Hello and welcome to my blog! Here you’ll find writing tips, behind-the-scenes content for my novel Blood of Fire, and other random tidbits about my life as an author and general human being.
Country Girl at Heart
Today I just want to introduce myself to those of you who are new to my writing and perhaps don’t follow me on social media (and whyyyy is that?). So, here are the basics. My name is Marlow York and I was born in a tiny town in the Adirondack region of northern New York. No, I’m NOT from New York City, so for the love of all that is precious in this world, don’t ask me which borough I’m from. I’ve never been to the Big Apple, and I’ve never really had a desire to. Don’t get me wrong, if someone offered me round-trip plane tickets and hotel accommodations I might give it a second thought. Until then, no thanks. But I digress.
It’s not that I have anything against cities, but I’m a genuine tree-hugging nature lover and I’m damn proud to be a country girl. My hometown has 619 people (as of 2016 according to the United States Census Bureau) and my home was a double-wide trailer sitting on about 7 acres of land—full of overgrown fields, wildflowers, flourishing pine trees, and wild animal neighbors. I grew up gardening, swimming in the lake, fishing, tapping maple trees, helping on my best friend’s hobby farm, snow sledding, and playing imaginative outdoor games. This same beautiful area inspired the setting in many of my stories, including Blood of Fire.
When I Started Writing
I started writing when I was just eight years old. My very first short story was a mash-up of the Cartoon Network show Ed, Edd n Eddy and the Disney Channel movie Phantom of the Megaplex. It was called Phantom of the Gymnasium. Basically, I took the cast of Ed, Edd n Eddy and threw them into a whodunit mystery involving kidnapping (or what is theft?) surrounding the elementary school gymnasium. Spoiler alert: the gym teacher is whodunit. Why? Because me and gym class didn’t exactly get along, and apparently I needed a way to vent my frustrations.
Of course my writing wasn’t great (I was an eight year-old, for crying out loud), but I loved doing it. I always had some sort of storyline playing out in my head, but I was very shy and introverted as a child. Writing was the perfect outlet. I did it mostly to amuse myself, but I let my mom read my story, feeling very proud for coming up with this super-original idea. (Clearly it wasn’t since Disney had already made the movie). She’s also the creative type and wholeheartedly encouraged me to keep doing what I loved.
This sentiment was echoed by my third-grade teacher, Mr. Pratt. I had written a series of short stories called Feathered Ends, but then changed it to Horse Feathers because I have no idea what Feathered Ends has to do with horses. I was a horse-obsessed child who loved The Saddle Club books and T.V. show, so I wrote stories along the same line. I never once ripped off any of The Saddle Club novels, but after entering a story into the school writing contest, Mr. Pratt confronted me about my blue first-place ribbon. See, the judges said the story was so good they thought I’d plagiarized it. I hadn’t, and insisted under penalty of detention that I had completely invented it myself. Mr. Pratt then told me, “Don’t. Stop. Writing.” I never intended to stop, but his words and intense gaze are still etched in my memory. Fast-forward years later and I’m now a proudly self-published author with paperbacks sitting on bookshelves in multiple countries.
I really should write Mr. Pratt a thank-you letter and send him a signed copy, now that I think of it.
An Adventurous Heart
After graduating from college with a B.A. in English and Creative Writing, I decided to get out of my small town and fly cross-country to San Diego, California where I lived for three years. Why? Because I could. Much as I love my hometown, the economy there is not great, job opportunities are few, and the winters are long and harsh. Besides, I was young and didn’t have a house or children, so why not take an adventure? I had met my now-fiancé, David, while I was in college and he was stationed at the nearby army base. He was born and raised in southern California and I’d visited him and his family at least twice before I finally made the leap. They all encouraged me to follow my heart and go for it. Yes, it was scary and risky, but I fully believe it helped me grow as a person, and it was easier to make the transition because I already knew people there. I think everyone who can should move out of their home state—or at least their hometown—and live someplace completely different. I could make an entire blog just about my travels (I did but stopped working on it years ago, and so I’ll just save that for another day).
David and I now live in northern Utah with our pit bull mix, Hogan. I work for a San Diego based SEO company by day, and by earlier-in-the-day I write. I’m currently working on the sequel to Blood of Fire, which I also plan to self-publish. The best way to stay updated on my writing endeavors and see super-adorable pictures of Hogan is to follow me on Instagram (@MarlowYork). If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for future blog posts, feel free to leave a comment below! Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next time.