Meet Marianne, a Nashville-based mom with an Illinois connection. Two months ago, Marianne was flying to Chicago for work and coincidentally sat next to my husband, Ryan who told her all about the Libertyville Area Moms network. Turns out Marianne is a longtime children’s book author and artist whose books I have known and loved for years — and maybe you have, too! Marianne’s Chicago connection is her publisher for more than a decade, Sourcebooks, Inc. in Naperville who distributes her books all over the world. (side note – Sourcebooks is the largest woman owned publisher in the US!). With more than 50 books written and 6 million sold, Marianne says, “I write for the unique everybody. Our stories are all beautifully different and our feelings are a lot the same.” Marianne writes heartfelt messages that help us moms connect to our own feelings and celebrate our love for family. Given her publisher is a huge support to the Illinois bookstore community, I wanted to feature her work as a gift to our Libertyville moms. Stay tuned tonight to learn how you can enter our Giveaway from Sourcebooks!
How long have you lived in Nashville? Just two years! Our family lived in Minnesota for 23 years and I thought I’d be there forever. Then in 2014, a job change for my husband brought us to San Jose, California for three years and now Nashville since August, 2017. Best night of Nashville life so far was my selfie with Keith Urban (I know you didn’t ask but I had to tell you).
Do you have child(ren)? Age(s) My husband Jim and I have four children, ages 15-22 and they — and my own life — are my biggest source of inspiration for my writing. Many of my books were born from a particular conversation or moment with one of them and I’m sure many of the same conversations you have with your own kids!
How long have you been writing and what is your bestselling book? I self-published my very first book in 1997 called The Gift of an Angel for parents welcoming a new child and saw firsthand the special place a book can have in a family’s life. It lit in me a passion for honoring the relationships, feelings and milestones of life through words and art. My bestselling titles are I Love You So, If I Could Keep you Little and Be Brave Little One.
What are your favorite things to do with and without your kids? Date night? My personal loves are hiking, yoga and exploring new places, from coffee shops to countries! Our family loves to explore new places as well, ski, hike, play games and laugh at our own jokes.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor or in the corporate world? Please share! I lead an annual Awaken your Creative Soul art/writing and yoga retreat in the Smoky Mountains. I also love sharing my books through organizations that bring more love and connection to the world. For example, books for families in the NICU. I’m also doing once- a-month art with women in addiction recovery.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you? I love brussels sprouts.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another Mom? To practice my “calm, empathetic face.” It’s the expression I can use when my kids tell me something that’s freaking me out, but I don’t want them to know, inviting them to continue to confide in me.
What is next for you? I’m just finished a draft for my next book called, “I Promise You” which honors the promises we make to our kids as well as what we unfortunately cannot promise