Cathy Marley is an award-winning author, photographer and entrepreneur who lives in Phoenix, Arizona. She readily admits she has loved language and the power of the written word since a family friend taught her to read around the age of five. A voracious reader of other authors' work (one room in her home is a quiet library filled with books, some from as far back as her childhood), she did not discover her own unique voice until middle age.
A former techie, she worked with engineers in the Aerospace industry for over fifteen years. At 46, she decided to complete her MBA then follow her heart wherever it would lead. She founded her own business, CJM Communications, Inc., in 1991 and began freelance, ghost and contract writing as well as editing, marketing, and media relations for small businesses. Over the years, as she published a variety of articles under her clients' names, she developed a taste for seeing her words in print.
With the business established and successful, her own creative voice began clamoring for attention and she began writing more and more for her own expression. The result was her first book published under her own name, Peeking Over the Edge ... views from life's middle.
While Peeking Over the Edge was a result of Cathy's own experiences with middle age, her second book, Breathing Again ... thoughts on life after loss, was born as she searched for ways to help two very dear friends find their way through the debilitating grief of losing their soul mates.
Cathy and Norm, her husband of over 30 years, share their home with a lively menagerie of two rambunctious dogs, Jake and Molly, Joe, the cat who believes he is a dog, Sugar, the sweetest cat ever, a ring-neck dove named Ringo, and two slightly feral cats, BG and Grey, in the backyard. Family gatherings at her home tend to become large, raucous events filled with the sounds of pets competing for attention with the human clan that, until the passing of her son Dale in 2017, included two sons, a daughter, seven grandchildren, fourteen great grandchildren and a variety of spouses for two generations.
Asked what inspires her to write, Cathy says, "I spent a lifetime learning how to love myself. When I turned 50, it was as if I grew into my own power. My whole life's experience came together for me and I saw everything filtered through a more positive light than ever before. Now, it's as if the ideas that have been growing in me for years have finally ripened to the point where I have to give them life. It's a transformation that reaches to my core and demands to be shared."
Cathy has twice been honored to receive awards in Women Writers of the Desert Annual Essay Competitions that were open to national and international entries. In 2004, she won for Ripples in a Pond and in 2006, she won for The White Suit. Both essays are included in Peeking Over the Edge.
In her spare time, Cathy is also an award-winning photographer, having won ribbons for everything from Best of Show to Honorable Mention for her work. Her first-place photograph, Eagle's Home, is the cover design for Peeking Over the Edge and her photograph Cactus Heart is the cover design for Breathing Again.