Some readers may recognize the name Jennifer Marshall. She’s been one of Arcadia News’ freelance writers since March 2018. A name readers might not recognize (yet) is that of Parker Fairchild – which is Marshall’s pen name that she used to author her first printed novel.
Marshall has been writing professionally for almost 10 years. She grew up in West Point, Virginia, and graduated with honors from the University of Richmond with a history degree. She met her husband, Jason, on a cruise ship to Hawaii. Jason has lived in Arizona since high school. As she says, “love brought me to Arizona.”
Marshall has written for a variety of magazines and newspapers and gathered numerous writing credits along the way. She is also a social media copywriter and recently finished writing a client’s memoirs. Now, she can add published novelist to that list.
“I’ve always been a reader, even participating in the annual library summer reading challenge as a kid. Like a lot of avid readers, I often dreamed of writing my novel, but life somehow always got in the way,” Marshall said.
Marshall’s newest venture, Christmas Cookies on a Cruise Ship, was released in mid-November. The story follows chemist and budding writer Olivia Chasen. She avoids Christmas with family members (and her ex) by taking a cruise, where she meets a “fictional character” come to life.
From the back cover of the book: “Bringing the charming SEAL together with the skeptical Olivia is going to take more than just Christmas cookies and a little help from Mrs. Claus; it’s gonna take a heaping dose of Christmas magic.”
Marshall said that while debating book topics, she explored issues and themes that affect young women.
“I create challenges for them, so I can show their strength, growth and achievement all against the backdrop of them finding love,” Marshall said. “While the desire to love and be loved is a common denominator for most women, I believe it’s important to show that women can find happiness and success in all aspects of their life and grow as well-rounded individuals.”
The novelist said that her own “shipboard romance” was the inspiration behind the new book, and that she plans to write three other books to make it a complete series.
“This past spring, my mom was reading about the author of a book she’d just finished when she discovered this author owned a publishing company,” Marshall said. “Further investigation revealed that they were looking for Christmas submissions, so my mom suggested I finish my Christmas book and submit it, and as they say, the rest is history.”
“I thought I’d bust with excitement when the publisher asked to read the entire manuscript,” Marshall said. After that, she signed a contract and received the proof for the book cover.
“I was giddy as this was very tangible proof that my first book was going to be published,” she said.
When she’s not writing, Marshall enjoys learning about other cultures and traveling; reading, cooking, crafting and water sports. “Like my character, Olivia, I’m always looking for adventure and exploring new activities,” she said.