtained a post teaching P.E. in Hamilton, Ontario, and remained there for four years, travelling widely across Canada and the United States.
She had always wanted to work in Africa and when a friend became the Head of Bwerangi Girls' School in Uganda, she was able to join the staff teaching English as a second language. It was a fascinating experience and very different from her time in Canada. She worked there for two years and was able to travel around East Africa and South Africa. At the end of that time, she returned to England and took a post in a Grammar School in Berkshire. Here she taught English – as a first language!
The Open University had just started and Marion enrolled as one of the first students. (She did not have to have done Latin!) She gained an Upper Second Honours Degree in Humanities and Education.
Marion at school
On the strength of her degree, she obtained a post as a Head of English at a comprehensive school in the area of Surrey in which she had grown up. She taught in Surrey for nine years and then she was delighted to be able to take early retirement so that she could concentrate on her writing.
All the time she had been teaching, Marion had been writing. She had had a number of articles published in various magazines but, in spite of have having written several books, none had found a publisher. But that was soon to change. She had been brought up in a very strict Christian group, the Exclusive Brethren, a branch of the Plymouth Brethren which had started in the nineteenth century in an attempt to return to the simplicity of the early church. Sadly, in the twentieth century a leader introduced doctrine that was not based on the Bible and, as a consequence, many 'Brethren' including Marion's family left.
Her faith had not been affected and she ultimately joined the Church of England;
she is currently an active member of her local parish church. She had written an
account of her experiences and had submitted it, unsuccessfully, to several publishers.
But Marion did not give up. She self-
Marion’s first successful book in 1994
An award gained by “Don’t Call Me Sister”
As a result, one the publishers who had rejected it, accepted her second book and then republished her first one. She was on the way – at last.
She wrote two more biographies and also several books for the publisher HowtoBooks. Always fascinated by history, Marion was then commissioned by two publishers to write books on Woking and her latest book published at the end of 2011 was The Story of Guildford.
This is her fifteenth published book and she still has to pinch herself to believe this is really true. She was definitely a late developer!
There was a launch at the Surrey History Centre in Woking, (Below)
Marion’s latest book, published recently
As well as concentrating on her next book, Marion helps others to improve their writing skills in a variety of ways. Recently, she has run 'Creative Writing' workshops and given talks on several cruise ships. Marion also enjoys playing tennis, singing and acting. She has an acting and teaching diploma from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and is a member of a local Amateur Society for whom she enjoys acting.
She also does a one-
She enjoys being busy as she finds it very difficult to sit still and do nothing!