A Rebel-Cinderella Of Victorian Literature

marina.jpgMarina Julia Neary grew up in Belarus (a republic of the former USSR) in a family of professional musicians who raised her in the spirit of Western individualism. Her mother taught piano at a music academy, and her father, a national laureate, was a prominent vocal coach whose students went on to becoming world-class opera singers.

In a society where individualism was ersecuted, Marina was frequently at odds with her peers and school teachers.

She found consolation in Catholicism ­ her Polish-born father introduced her to this religion - which was frowned upon by the predominantly atheistic government. At the age of 10 she began writing her first historical novellas. She did not dare to show those pieces to her teachers, because the ideas expressed in them went against the Communist grain.

In 1992 her family came to the United States.  Even though her parents got divorced shortly after, Neary was thrilled to be in a country where individual freedom was valued.  Her literary voice, much like her spoken accent, is a mixture of European, British and North American.


Today Neary is an award-winning historical essayist, multilingual arts & entertainment journalist, playwright, poet and charity activist, just had her first novel published.  In 2008 she founded a chapter of CharityMusic, an organization that provides musical instruments on loan for underprivileged and at risk individuals who wish to explore and pursue their musical talents.

Her historical play Lady with a Lamp: an Untold Story of Florence Nightingale premiered as a successful fundraiser for The Wyatt Foundation, an organization that provides support for individuals with muscular dystrophy. Actors and set designers from Connecticut and New York volunteered their talents and time for the project. "It was thrilling and rewarding to see so many passionate, sincere individuals unite for a great cause," states Neary. "We are turning into a miniature repertory theater."

After having a story accepted by Bewildering Stories she was invited to join the editorial board.  She has been a regular contributor of fiction and poetry since then.  Two of her poems were accepted by a British literary magazine The First Edition, and another two will appear in the Fall issue of The Recorder.

Neary's historical novel Wynfield's Kingdom, represented by Sullivan Maxx Literary Agency, was published by Fireship Press and is now available through the publisher at fireshippress.com  as well as on amazon.com and other major online bookstores nationwide. The sequel Wynfield's War is in the works.

The illustrated edition of her stageplay Lady with a Lamp is scheduled for publication by the same publisher. She will be doing a book signing at Just Books in Old Greenwich, CT on Nov. 21.  A theatrical spinoff of the same story under the title of Hugo in London that premiered in 2008 was recently acquired by Heuer Publishing.  Neary's short collection of poems Bipolar Express will be published by FlutterPress. Photos from her productions can be found on her site.