Julie OrtolonM. K. Preston
Editor & Publisher of ByLine
Marcia K. Preston grew up on a wheat farm in Oklahoma, near a town not too different from the setting of her mystery series featuring Chantalene Morrell, daughter of a Gypsy mother and a redneck father. What if the handsome man living under your roof and claiming to be your husband is really an impostor? And what if nobody believed you? The answers to these haunting questions lay in Preston's Song of the Bones, which generated these rave reviews:
"Get to your public library or local book store and get this book. Now. ... This is one of the best mysteries I've read in a very long time." - Mystery News
"An intriguing, engrossing novel with an engaging main character. ... the characters are richly drawn and likable, the sense of place is strong, and the plot adds layers page after page until the exciting climax." - ForeWord Magazine
This novel, the second title in the series, won the 2004 Mary Higgins Clark Award and the Oklahoma Book Award in fiction. The first book in the series, Perhaps She'll Die, was nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark Award, and for Macavity and Barry awards in the Best First Mystery division. Of Preston's debut novel, Library Journal 2001 wrote:
"Chantalene Morrell, part Gypsy and recently returned to the family farm, announces to the surly citizens of Tetumka, OK, that a man on death row has confessed to the crime for which four of them lynched her father 12 years ago. Chantalene wants her father's killers apprehended, but the subsequent grisly murder of a prime suspect lands her in jail. After another returning native, New York tax attorney Drew Sander, rescues her, they form an unsteady alliance aimed at uncovering the truth. This first novel by the publisher of the writer's magazine byline features an unusual heroine, idiosyncratic characters, a bucolic setting, and an intriguing plot. Strongly recommended."
Marcia's first mainstream novel, The Butterfly House, is set for release in January 2005.
Preston is editor and publisher of ByLine, a trade magazine for writers. ByLine was recently listed among the top 50 freelance markets by The Writer magazine. Since its founding in 1981, ByLine has published--and paid for--the first work of hundreds of poets and writers of fiction and nonfiction. The magazine encourages novice writers, and publishes the work of beginners and veterans alike. ByLine presents articles on the craft or business of writing, including regular columns on writing poetry, fiction, nonfiction and children's literature, and also publishes short stories, poetry, and a special feature for student writers.
Additionally, the magazine sponsors monthly contests designed to motivate writers by providing deadlines, competition and cash prizes. These contests are open to anyone. The annual "Short Story & Poetry Awards" is a gesture of appreciation for our subscribers only. This contest carries a November 1st deadline and a cash prize of $250 in each of two categories, short story and poetry. Winners of the ByLine Awards are published in the magazine along with brief stories about the authors. For more information, go to www.bylinemag.com.
A freelancer herself for 20 years, Preston's work has appeared in a long list of national magazines, including Delta SKY, Southwest Art, Flower and Garden, First for Women, and Highways.