Monday, July 7, 2008

The Chemistry is Write: Marlo Schalesky

Little cutie, Marlo, at age 2

Marlo tells this story about wanting to write when she was 13 on her Frequently Asked Questions page of her web site(see links below to read more):

"Q: Tell us about your journey to publication.

A: When I was thirteen years old, I wrote a poem on the bus on the way to school. It was about an old tree, forlorn and desolate, standing alone in a field. I read that poem at every recess, tweaked it, polished it, and for the first time, felt the thrill of how the written word can convey profound beauty. That day, I fell in love with writing.

Shortly after that, I told my mother (with all the angst of a newly-turned teenager), 'I will just die if I don’t write!' So naturally when I grew up I decided to get my degree in Chemistry. And, oddly enough, I didn’t die. I enjoyed chemistry. But always that desire to write was with me, in the back of my mind, saying 'Someday, someday.'

Someday finally came. I started writing articles for various magazines and putting out proposals for book projects. I thought it would be easy to get my first book published, but alas, it took years of writing and honing my craft (6 years, in fact). And more than that, it took giving up my dream entirely. For me, I had to come to a place in my heart where I didn’t have to write to be content. I had to let go of that strong desire born at thirteen years old and embrace God’s will for me whether that will included writing or not. Only then, only when my dream had given way to God’s, was I offered a contract by Crossway Books for my first published book, Cry Freedom.

So, Marlo's chemistry was set up to write from way back when. Let's see what sorts of things in her childhood was in that mix:

Childhood Ambition: To become a writer (what was I thinking???)

Fondest Memory (then):

Buying my first horse at age 9 (I saved up my own money for him). His name was Hustling Hobo, and I rode him all over the place. Sometimes I’d just tie his lead rope around to the other side of the halter and jump on bareback. And sometimes I’d lay back, with my head on his rump, and look at the sky. Hobo and I did a lot of dreaming back then . . .

Marlo and her horse, Hobo, the day she bought him. Marlo made her dreams come true--with help from God, to Whom she pledged her life.

Proudest Moment (then):

Winning a regional essay contest in the fifth grade . . . I was supposed to write about why we should pledge allegiance to the flag. Instead, I wrote about how we should pledge allegiance to God first. It was a big risk, especially in a public setting (the contest was in the public school system), and I was so surprised when I won and got to read the essay aloud at a big ceremony.

Biggest Challenge as a Child or Teen:

Being the smartest girl in class. It doesn’t seem like that ought to have been a challenge, but for me, it was. It meant I never really fit in, I was always different from the other kids. I was “the smart girl” who everyone liked just fine, but no one was really close to. It tended to create a polite distance between me and others.

My First Job:

Working as a secretary (now called “office manager”) at an engineering firm. The owner of the firm would later become my step dad.

Childhood Indulgence:

Fifteen cents for a fudgesicle at the little downtown market in Newcastle, California.

Favorite Outfit as a Child:

I had this absolutely horrible blue velour top that I wore with bell bottoms that faded from dark blue (at the top) to light blue (at the bottom). Oh, I thought that velour top was the coolest thing ever. Ick.

Favorite Childhood Movie and/or TV Show:

I loved Happy Days. And when my mom signed me up for ballet lessons at the same time as Happy Days, well, let’s just say I never learned ballet!

Marlo with her "Grampie" as he read to her
Favorite Childhood Book:

My mom tells me it was Joe the Crow. But I don’t remember Joe the Crow. I do remember reading A LOT of Marguerite Henry horse books. My favorite was King of the Wind (still is). I was also a big fan of the Narnian Chronicles.

Favorite Childhood Activity/Pastime:

I loved to ride horses, make “forts” out in the woods, and read horse stories and fantasy stories. I was always reading!

Childhood Hero: Aslan

Childhood Pals: Lisa Winterhalter (she had horses too), Chris Adams (who loved Star Wars).

Childhood Pets:

Pepe (our German shepherd/poodle mix), Fifi (my first calico cat), Kemo (our next dog), ChiChi (my white cat), my horses Hobo and Misty (she was a jumper!), and various parakeets, all named “Tweety.”

Anything else you would like to share with readers about your childhood which affected the writer you have become?

When I was a kid, my bedtime was REALLY early. It took me hours between the time I went to bed until the time I fell asleep. So, the way I would pass the time would be to tell myself stories. I’d make up stories of princes and princesses, knights and dragons, talking animals, and all kinds of fun, fantastical adventures. I think it was those times, more than anything, that birthed in me a love for story and made me into the writer I am today.

Marlo and Dusty Baker, meeting him when he played left field with the Dodgers was no daydream--it happened!

Marlo's Blog:
Marlo's shoutlife page:
Marlo's CCM page:

Marlo Schalesky is the award winning author of six books, including her latest novel BEYOND THE NIGHT, which combines a love story with a surprise ending twist to create a new type of story. She has also had over 600 articles published in various magazines, had her work included in compilations such as Dr. Dobson’s Night Light Devotional for Couples, and is a regular columnist for Power for Living. Marlo recently earned her Masters degree in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and is currently working on more “Love Stories with a Twist!” for Multnomah-Waterbrook Publishers, a division of Random House. She owns her own construction consulting firm and lives in Salinas, California with her husband and four young daughters.

Marlo's Books:

Beyond the Night

A poignant love story... A shocking twist... A love that will not die.

They say love is blind. This time they’re right. In this Nicholas-Sparks-meets-M.-Night-Shymalan story, set to the music of the 70’s, we discover two people trying to find love in the dark. A woman losing her sight, a man who loves her but can’t tell her so, a car crash, a hospital room, and an ending that has to be experienced to be believed.

Come, see what mystery awaits . . . beyond the night.


To celebrate the release of Beyond the Night, the first of Marlo’s new Love Stories With a Twist!, she’s running a contest.

The prize? An entire bag full of surprise gifts--each directly related to the storyline for Beyond the Night--hand packed and shipped directly to you!

So how do you enter? Great question. You have four choices, and four ways to win:





Read on for the details . . .


What you’ll need: Acrobat Reader, your Bible, your copy of Beyond the Night

1) Download and print out the PDF puzzle. Use the provided Braille key, and search out clues in Braille, in your Bible, and in your copy of Beyond the Night, to solve the puzzle … and discover the “big picture” theme of Marlo’s Love Stories With a Twist!

2) E-mail Marlo the answer through her Contact page

3) Include your mailing address and first and last name.

4) And include where you got your copy of Beyond the Night.


What you’ll need: An Internet connection, an e-mail account, and 12 friends!

1) E-mail 12 or more of your friends to tell them about Beyond the Night.

2) Include a link to her web site ( in your e-mail.

3) Copy Marlo at contest[at]marloschaleskyDOTcom in your e-mail. (Your friends’ addresses will NOT be used, saved to a database, or harvested in any way!)


What you’ll need: A digital camera, an Internet connection, and a personal blog

1) Go somewhere fun and interesting.

2) Take along your copy of Beyond the Night to read.

3) Ask someone to snap a digital photo of you reading Beyond the Night (make sure we can see the cover!) at your exotic location.

4) Post the photo on your blog, or in your Flickr, Slide, or Photobucket account, with a note or caption about where the photo was taken.

5) E-mail Marlo at contest[at]marloschaleskydotcom with a link to your blog or photo album as well as your name and mailing address.


What you’ll need: A blog, Facebook, MySpace, or Bebo account, and an Internet connection

1) Post a message about Beyond the Night on your blog or social networking profile.

2) Include the Beyond the Night video trailer by cutting and pasting the code from You Tube or from Marlo's web site into the post:

3) E-mail the link to your post to contest[AT]marloschaleskyDOTcom . Be sure to include your regular mail address and your first and last name.

How to Get Your Copy of Beyond the Night:

Beyond the Night is available at your local Christian bookstore, many regular bookstores, and online at sites such as Amazon and Christianbook.

So you’ve got your options, and your prize awaits you! Solve the puzzle, tell your friends, take a picture, or post a video! And most of all . . .HAVE FUN!!!

The Fine Print:

Beyond the Night gift bags can only be sent to recipients in the United States and Canada.

Each person is eligible to receive only one gift bag.

Recipients MUST include their regular mailing address and full name (first and last) to win.

Contest will run only while supplies last!
No refunds, exchanges, or complaints. Encouraging comments are always welcome.

Veil of Fire

A raging firestorm, a light in the hills, and a mystery rises from the ashes...

On September 1, 1894, one of the worst fires in history ravages east central Minnesota. The first firestorm in Minnesota history, it descends on the towns like a red demon, consuming 4 communities over 400 square miles, and killing 418 people in four hours.

In the aftermath, the town rises from the ashes, its people determined to rebuild their lives. But in the shadows, someone is watching. Someone is waiting. Someone who knows the secrets that can free them all.

A rumor begins of a hermit in the hills - a person severely burned, disfigured beyond recognition. Doubts rise. Fear whispers. Is the hermit a monster or a memory? An enemy or a love once-lost?

Based on historical events, Veil of Fire beckons to a time when hope rose from the smoke of sacrifice, when trust hid behind a veil of fear, when dreams were clothed in a mantle of fire.

Want to know more?
FAQs for Marlo.

Marlo's Nonfiction book:

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