Marion was brought up on a dairy farm in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. Always an outdoor girl, she thought herself tomboyish until her father corrected her. “Not tomboyish. Daring.” Her siblings called her Muttley. You may remember the main character Dick Dastardly and his dog Muttley in the TV series Wacky Races. Dick had famous sayings like ‘Drat, drat and double drat’ and the catchphrase ‘Muttley, do something!’. That may have been Marion’s situation - do something - as she was always a bit of a rebel and the eldest girl. Or maybe it was her laugh!
Marion Day never had any inclination to write or even scribble down words when she was young. With busy Dutch immigrant parents, she doesn’t recall books around the house until her first job in a bookshop at sixteen. It was there they took on any real form. She enjoyed bookselling tremendously, and completed a year’s bookseller’s course.
The next closest thing to writing came when a palmist read her palm: “You will be a well-known author by 29.” That didn’t happen! Marion was far too busy snatching everything life offered in case it passed her by. She was New Zealand’s second woman microlight pilot and she featured in National TV programme The Maggie Barry Gardening Show with her NZ Open Herb Garden. Twenty-five years later, she took a breather. At her father’s insistence, and without any writing experience, she compiled his autobiography.
Three years on, on a frosty winter’s morning, Marion woke and told her partner she was going to become a famous writer. He laughed. After all, she was a cattle and pig farmer!
But the dream had begun. The bug caught.
For the next two years, between hectic farm work, Marion Day taught herself to write. Then in 2010 a huge life change was made to come and live in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. Here she began full-time writing.
Marion Day has won adult and children’s short story competitions, as well as being named as a finalist in the Storylines Joy Cowley Text Awards. She has had stories for both children and adults published in anthologies. One of her pre-teen stories appears in the ESA’s New Zealand textbook for secondary school students - Level 1 Literacy Learning Workbook. One of her nature books, Kowhai Kids, has been recommended in 'The Better Start Literacy Approach’ study being conducted for the Ministry of Education by the University of Canterbury. Another accomplishment was winning the National Rural Women’s/Ministry of Primary Industry short story and photography competition, which required her to appear in Parliament to accept her award. Marion's prose was accepted for publication in Bird Words (Penguin/RandomHouse).
Marion has been shortlisted in the Page and Blackmore National Short Story Competition. Liberated was accepted for Poem in the Window, and she also won the Page and Blackmore Poetry Competition. Marion was 'Highly Commended' for her children's books in the Enterprising Rural Women New Zealand Awards, which highlight the talent and business skills of women living and working in rural communities, as well as how they can run successful rural enterprises. She is also a Branch Member of Honour at RWNZ's National Office.
Marion's debut young adult novel, Whakaari, was published in March. Her second young adult novel, Pipi, will be released next year. The Elton Omnibus (four picture books in one) is nearing completion. In its early stage is Pakupaki Pīwakawaka, a new book in Marion’s popular nature series. Release date October.
Marion is a member of: