Marilyn Pemberton has always worked in IT and is still a full-time project manager. However, at the age of 40 she decided she wanted to exercise the right side of her brain and so commenced a part-time BA in English literature at Warwick University. This progressed to an MA and then to a PhD on the utopian & dystopian aspects of Victorian fairy tales. After giving a paper at a conference she was approached by a publisher who suggested she gather together some lesser known fairy tales and as a result Enchanted Ideologies: A Collection of Rediscovered Nineteenth-Century English Moral Fairy Tales was published by The True Bill Press in 2010.
During her research Marilyn “discovered” Mary De Morgan, a Victorian writer of fairy tales, amongst many other things. She became somewhat obsessed with De Morgan and as she wanted to share her research she wrote Out of the Shadows: The Life and Works of Mary De Morgan, which was published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in 2012. Despite her intensive research there were still many gaps in her knowledge and because she just could not let De Morgan, or the act of writing, go she decided to write a fictional novel based on De Morgan’s life - the result being The Jewel Garden. This novel is published by Williams & Whiting.
Marilyn is a member of the Society of Women Writers & Journalists and has just won first prize in one of their short story competitions. She is also a member of the Historical Novel Society and the The Society of Authors.
Marilyn is currently working on a new historical novel, set in 18th century Italy that tells of two young boys who are bought from their families, castrated and then trained to be singers. This was something that was actually done at the time, though this story is purely fictional. It follows the boys’ careers, one who becomes a successful singer and the other who does not.
Whilst working on her PhD over 10 years ago, Marilyn gave a number of papers at academic conferences on the subject of Victorian fairy tales and Mary De Morgan in particular. Marilyn is currently booked to give a talk, "From Fact to Fiction", at Coventry City Library in August 2018, when she explain how she progressed from writing the factual biography of De Morgan to the fictional novel based on her life.
I would love to give talks to readers' groups, libraries, writing groups, historical societies and similar, on subjects such (but not restricted to):
- the relevance of fairy tales today
- the history of the fairy tale
- how to carry out research for a historical novel
- the life and works of Mary De Morgan
- my journey as a writer
- how having a book published is the start not the end and how the need to promote your book is all consuming
I live near Nuneaton and although I am still working full-time I am happy to take the day off and travel up to 100 miles if I think the event is worth it.