Award-Winning Author and Speaker, Marian L. Thomas, has penned six contemporary fiction novels to date. Her books have been seen on national television stations such as the Oprah Winfrey Network, Ovation, and the A&E Network. She has been featured in print magazines, newspapers and a guest on local, national and online radio stations. For her book, I Believe In Butterflies, Marian ranked among the top 100 Most Popular Authors in Literary Fiction on Amazon. She spent most of her teen years in Oak Park, Illinois, but now resides in a suburb of Atlanta with her husband.
BPM: Describe what you do outside of writing to expand your business or brand.
Marian: Once the pen is put down, it’s important to look for avenues that support my writing. Speaking engagements and workshops are just a few avenues that I have found help achieve this goal.
BPM: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your body of work/books?
Marian: When I wrote Blue Butterfly, the research that I did on the struggles of black women who are determined to break down the color barriers that exist in the ballet industry—was surprising. Not that I didn’t know that those barriers existed, but reading about them, up close and personal through the eyes of the ballerinas that continue to break down those barriers—left me speechless and filled with respect. Their journeys were amazing.
BPM: How did you choose the genre you write in? Have you considered writing in another genre?
Marian: I enjoy writing stories that resonant with women, so selecting Women’s Fiction as a genre, was a natural fit. I wouldn’t mind writing in the Crime Fiction genre with a strong female detective, of course, as the main protagonist.
BPM: Tell us about your most recent work. Available on Nook and Kindle?
Marian: The Caged Butterfly (October 2018) is my most recent work. It’s a story of building hope, finding love, and embracing your identity.
BPM: Introduce us to the people in the book! Give us some insight into your main characters or the speakers.
Marian: First, let me say that I love these characters. The reader’s introduced to each of them through the first-person narrative.
Addie Mayfield is a young southern woman who falls in love with a young man from the other side of the railroad tracks.
Mildred ‘Millie’ Mayfield is Addie’s mother. She’s a strong-minded, morally-driven woman with three main beliefs in life: inner-beauty is the core of a woman, reading books is vital, and young women should only give their something ‘special’ to the man they will marry.
Timmy Taylor is fighting the bitterness of the past through the keys of his piano.
Nina Taylor is a young woman who must learn what it means to love the skin you’re in before her decisions in life take her down a path that could be life-threatening.
BPM: What’s so unique about their story-line or voice in the story? What makes each one so special?
Marian: The best way for me to answer your question is to quote Cecila_L, a book reviewer for the Onlinebookclub.com and had this to say: “What I enjoyed most about this book (The Caged Butterfly) were the realistic dialogues between characters. Whether it was Millie and Jean dishing about the neighborhood residents over biscuits and gravy, or Boney Bass Bryan imparting street-sense smarts to Tim, the conversations were thoroughly engaging. Tossed in the mix were gems of wisdom such as, “Rich folks got too many issues trying to stay rich,” and “If you got to lay down in wrinkled sheets, just remember who did the wrinkling.”
BPM: Share one specific point in your book that resonated with your present situation or journey.
Marian: Each of the characters has regrets and made mistakes. I’d say, in a sense, I’m not different. On my journey to becoming an author, I have regrets, and of course, I’ve made mistakes along the way.
BPM: Are there certain characters you would like to go back to or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
Marian: My first book Color Me Jazzmyne, told the story of a woman who went from highly abused to highly acclaimed. I’d like to revisit her story but through the lens of a camera.
BPM: Is there one subject you would never write about as an author?
Marian: I would never write a book in the paranormal (werewolves, zombies, witches) genre.
BPM: We have to step out of our comfort zone periodically to act on our passions. Have you ever stepped out on faith and combated your worst fears?
Marian: Putting a book out there is like putting a piece of yourself out there, page by page. The Caged Butterfly is just over 300 pages, and there’s a piece of me on every page.
BPM: What does the phrase ‘Fail Forward’ mean to you?
Marian: It means turning your failures into motivators. You understand that you’re going to make mistakes, but it’s those mistakes or what some deem as ‘failures’ that keep you determined to succeed.
BPM: What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you?
Marian: The best way for readers to get in touch is via my website (www.marianlthomas.com). Of course, social media is another great way to follow me and connect (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, and BookBub).
BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?