Greetings humans, half-breeds, and everything in between. A while back, I had the pleasure to interview my new friend, Marianne Marts. She is visiting the ECS as a guest and sharing loads of interesting insights into her work. Be sure to look around and see what she has to offer. Here are the results of our interview. A good time was truly had by all, and here’s how it went down.
Hi there Marianne! It’s so awesome to have you here at the ECS Universe. Don’t worry about the darkness, your eyes will adjust.
So tell me, who is Marianne Marts?
I am the youngest of six children and the only girl. I am a special education teacher, an advocate by trade, and a sister by heart. Being Joey’s guardian isn’t always easy, but most often it is a blessing.
I’m so glad to finally have the opportunity to chat with you. I too work in the special education field and am excited to help spread the word about your book in any way I can.
So whacha got for me today?
Will You Be My Friend? walks us through what it's like living with a disability and trying to have real friends who will share their love, while disregarding any differences. It helps us teach kids empathy and compassion to help combat bullying.
Bully isn’t something that just happens between the rich and the poor and sadly to say I find that more adults tend to bully than kids, that’s where the kids learn it. Awareness is key and I’m grateful for author’s such as you.
So who’s starring is this 2 dimensional script read of Will You Be My Friend?
Joey is the main character. He’s my brother, the oldest, and just happens to have Down syndrome. This story walks through the realities of daily life for an individual with a disability and their desire to just be one of the gang! Joey teaches similarities with our own life experiences and reminds us of how alike we all really are, regardless of how we look or act by using interactive questions to keep children engaged!
This sounds very intimate and touching as well as educational. I’m impressed.
Past, present, future, is there a rhyme or reason to your writing?
This series was inspired by God, unemployment, bully awareness passion, my husband Karl, and my oldest brother Joey Solinsky. As I quit my last job my husband challenged me to write a children’s book. That same night, I had my first book written in an hour and the illustrations done a month later. And as they say...the rest is history! Joey’s Ups with Downs is at least a 5 book series. I am kinda an all or nothing kinda girl...all at once that is! YOU are My Hero! [Smashwords, Amazon] is the second volume in the Joey’s Ups with Downs Series talking about Joey’s life experiences having Down Syndrome. YOU are My Hero! is a book about everyday heroes in Joey's life and how he is a hero to others! This book brought freedom and healing and reminded me of all that Joey has influenced in my life and of those around him and made me who I am today.
Inspiration comes in all forms, but I guess you just can’t argue with divine inspiration. It’s one thing to be inspired to write something with so much truth and passion, but when your work is completed and a feeling of, not only satisfaction but of, healing and empowerment overcome you, you know you’ve written something special.
What author(s) has most influenced your writing? Why or how?
Not sure I actually have one...There are not really any or very few doing what I do in this genre. My desire is to be able to create interactivity and help kids see from Joey’s perspective, similar to the We are All Alike, We are All Different book, written and illustrated by The Cheltenham Elementary School. Although, Be Good to Eddie Lee by Virginia Fleming is one of my favorite stories about a person with a disability.
I’m not familiar with Be Good to Eddie, but I may have to check it out. We Are All Alike… is a good book.
Whose brain are you just itching to scratch?
Joey's...that might sounds strange but let me explain. I would love to be able to help him more and to understand his thought process so that he doesn't have to hurt himself to get his point across.
That makes perfect sense. I’ve often wondered what was going on inside the minds of some of the kids I’ve worked with.
Who is so you and why?
My hubby thinks my laugh is like Betty Rubble from the Flintstones...just saying that makes me laugh! I guess personality wise I am similar as well. Wish I carried her figure though...someday...I am working on it!
How cute! I like the way Betty laughs.
What’s your ideal reading spot for your next highly anticipated read?
Either in bed next to my husband or on my hammock outside reading the bible. That is our favorite book to read together. Currently we are reading books from Andrew Wommack. Neither of us are big readers due to both of us having reading issues growing up. Although now that I have an ipad I find myself more motivated to read...and am just finding a genre to explore and enjoy.
What was your favorite book or story, pre-teen years?
I remember reading a lot of Beverly Cleary. I really enjoyed her series
I enjoyed the work of Cleary quite a bit myself growing up…Now this is where the questions get a little kooky; are you ready?
Alright then, here we go.
If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?
So many to choose from...ELF!
What makes you geek out?
I really love to sing worship music. Currently I am not singing on a worship team anywhere. Which is a nice break...but I sure do just love to raise my hands and voice to the Lord!
My mother loves worship music. I must admit, since growing up around it, it does have a special place in my heart as well. Sometimes just picking and singing the right song can turn your whole day around.
So what’s testing your patience right now?
Waiting to start a Curry Blake study with some friends. But mostly I’m really look forward to picking up Joey on our weekly visits. He is always so much fun and also usually very relaxing as not much is expected. He just lets me be me! Something to look forward to and one night I don’t have to cook dinner! LOL! Oh my goodness I almost forgot...I am waiting for a good friend to get his book published which is all currently under wraps...it is sooooo good! I am super excited for his instant success!
Wow, you have quite a bit going on…I like that. I feel sad for people when there’s nothing going on in their lives and they have nothing to look forward to. Glad to hear that your friend is publishing a book and glad to know that you cherish your times with Joey.
When the soundtrack of your life is playing in your head, what songs express your glee and what songs bring out your rage?
Roar-in’ like a lion ...Newsboys and Whom Shall I fear [<=listen]by
Christ Tomlin are my favs at the moment. They just bring out the passion inside me. And don’t get me started on RAP or any kind of music that you can’t figure out the words too...that just makes me grumpy. Oh yeah and so does political news/talk shows. I don’t need the negative just let me live in love and positive light!
Those are pretty good songs. Coming from the south, Whom Shall I Fear, is a classic.
I try not to lay stereotypes onto to people, especially when I’m just getting to know them, but I knew you’d say something about Rap. You’re not the only one and religion seems to have nothing to do with it. People either love it or hate it. I adore all musical creatively and diversity. I just can’t help it, but I don’t realistically expect everyone to feel the way I do.
Totally rhetorical here, but I wonder, are all those Christian rappers just as bad as all the rest?
What’s the most fun experience you’ve ever had, to date?
I have so many with my hubby....not sure I can just pick one! From our annual trips to the shooting range with the whole family to our weekend trips to Pinetop to our annual romantic 1st date anniversary date to Sabino...but our best trip I believe was to PA for a friend’s wedding and enjoying both sides of our family! We had a blast and want to go back!
How very sweet…and I agree that time with family is the best.
Not that you can see into the future, but in your opinion, what does the future hold?
I will have regular Inspirational speaking engagements and school visits that will encourage everyone and help them to learn that their words have power. I will have published at least 4 more books in my series and through Media interviews with local and national media outlets, will grow advocacy and support for siblings of people with disabilities.
Ok humans, half-breeds, and everything in between, that’s all for today. Be sure to follow this blog to see who will be visiting next time. For more from Marianne Marts, check out these great links: