Friday, May 11, 2012

Whose book are all these famous celebrities reading?

Keep reading to find out!

Nicholas Sparks (NY Times Best Selling Author) at his own book signing
Lisa Whelchel (Author, Speaker, Actress - "Facts of Life")

Amy Grant(Grammy Winning Recording Artist) and Marlayne Giron at Life & Faith Tour

Today I’m pleased to interview Marlayne Giron, author of The Victor, Make a Wish and In Plain Sight.

You’ve got an amazing story of triumph over chronic illness, one in which you not only survived but thrived to the point of authoring 3 books. Briefly tell us about that journey.
I suffered with increasingly severe ulcerative colitis beginning in 1984 and culminating with surgery in 1988. It was a very debilitating disease.  Had I not had my colon removed; it would eventually have resulted in colon cancer. My hospital stay was to have been only 10 days but due to an obstruction (that could have killed me) I ended up having a 2nd surgery and was in the hospital for a total of 30.

Tell us about how you were blessed with your daughter through adoption after battling infertility.
After my abdominal surgery parts of my reproductive system had shifted around and I couldn't conceive. Being limited in funds, we did try some minor techniques once to get pregnant which ended up resulting in a uterine infection instead of a baby. After five years of heartache we came to the conclusion that the only way we'd have a family was to adopt.  The only affordable option for us was through the county system. I was terrified because of all the horror stories I had heard about the children who were available in the system as a result of neglect or abuse (or both)  but we went forward on sheer faith. Two weeks before Christmas and a year before it was supposed to happen, we were introduced to our daughter, Karina who was an adorable 3-1/2 year old at the time. We visited with her over the course of the next week or so and she came home as our daughter on Christmas Eve. We introduced her to our entire family as our new daughter (a big surprise) at the family's annual Holiday get-together later that month. She will be graduating from high school next month.

You are Jewish by birth yet you hold to the Christian faith.  Please share your testimony with us.
When I was 17 (back in 1977) a new television series came on for that Easter called Jesus of Nazareth by Franco Zefferelli. I wanted to see the Ten Commandments (again) and my mom insisted on Jesus of Nazareth (she won). It was perhaps the first time I saw a realistic and well-acted portrayal of biblical events.  During the crucifixion scene my eyes were divinely “opened” and I remember thinking: if He could do that for me, the least I can do is give Him my life and I did so, praying right in front of the television set. The next day I asked a Christian friend to take me to her church so I could officially accept Jesus in front of witnesses and in the days and weeks following, I began to call and write family and friends about how they too needed to be saved.

How did you come to be a writer? 
When I was 12 my best friend, Lisa Savy and I would take turns sleeping over each other's 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 of similar short stories each and even a “feature” length story to boot when I was 13 (which I still have). Lisa has always wanted to be a teacher (and is currently a H.S. math teacher) so 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.  This decision, in addition to the spirit of competition to see who could write a better story really honed my English skills. As a result of writing so much,  I intuitively picked up on a lot of creative writing techniques.  Unlike Lisa, who has a Masters in Mathematics, I never went to college or studied journalism. It was this that gave me the idea for my second book, Make a Wish.
Me and Lisa at 42
Me and Lisa at 12

You call yourself a “very atypical author” and have said, “I am the most unlikely person to have a book published.” Why is that?
My complete lack of a formal education in creative writing (other than high school); the most consistent form of writing I usually perform is business correspondence.

Of all the encouragement you’ve received through the years, who stands out as being your most helpful supporter and why? 
This is the sad part of your interview.  Up until The Victor went into publication I would have to honestly say no one. I couldn’t pay friends or family to read my book!  Eventually even I gave up on it! My husband would often kid me during difficult economic times and say “Well, maybe someday when you finally sell that book we can...” (you fill in the blank) but it was always said in jest.

I'm sure you've read a ton of books. Is there one you've read you wish you had wrote?  If so why?I wish that I had written Lord of the Rings. It is an absolute masterpiece and the “gold standard” in fantasy fiction. I read The Hobbit and the entire LOTR trilogy in a single weekend when I was 14 and wept, laughed and endured the pain along with all the characters. It is probably one of the most majestic and profound books ever written.

Where did you get your idea for The Victor?
Almost 30 years ago I was hit with a sudden inspiration while listening to Amy Grant's (then) latest album “Father's Eyes” in a song entitled “Fairytale”:  “...two princes wage the battle for eternity but the victor has been known from the start”.  A mental picture appeared in my head of Jesus in a suit of “shining armor” and Satan/Lucifer in a suit of “black armor” crossing swords over “the bride of Christ”. I instantly knew what I wanted the story to convey; the ultimate love story of all time between Christ and his bride, “the church” and I knew how I wanted it to end; I just wasn't exactly sure how it would begin or what I would put in between!   I have always loved books and movies dealing King Arthur, Robin Hood, etc., and fairytale stories with Lords, Ladies, knights, and mystical swords. It just seemed a natural to rewrite the story of Christ's redemptive work as a grown-up “fairytale” that Christians and non-Christians alike could enjoy. 

Life came full circle when I finally got meet Amy Grant in person at the Life and Faith Concert tour in Richmond, VA a few years ago. The photo at the top of this blog was taken of that meeting.

Tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.
Three years before I met my husband I wrote a story (which I illustrated) for myself where Jesus takes me out on a date and introduces me to the man he has chosen for me. I used to pray for my husband by name (it was always Michael) and had a very detailed list of what I hoped to get in my future husband. The Lord answered my prayers right down to his name, looks and everything on the list and our first date a total stranger who was part of our “six-some” told Michael and his sister that I would be his future wife. To read the details they are all in my book, “Make a Wish” (“A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes”).

Favorite scripture and/or quote:
Shortly after I began writing The Victor, (which I felt was an idea inspired by the Lord) I asked Him to give me a scripture that would confirm that the story idea was from Him.
The words: PSALM 45 popped into my head and when I looked it up, I couldn't believe what the first verse said:

“My heart overflows with a good theme; I address my verses to the King; my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.”

It has since become my “tag line”. The rest of the Psalm describes the wedding of the king to his bride which I use almost in its entirety at the end of my book. The Lord could not have given me a more perfect confirmation. 

Name five things you “can’t” live without (the Lord already being a given).
1) My husband, Michael, who is the love of my life.
2) My friends
3) Having time to myself and the resources to be creative
4) Dark chocolate
5) Classical music playing at work

Favorite book ~ Favorite movie ~ Favorite TV show
Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – Same movie – Once Upon a Time (what else?)

Where is the most interesting place you have been?
New York City – I was there in the fall of 1999.  Everyone wears black! You can eat a different food at every meal for months without repeating but the corned beef sandwiches are the BOMB!

What did you want to be when you grew up?
An independent adult so I could make my own decisions about my life.

Me at age 3

Five Fun Facts About Marlayne
1.      I once rode the public bus all the way from the South Bay to downtown Los Angeles with a round, red, “JESUS LOVES YOU” sticker stuck to the end of my nose when I was a new Christian looking to share the gospel.  No one on the bus would look at me.

2.    I wrote and illustrated a short fiction story in which Jesus introduces my character to the man he had chosen as my future husband five years before I actually met him. The future husband in the fiction story and the real thing were both named Michael (I also always prayed for him in advance by this name) and he looked just like the illustration. On our first date (a triple date) a girl who had met me for the first time that night told Michael and his sister that I was his future wife while I was in the ladies room (to which he replied no way now!)  Five years later we were married and that story disappeared at our reception.

3.    Significant dates in my life: I accepted Jesus as my Savior during Easter Week; met my future husband during Easter Week; became the mom to our adopted 3-1/2 year old daughter on Christmas Eve and my book, The Victor, was released in Easter Week. A “coincidence”? I think not...

4.    I used to take private ice-skating lessons and got rather good at it (I could do jumps and spins). I still miss it a lot and hope heaven has an ice-rink where I can ice-skate for the Lord and do the doubles, axels and footwork I found impossible to do in my 20's.  Does that mean that heaven has to freeze over...?!

5.    I met Fabio (yes…the Fabio) at a book signing he did in a local Target in 1995. I got a photo with him.  My husband’s best friend who worked security at that store called him up and told him that he had caught me with “another man” and had it on video (it was the security tape from the signing). Photo is below:
New Romance Novel cover anyone?

Biography of Marlayne Giron

Marlayne Giron is a Messianic Jew, wife and mother living in Orange County, California with her husband of over 25 years, her dog, Buddy and teenage daughter, Karina.  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. 

DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL! Stay tuned to this blog to find out what other famous celebrities are reading The Victor!


  1. This book is a 5 star!! It's great that even celebrities are reading it!!

  2. Fun Interview. Thanks it's great to get to know Marlayne better!!

    Nora St.Laurent
    The Book Club Network

  3. Mary,I cant get over all the stars you have given a copies of Marlayne;s book to,I will have to get me a copy now.

  4. Thank you for sharing the great interview! I've enjoyed very much learning about Malayne and The Victor.

  5. What an interesting interview. Thank you for doing it.

  6. Great interview! I enjoyed reading about you. I am also a Messianic Jew.


    1. Jo, You are the winner of The Victor, e-mail me your mailing address.

  7. Hi Jo! We should connect on Facebook! Please friend me and let's compare our stories!

  8. I am following you on facebook. Which account do you usually use? I see 3 different ones.

  9. Hi Jo!Sorry it took me so long to respond but I've been at work all day! Here is the link to my main Facebook page: Looking forward to connecting!