Marti L. Forchion was born in Burlington County, New Jersey and spent her very early years in Moorestown, an eastern suburb of Philadelphia. As a young child, her family relocated to Miami, Florida, where she lived until earning her high-school diploma. Marti received a 4-year scholarship to attend Florida State University in Tallahassee, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science – and met her future husband, Mark.
After marrying and starting a family in Jacksonville, Marti moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, where she worked for IBM in Research Triangle Park for 5 years before returning to her husband’s hometown of Jacksonville, where she continues to work as an IT professional. While raising her own 3 children, Marti has spent countless hours volunteering with numerous organizations, serving as a volunteer with Junior Achievement, a mentor with PALS and Take Stock in Children, and in a variety of positions impacting local youth through Jack and Jill of America, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She and her husband, Mark, continue to enjoy an active life of work and play on Jacksonville, Florida’s Southside area.
A+ COLLEGE PREP PLANNER – The Ultimate College Preparation Guide for High-School Students (and their Parents)
*also available as an e-book
Website Address: collegeprepplanner.com
Who or What Got You Started in Writing?
I never imagined that I would become an author because writing was never a priority for me. I was always a pretty good writer, but I was a very active person, and writing just didn’t hold my interest – I always found other things to do. When my children became older and I experienced some of the typical struggles that parents face during the college application process, I started documenting some of the steps that I took with my first son so that I would be better prepared with my 2 younger children. Several years ago I became involved as the Program Director of a project based in one of Jacksonville’s “failing” schools, called “How to Lead Your Ship”, a student leadership program sponsored by the Jacksonville Chapter of Jack and Jill of America. During my 3 years in that position, I found that most of the students that I met were very bright and enthusiastic, and they wanted to attend college, but they were not very well prepared. Some of my friends encouraged me to use all of my personal notes and experiences to write a book.
What Do You Like Most About Writing?
I have always loved to read – I often read my family’s World Book encyclopedias as a child. I believe that my love of reading has made it much easier for me to express myself in writing – I am very fortunate that writing comes pretty easily for me.
What Inspires You As You Are Writing?
I was initially inspired to write by my 3 children, who were each at different stages of their college education, but as I continued to write, it was the desire to help those young people who were motivated to go to college, but who lacked the information or support to make it through the preparation process on their own. It was such a tedious process to write the details of college preparation in such a way that teens and parents could understand the steps, but I felt that it was really important that I follow through in a detailed way because a college education can really change a person’s outlook on life.
What Do You Dislike Most About Writing?
I can be very impatient when it comes to writing. It seems so much better (and faster) to “tell someone how to do something”, but I think it’s important to have reference materials available to refer back to when you need them.
Which Books Do You Read Most? (Top Five Authors and/or Series)
I read some of everything and I’m currently reading about 3 or 4 books – mostly non-fiction. I don’t have a favorite author or series – probably because I become bored very easily. I love the variety of reading fiction and non-fiction of all kinds.
What Do You Do To Relax? (What are your hobbies)
I enjoy walking – and I have enjoyed it since I was a child. When I was living in Miami, we walked a lot – to school, to local malls and to shopping centers. I had a lot of fun times during those walks and it’s very relaxing to me. I also enjoy traveling, sewing, and spending fun times with friends.
Do You Do A Lot Of Research For Your Stories? And if so, what sources do you find the most valuable?
Even though I used personal experiences from the paths of my children as the basis for the A+ College Prep Planner, writing a book about college preparation required a great amount of research. I used the internet to access information from all over the country to get a better perspective about what would be most useful to students and families. I also asked my children, my children’s friends, my friends, and family members for their point of view.
What are you working on now?
The A+ College Prep Planner was published less than a year ago, so I am actively working on the marketing aspects of being an author. Now that the book is finished, it’s up to me to get the word out! As a second project, I am planning to write a smaller book about college money matters.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to upcoming writers?
Start today. In the early stages, don’t worry about the little details. It’s important to let your thoughts flow and to get those thoughts recorded. Believe me; you’ll have PLENTY of chances to make corrections and to review and rewrite. It’s important not to procrastinate or you’ll never get started. Also remember that the thesaurus is your friend.