Author Marla James-Swanberg writes about her late Mom’s love of life
After her mother’s passing in 2021, author Marla James-Swanberg spent a good amount of time digging and scanning through her mom’s handwritten notes, compiled quotes and riddles, to bring her debut novel, “Arlene,” to life.
Titled after her mom, the book goes into detail about Arlene’s philosophy, from her 103 years of life, and perspective on an array of topics: from words of wisdom to humor about getting older and learning life lessons from a child.
Throughout the 23 chapters, James-Swanberg writes about Arlene’s favorite quotes that she would post on the outside of her door for others to read. Various chapters also include humorous handwritten stories that she had collected through the years to share with others. They include some stories she encountered while teaching kindergarten.
“I hope this can bring laughter, insight on some thought-provoking subjects, and some fun to readers,” James-Swanberg said.
James-Swanberg described this book as a “labor of love,” after losing her mother. She felt overwhelmed at first with how much material was there, she thought of disposing of it all. Instead, James-Swanberg decided to share her mother’s gifts of joy and laughter with others.
“Maybe we all need to keep a list of all the uplifting things we learn as we go through life,” James-Swanberg said. “Then, when we pass on, we can leave some life experiences and wisdom to share with posterity.”
About the author
Marla James-Swanberg lives in East Ellijay, Ga., with her husband, Steve, and two cats, Princess and Spook. She has bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice and community and human services. Now retired, she enjoys volunteering. Becoming a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution “DAR” gave her a new look at the importance of leaving some history for posterity, for future generations to know more about the lives of their ancestors and has been the “push” behind the writing of this book. To learn more, please visit https://www.marlajames-swanbergauthorarlene.com/.