Marlayne Giron is a Messianic Jew, wife and mother living in Orange County, California with her husband of over 20 years, her dog, Buddy and teenaged daughter. She grew up in a nonreligious Jewish home but found Jesus at the age of 17 while watching Jesus of Nazareth on television in 1977.
She was inspired to write The Victor 30 years ago from a line in an Amy Grant song called: “Fairytale” which said: “two princes wage the battle for eternity but the victor has been known from the start”. Shortly after beginning her book, she asked the Lord for a "confirming scripture" that the book idea for The Victor was from Him, and was led to Psalm 45:1 “My heart overflows with a good theme; I address my verses to the King; my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.”
How did you come to be a writer?
My friend, Lisa Savy, and I have been friends since the age of 12. We would take turns sleeping over at each others homes and one of those times she produced a typewritten story in which she had put us in as characters. WE read it aloud to each other and it was so much fun that I created the second story for the next get together. From then on we took turns typing these stories which were based on a very popular television show at the time: The Six Million Dollar Man. We wrote hundreds or similar short stories each and even a feature length story to boot when I was 13 years old. I still have that story. Lisa has always wanted to be a teacher and is currently teaching high school math. Pretty soon I found her red-marking my stories for spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors. This would make me furious and I became determined to write a story she couldn't find fault with. I never went to college or studied journalism. I have never submitted short stories or articles to writing contests etc., but I have always able to get consistent employment as an administrative assistant because of my typing and writing skills.
Tell us a little bit about your writing career. How did The Victor come to be published?
I am a very atypical author. In fact, I never aspired to be an author...I just have always believed that God gave me the idea for this book for a reason and I just wanted to see it published. I've worked most of my life as administrative assistant in order to pay the bills. I wrote the first draft of The Victor (originally titled The Victor and His Bride - but I changed it because I knew no self-respecting man would ever read a book with that title) almost 30 years ago on Smith Corona and IBM Selectric typewriters (respectively). I got it onto computer in the mid 1980's and then made many attempts to get it published in the late 80's early 90's but after a 4-year bout with a chronic disease that resulted in major surgery, then infertility then the adoption of my daughter and the demands of having to work full-time to pay the bills, I gave up on my dream of The Victor ever being published until April of 2008 when Tate Publishing called to offer me a contract. I had uploaded the story to them six months earlier at the suggestion of a friend to try again and forgot all about it until they called me at work. I almost hung up on them thinking it was a prank phone call.
What got you interested in the fantasy genre? Why did you choose the fantasy genre for your novel over another genre?
Well I have always, always loved the classic fairy tales (Hans Christian Andersen, The Brothers Grimm, etc.)
When I was 13 years old I finally succumbed to peer pressure and bought the boxed set of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I literally could not put the books down. I read the entire trilogy and The Hobbit in a single weekend. To this day it remains my favorite story of all time and I have read it over a hundred times. I waited 30 years for the movies to come out and was not disappointed. The LOTR is the gold standard where high fantasy is concerned. I also love all versions of Athurian tales and movies, anything to do with chivalry and the medieval realm. Since I love the genre so much, it was easy for me to write in it. I didn't have to do a lot of research for The Victor.
In my 20's I discovered Stephen Lawhead. He is my favorite living author and writes in the same genre but weaves Christianity into all his novels. As it would happen, Stephen and I used to work for John Styll at CCM 30 years ago. I wrote him a year ago when my book was about to be released in care of my editor and i received a personal letter back from him congratulating me on the publication of The Victor and graciously giving me his home address in Oxford, England where I could send him a copy.
I have also created a Lesson Plan and Student Workbook as a companion to The Victor for those whom home school and a large local public school district is considering including both in their curriculum for junior high and high school students.
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring novelist what would you say?
Never give up because if you do, you will never realize your dream. Just keep plugging away and somehow, someday, your dream will come true.
Marlayne also has a blog at www.psalm451.net
She also loves to make new friends and talk to people on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marlayne.giron
Book Trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GA-CbVgBpjg&list=HL1348798858&feature=mh_lolz