If I had to describe myself in three words, I'd say writing, creativity and connection. For 20+ years, I've created books, cards and other products to help you share your feelings and connect with those you love. With 70+ books and more than 7 million copies sold, I like to say I write for the “unique everybody.” Our stories are all different AND our feelings are a lot the same. By sharing my own journey, I invite you to honor your own story, too. My biggest hope is that my work is a bridge to the message of your own heart!
The Story behind my Stories.
Since I was a young girl, I’ve always loved writing for its ability to make sense of the world around me. 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’ encouragement 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 had grand-mal, epileptic seizures that shook my being — physically and emotionally. Their cause went undiagnosed for 15 years until the discovery and removal of a benign brain tumor in my 20’s. I was terrified and relieved. It was 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 sellable 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 my passion to create products that honored the heart’s journey — the moments, the milestones, the relationships. For 16 years, my husband and I built and co-ran a multi-million dollar business in the competitive book publishing world, seeing 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.
Now I’m back to working for myself, finding inspiration in the dailyness of life and partnering with the people and companies that allow me to do my greatest work!
My Beautiful Now.
After 23 years in Minneapolis, our family moved to California for three years and now Nashville. This is my 7th house in five years. This for a girl who IS NOT crazy about change but IS ...
- An impatient child of God. :)
- Wife to Jim and mom to Cole, Adam, Julia and Will. You’ll see the acronym - CAJW in some of my books. That’s them.
- Dog-Mom to Otis Adventure, a restless and shy Border Collie mixed with something else that makes his fur curly like a poodle. He and I share a birthday.
- 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 fluffy red robe.
- A lover of nature, especially hiking among Redwood trees or walking beachside.
- Terrified 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? Or 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!
I'm most delighted by e-mails from readers who tell me how one of my books helped them connect with someone in a meaningful way.
This group above are my meaningful someones. I adore my family. They love me back. And they give me great material.
Recent Interviews / Features
The Character Test Podcast — August, 2019.
"In this episode of Character Test, I talk with a children’s book author about the personal challenges she faced growing up and how they’ve impacted her storytelling today. She’s a champion of creativity and connection, and her books capture universal emotions.”
Elephant Books — June, 2019
"This month, we had the privilege of getting to know Marianne Richmond, author of Be Brave, Little One. Marianne is passionate about connecting families through reading, so, naturally, we here at Elephant Books were excited to hear more about her story and her philosophy as an author."
Put me in the Story — April, 2019
"Our customers love celebrating life's milestones with Marianne’s books. This month, we wanted to take a moment to talk with Marianne about how she became an author and illustrator, her inspiration, and the joy she gets out of sharing her books with the world."
And another Q and A HERE.
Epilepsy Foundation Minnesota — October, 2018
"Marianne Richmond is a picture book author who partnered with EFMN and Barnes & Noble to use her most recent book to raise money for epilepsy. She went through her own struggle with undiagnosed epilepsy at a young age, and has now written a book titled Be Brave Little One to help children to be brave no matter their situation."