The Making of a Writer: An Autobiography
My journey to becoming a writer started with reading. Every summer my local library’s reading program was a highlight because I could read and earn free books. I read so much that my mom would tell me to go outside and play. So, I did. I went to a swing, plopped down, and started reading. And swinging.
I always wanted books for my birthday and Christmas. Nancy Drew, Mandie, and Anne Shirley were some of my favorite heroines.
In high school, I was still a reader, but my focus was on music. I played the piano, sang in show choir, and had roles in musicals.
Then I grew up, went to Taylor University, and decided to be an elementary teacher. When I student taught, I didn’t like teaching elementary school, even though the kids were sweet and cute. This was not a fun revelation. Since I’d added a middle school language arts endorsement to my degree, I also student taught in middle school and liked it. Crisis averted. Middle school kids aren’t needy, they don’t tattle five hundred twenty-six times per day, and they’re fun.
I’ve been teaching 7th grade since 2003. I’ve been told I’m known for my clothes, my hair, and the car I drive. So much for my inspiring lessons on participles and infinitives.
Through all of this, it never occurred to me to be a writer. It took five years before I became the clichéd English teacher harboring secret dreams of being published. After dabbling in writing during my summer breaks, I decided I’d better learn the craft of writing because being a teacher does not prepare one for becoming a writer. I took classes with the Christian Writers Guild, read books about writing, attended conferences, and began writing my first novel.
When I have time, I like baking and entertaining, which is why my friends have been known to call me Martha Stewart and Betty Crocker. I prefer the label Ree Drummond because I want to live on a ranch with a handsome cowboy husband of my own.
I like to travel. I visited Russia while on tour with the Taylor University Chorale. London captured my heart during a study trip in college.
I play golf. Inconsistently. It will remain a secret if that adverb is describing my skills or indicating how often I play.
The Official Biography
Marissa Shrock is a middle school language arts teacher and the author of The First Principle, The Liberation, The Pursuit, and The Agitator. The First Principle was a finalist in the debut novel category of the 2016 ACFW Carol Awards. She loves shopping for cute clothes, baking for family and friends, traveling to new places, and playing golf.
The professional photos of Marissa used on this website are courtesy of Jenni Mansell Photography.
Interviews Featuring Marissa