Meet Marisa Masterson!
Describe your challenges as a child.
I was blessed with a mother who read to me every night. Reading, though, did not come as easily to me. I am a mumble reader. Unless I read it out loud, it’s difficult for me to understand what I read. You can imagine this caused some problems in a classroom during silent reading time.
Really, this was the least of my childhood troubles. My father was an ex-con, a man who served time for sexual crimes involving children. He would work at a job for a while. Then we would move on. We never stayed more than two years in any one place. Because of that, my grandparents’ house was the only place that truly seemed like home.
When I was ten, my father died suddenly. I remember my mother coming to the school early. She pulled both of her children out of class. On the way home, she stopped the car and began to sob. Brokenly, she explained that Daddy had died. The feeling of being stunned and numb continues to haunt me when I recall that moment.
My mother moved us to my grandparents’ farm—that one place that had felt like home. There my true terrors began. After my father died, my brother became the family predator. He begged me to allow him to touch me. He would push loaded guns into my face or leave me handcuffed and alone. One night, he even put a butcher knife through my bedroom door. I remember him even slapping our mother’s face.
Who and what helped you along the way?
I had my grandparents to run to for help with my brother. They lived only yards away from the trailer, in the farmhouse. My brother knew I would tell if he ever forced me to have sex with him or even if he touched me. It kept me from enduring more than physical abuse and terror. Having someone to trust, someone in authority who listened to me, made the difference for
As far as my reading problems went, a young teacher, fresh from college, caught on to what was going on. She taught me to chew gum when I read silently. It tricked my mind into understanding and quieted my mumbling. Even now, I have to move around when I want to think something through.
I had a supportive mother. The problem was that my brother’s dyslexia took center stage. I was bright. My parents told me that over and over. I would figure out my problems.
What scripture verse or quotes inspired you?
Romans 8:28 I can do all things through Christ who strengths me, for His power is made perfect in my weakness.
What inspired you to become a writer?
I taught high school for twenty-two years—literature and writing. You can imagine the struggle with my reading problem. I made it, no matter the difficulties. I wanted to help others who struggled. It’s why I chose to teach.
Suddenly, though, I lost my teaching career. My spinal cord was injured in two spots. I could barely walk and had no stamina to teach. I began a twelve-year struggle to walk without a walker. Now I am able to use hiking poles to get around. But, back to being a writer. While I was recovering, I began proofreading books for other authors. One of them encouraged me to consider writing. I paid an author to be a mentor, to guide me through my first book. When I sold the first copy of that book, I did a happy dance!
Me, the poor girl from a violent background and a person with a reading problem, had actually published a book.
Today, I have thirty-nine titles on Amazon.
What advice do you have for children struggling with learning challenges?
Find a reason to succeed. Don’t make it too big. Let it be something you want, like a treat or something. But also get a big goal. I wanted to be a teacher. I pushed myself to be that.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
The best thing a beginning writer can do is to find a mentor. Besides that, get your butt in the chair and just write. Don’t worry if it’s good enough. Simply get the words on the page.
“Marisa Masterson and her husband of thirty years reside in Saginaw, Michigan. They have two grown children, one son-in-law, a grandchild on the way, and one old and lazy dog.
She is a retired high school English teacher and oversaw a high school writing center in partnership with the local university. In addition, she is a National Writing Project fellow and a regular contributor to the Sweet Americana Sweethearts and Sweethearts of the West blogs.
Focusing on her home state of Wisconsin, she writes sweet historical romance. Growing up, she loved hearing stories about her family pioneering in that state. Those stories, in part, are what inspired her to begin writing.“
Here is Marissa’s lovely website https://www.marisamasterson.com/ and her Amazon author page https://www.amazon.com/Marisa-Masterson/e/B07PRCNS49
Marisa’s latest release is Dial C for Christmas from the You are on the Air series. “A sweet Christmas romance with a guaranteed Christmas miracle and a happily ever after.
Calliope Schmidt loves her hometown of Frankenmuth, Michigan– a German American town that keeps the holiday alive all year long. She is even content with her job as a classroom aide.
That is, until the teacher collapses. The new principal offers Calliope the chance to be the real teacher—the role she’d already been playing for the students. The handsome, intimidating man thinks she can do it. He’ll even mentor her.
Voices from the past say that he’s wrong. She’ll fail. She always fails. Whose voice will she allow to sway her? Will she be ready to accept the surprise her gorgeous boss springs on her.
Buy this holiday romance to find out.” Airing December 2nd!