Husband and wife team Kate Marshall and David Marshall have been writing partners for over twenty years, and married for even longer. In addition to creating these journals, they also have day jobs that they find rewarding.
For many years, my most important job was raising two curious and delightful children. We learned many things together, such as: why is the sky blue (it has to do with the wavelengths of blue light and dust in the sky), how do you keep a border collie fulfilled in the suburbs (agility trials), and how can you be two places at one time (you can’t).
Now I work for a library-based adult literacy program. I love my job because I get to witness miracles when adults who struggle with basic reading and writing skills are matched with big-hearted volunteer tutors. Self-confidence blossoms right along with new literacy skills. We sometimes use prompts from Marshall Books journals to motivate reluctant writers to write.
David and I have been surprised that what began as a simple idea – make it easy for people to write their life stories – has grown to a full line of journals which have reached far more people than either of us could have imagined. I am particularly touched to hear from people whose relationships have been strengthened with What I Love About You or The Book of Us, or who are grateful to have their late parent’s handwritten life stories in The Book of Myself. I love that these journals are connecting families and have become family treasures.
I am a PK (preacher’s kid) from Texas, grew up in Chicago, and have lived in New York, Boston, Atlanta, Denver, Mexico City, Munich, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We now make our home in the San Francisco Bay Area. I was in the software business for many years but am now devoting myself full-time to books and writing. I am Vice President, Editorial and Digital for Berrett-Koehler, a non-fiction book publisher with the mission of creating a world that works for all. It’s great fun wearing one hat as a co-author with my wife of family journals and wearing a second hat as a publisher helping other authors to get their ideas and books out into the world.
I co-wrote our first family journal, The Book of Myself: A Do-It-Yourself Autobiography in 201 Questions, with my Grandpa Carl back in the mid-1990s to make it easy for others to share life stories with loved ones. That book was so successful that it helped spawn a whole genre of prompted journals over the last fifteen years, eight of them from our family. I am honored that our journals are enabling families and friends to communicate more deeply, and are assisting people in making their future dreams come true.
And yes, Kate and I do eat what we cook. We not only wrote the questions in the journals for you to answer, but have answered them ourselves in private copies that we’ve given to each other, our loved ones, or for our own growth.