WHO IS MARILYN MESSIK?
When my children were small, I moonlighted between feeding and nappy changes, hitting the typewriter and bashing out a diary series for a parenting magazine, as well as writing features and short stories for various other publications. I also set up a business, selling toys, books and party goods from home. This flourished nicely, until the husband dug his heels in. Said if he opened one more cupboard and another pack of Mr. Men plates fell on his head, he was leaving. So, in the interests of marital harmony, I shifted the stock, opening first one shop and then, a little later, another. I also trained and taught, for several years, as an antenatal teacher. This meant I was running the only establishments where you could buy a great selection of going-home presents, at the same time as discussing your episiotomy.
After I sold the shops, I set up a travel booking, planning and advisory service, specialising in country inns, hotels and B&B’s in the New England area of America. With the success of the booking service, and no idea whatsoever of the pitfalls of publishing, I thought it might be a bright idea to produce a full colour, annual accommodation guide and The U.S. Welcome Directory was born – although not without a certain amount of blood, sweat, tears and comprehensive swearing. The success of the service and rising sales of the book, led to several years of thoroughly enjoyable speaking engagements at industry conferences across the U.S. when I held forth on international marketing, although I think most people were more intrigued by my accent than by anything I had to say. All of this growth was highly gratifying on one hand, disconcerting on the other, as in my entrepreneurial scramble I’d omitted to set in place any real management structure – a minor oversight. Additionally, by this time we were heading to the end of the 90’s, the internet was coming to the fore and the whole bespoke travel industry was going through a sea-change. So I cut the apron strings, bade my ten year old baby a fond farewell and sold it to Thomas Cook publishing.
For a few years, I dabbled in the children’s antique book market but soon found I was falling in love with and keeping far more than I was selling – so that wasn’t going to end happily ever after! In 2007 I set up Create Communication, a copywriting consultancy which helps businesses of all sizes, shape their messages to optimum effect. I brought out a series of business books and am now to be found, dividing my time between novel writing and creating commercial copy for clients in the form of website texts; press releases and business branding strategies. I also work on book publishing projects for other writers.
I’ve been married to my patient, long-suffering husband for more years than he deserves, during which time we’ve accumulated two children, five grandchildren and, somewhat to our surprise, several grand-dogs.