I've always loved both writing and running.
Until recently, I considered myself to be a
decent technical writer and a mediocre fair-weather jogger - but never a children's book author or a marathon competitor!
After completing my career a few years ago, things changed.
I found I had time to creatively indulge both my brain and my body in new ways. I decided to tackle the Six World Major Marathons -
I've now completed five,
(Boston, NYC, Chicago, Berlin & London)
with one to go - Tokyo!
Living in the country gave me the opportunity to run on low-travelled roads and creekside trails as I trained, and suddenly the ideas for children's books began popping into my head.
It was as if the characters had been waiting for me to slow down a bit and listen to them! I'm now launched several books
and I couldn't be more thrilled!
My given name is actually Mary Van Doren Boyle.
The women in my family take their maiden names as their middle names if they marry - hence the "Van Doren".
But when I began writing books, I chose to write under a pen name rather than use my given name as a tribute to my mother,
Winifred Jean Skewes,
who lived a challenging life with schizophrenia. She was brilliant, determined, sometimes even fierce - but her passion and belief in her children was unduplicated. She chose the name
Mariah Clark Skewes
for me when she enrolled me in kindergarten. And because of my love for children and their unique perspectives on life,
I've decided to use that name as I write.
Children are amazing little beasts!
They come in different shapes and sizes, with a wide variety of personalities. I have four - and each is completely unique! What worked with Child #1 made no impression whatsoever on Child #2, and so on through Children #3 & #4! Celebrating their uniqueness was the path I chose in parenting, and I've never looked back. Each of my four is a successful adult - I couldn't be prouder.
I'm hoping you will find fun and frivolity as you meet the characters in my stories - realizing that children who challenge every aspect of life are not "defiant", just curious; children who seem to direct others are not "bossy", just leaders; children who at first seem "withdrawn or insecure" simply need more love and time to warm up to new situations. And that as a parent or caregiver you do not need to have all the answers, nor should you sweat all the small stuff. Yes, of course you need to guide them in their choices, but I also hope you can keep your sense of humor and simply love them as they are. Happy reading!