One of Marilyn’s earliest childhood memories is the dream to become an author. Many decades and 12 books later, writing continues to bring her meaning and a sense of wholeness.
What personal experiences have enriched and impacted your writing? Interacting with diverse peoples in 36 countries on 6 continents. Encounters with refugees and royalty, prisoners and presidents. Hearing bombers fly over and shelling in the distance in a war zone. Assisting with food lifts. Being at the DMZ. Participating in a peace fact-finding delegation in the Mideast. Volunteering with the homeless. All of these experiences influence who I am and what I write.
Besides writing, what other careers have you been involved in? Varied ones that provided an interesting journey: first-grade teacher, K-12 counselor, director of volunteers for a large urban school system (10,000 volunteers), district liaison for a U.S. Congressman, teaching creative writing, and facilitating spiritual formation at Perkins School of Theology.
Where have you lived? East, west, north and south. Born in Hollywood, CA, and grew up in the small western town in OK. Then came MA, LA, TX, CO, and Santa Fe, NM.
Have you received any awards? Two mean a lot to me. I received the Distinguished Achievement Award from Dillard University in New Orleans, and my first novel, Crested Butte, received a best fiction award.
What degrees do you have? B.A. in the language arts, M.Ed. in counseling, M.A. in creative writing.
What do you enjoy? Family and friends, books, diagramless puzzles, hiking in the mountains, and cross-country skiing in the moonlight.
Marilyn is married to Bishop William B. Oden. They have four children and four grandchildren.