An Interview with Marlayna Glynn Brown: Author, Photograper & Entrepreneur
Marlayna: Hi Sylvia. I am a published writer and an award winning photographer. These are the primary ways I communicate my personal experience to humanity. I am also a screenwriter, actress, producer, poet, yogi and photographer. I was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and base many of my unusual characters and unexpected story lines on true events.
My first memoir, Overlay – A Tale of One Girl’s Life in 1970s Las Vegas, was published in March 2012 and is available in print and Kindle format. My 2009 short film, People that do Something, is based upon a chapter from Overlay and is now available for rent on Amazon. I am currently writing my second memoir.
My promotional representation company, allows me to assist other authors, photographers, artists, musicians and creative spirits in exploring the best ways they can communicate their personal experiences to humanity. We are each on our own journey and no two journeys are identical. Doesn’t that absolutely fascinate you?
Sylvia: You have a very interesting and artsy business. Please share with my readers (many are writers) some of the work that you’ve done for authors?
Marlayna: Thank you Sylvia. Initially, I felt that with my long history of marketing and development, self-publishing and promoting would be a snap. I learned quickly that the promotion of self-published authors is a very specialized niche. Aside from basic publicity (promoting to radio, television, news, etc.,) there are many other avenues of promotion that self-published author need to avail themselves of. For example, one of my clients has published a fantastic memoir about growing up in the foster care system. Against all odds, he is now a university professor. His story can be marketed to any organization affiliated with the foster care industry. He can speak at events around these same sorts of organizations. The trick is to define the reader and determine where the reader would purchase, spend free time, network and do business.
Sylvia: What inspired you to write your first book?
Marlayna: As the author, the task of recording some events that I had not shared with another living soul affected me greatly. The completion of some chapters left me feeling jubilant and free. Some caused me to lay my head on the keyboard and cry. Recording these events gifted me with an entirely strengthened view about life that I felt inspired to share with others. Once I choose to no longer fear, the need to experience fear died.
Sylvia: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Marlayna: As a memoir, Overlay is unique in that it tells the tale of one girl coming of age in the turbulent 1970s casino era Las Vegas. Being such a unique city even amongst other legalized gambling meccas, in the 1970s Las Vegas attracted a transient motley crew of bizarre characters. Alcoholism and addiction were rampant, and Nevada boasted one of the highest rates of child abuse and neglect in the 1970s. The overarching message is that one can survive and shine, no matter the circumstances of their birth.
Sylvia: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Marlayna: Write according to what works for you. I sit down and write as the spirit moves me. I may write 15 hours a day for three weeks and then not at all for a month. I’ve learned the hard way that I cannot force the muse. She arrives when she pleases and departs just as easily.
Sylvia: What marketing techniques have you used to sell your books and which ones have been most successful?
Marlayna: I am a prolific writer and marketer so the list of techniques I have utilized is quite long and ranges from tapping my immediate network to reaching out across email, social media, websites, blogs and other sites. I’ve been very direct in contacting local bookstores, libraries, book clubs and other clubs and have offered to speak. Most successful at this juncture has been my Kindle Promotions with Amazon.com. There is an entire subculture of eBook-lovers that feed and market to each other.
Sylvia: Why should we buy your book?
Marlayna: It’s a heck of a story. If I managed to keep my wits about me for the most part and go on to become the first college graduate in my lineage, remain relatively sane, and raise four fantastic children then anything is possible.
Sylvia: Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?
Marlayna: Anywhere as long as it is silent.
Sylvia: Come on… I am sure there is at least one special place that you find yourself migrating to more often. My special place is my leather love seat placed right at the foot of my bed. In fact, I sometimes fall asleep on that very couch after writing in my journal.
Marlayna: I bounce around my home from the dining room table when I’m alone, to my bedroom when my four teenagers are home. (See what I mean by silence?)
Sylvia: What projects are you currently working on?
Marlayna: I’m working on the second memoir, the follow up to “Overlay.” Many readers have wanted to know what happened next so I’m giving the people what they want.
Sylvia: At what point in your life will your second memoir pick up?
Marlayna: Overlay ends in 1982. My second memoir picks up immediately and will continue until the day my husband left and I realized I would be raising four children under the age of five alone. The third memoir will pick up at that point and will highlight my enormous mental and spiritual growth I underwent as I held myself together for the sake of my children.
What is your POWER WORD? Why this word?
Marlayna: Great question. My power word is thankfulness. I am always grateful for the ability to learn, thrive and grow. Many times throughout the day I say to myself, “Yes, Thank you. More please.”
Sylvia: Have you forgiven all of the characters in your memoir?
Marlayna: Not only have I forgiven them, I have felt immense gratitude for their roles in my life. Coming up against the big dogs early in life taught me how to stand up for myself, fight for what I believe in, set boundaries, and most importantly – how to say NO.
Sylvia: Wow, I admire your courageousness. Your difficult childhood did not define you. In addition, you found in your heart to forgive those who ‘failed’ you. That is quite amazing! You, my dear, are not a victim, but a VICTOR! Describe to me that moment you allowed yourself to forgive those that hurt you?
Marlayna: Honestly? About a week ago! In a moment of clarity, I was able to see inside the existence of some of these very troubled and confused individuals. When I held space for the thought that many things could have been worse, I was able to feel thankful for the ways in which I not only escaped unscathed, but experienced a high degree of growth. I have only these troubled people to thank, for it was their actions that forced my hand.
Sylvia: Marlayna, thank you! Please share your contact information.
Marlayna: Thank you Sylvia! Here goes,
Website: www.marlaynaglynnbrown.com (for creative works)
Website: www.mgbrepresents.com (for promotional representation)