Hello! My name is Marianne Richmond.

I'm an author and artist who gives voice to the heart's journey. 

For the past two decades, I've written numerous books that help you feel your feelings and connect with who you love.  

I believe self-expression is the soul made visible and I hope my work is a bridge between you and the message of your own heart. With your kids and family. On a canvas. In community. I love gathering in groups (grown up and kids) to connect and explore what it means to live full and open-hearted lives. 

I love words, stories and creativity for their power to explore, convey, connect, uplift, encourage and heal. 

It’s long been my gift, seen in cards I made as a kid, journals I’ve kept for 30 years, essays adorned with teachers’ praises and chatty letters I sent my parents from afar, now bundled in keepsake boxes. Writing helped me understand myself and connect with others. 

That it could be my livelihood was another matter.

I envied my college pals who made a beeline to their dreams of becoming vets, musicians or accountants. Me? I changed majors three times, starting in Journalism (right idea but too factual), detouring through Home Economics (inexplicable, really) and landing in business school (why not?).

Lasting just 13 months in my first corporate marketing, gig, I was frustrated early (ha!). Too many layers between my ideas and permission to execute. I started working for small, creative entities (with impassioned personas to match) in the marketing communications field, getting paid to articulate brand, emotion, and ideas. It was the “work until 2am to please the crazy boss” phase of my life.

Until I learned I had a brain tumor.

Starting at age 9, I grew up with grand-mal, epileptic seizures that shook my being — physically and emotionally. Their cause went undiagnosed for a long time until the discovery and removal of a benign brain tumor in my 20's. I was terrified and relieved. But ultimately, it became the start of a new chapter of my life, seizure free. 

To combat post-surgery boredom, I started hand-painting thank you cards for my well wishers. A friend started selling my simple creations to local retailers. A large holiday card order from Dayton Hudson Corporation pushed things from part-time hobby to full-fledged livelihood. Encouraged by my ability to create saleable products, I wrote and self-published my first book in 1997 called The Gift of an Angel, for parents welcoming a new child. My second book, The Gift of a Memory, a keepsake to commemorate the loss of a loved one, was inspired by a grief-stricken mom who first educated me about the twisty and painful journey through loss.

These two books became keepsakes for the “bookends of life” and ignited a personal passion to create products that honored the heart's journey — the moments, the milestones, the relationships. Over nearly two decades, my husband and I built a multi-million dollar business in the competitive book publishing world and saw our share of joy, disappointment, success, struggle, and hard work.

In spring of 2010, we wound down our own business to make way for partnership with Sourcebooks, Inc., the largest independent and woman-owned publisher in North America.

Today, I am honored to say my books have sold more than 3 million copies worldwide with the most popular being If I Could Keep you Little, I Love You So and You are my Heart. 

Though Publisher’s Weekly calls me “an author on the rise,” my favorite letter is from an elementary school teacher who said, "I feel like a better me after reading your books.”

I am definitely a better me because of this group above – my husband, Jim and my four kids. I love my family. They love me back. And they give me good material.

Our family recently moved to Northern California after 25 years in Minneapolis, MN. I appreciate the continuous sunshine but miss the the Midwest thunderstorms.

As for my own one-of-kindness, I am ...

  • Wife to Jim and mom to Cole, Adam, Julia and Will. You will see the acronym CAJW in some of my books. That's them.
  • Dog mom to Otis Adventure Richmond, a rescue dog who looks like a miniature Border Collie but has hair kind of like a poodle. 
  • Semi-extroverted and often introverted, depending on the phase of the moon and who’s at the party.
  • A huge fan of morning coffee, People Magazine, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (Coffee Buzz Buzz or Seven Layer Bar please!), chick flicks, facials and my turquoise robe.
  • Lover of nature, especially hiking through big Redwood trees. 
  • Scared of centipedes even though they are 2 inches long and I’m 55 inches long.
  • Highly emotional (yes, tearful breakdown + offensive language) when people try to scare me by jumping out of closets or hiding behind doors. Please don’t.
  • Impressive in my ability to lose the caps to many household items like toothpaste, peanut butter, milk jugs, or paint cans. They’re on the counter – and then they’re not.
  • Outspoken and fearless when it comes to talking to strangers. Love, love random encounters and connections! 
  • Star of my own pretend reality show called “Driving with Mom.” Will she take out her side view mirror on a construction barrel while driving down the highway at 60 mph? Will she hit the red Corolla with the blue Sienna when she pulls into the driveway? Will she leave her car running with they keys in the ignition while she shops for two hours? Tune in next week to find out!
  • Forever a seeker, questioner, and student of life!

(Photo Credits: Shannon Geier, www.in2itphotography.com)