Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Marlene moved to the United States at the age of eight. Growing up her love for books began her very first summer in the U.S. when her stepmother literally dragged her to the library so that she would not spend her entire summer running the streets. Like a match made in heaven Marlene took to reading like a fish to water.
Growing up some of her favorite authors were Laura Ingalls Wilder, Beverley Cleary and like most other young girls Judy Blume. She felt that growing up in a house with three brothers and no sister she was lucky to find an author like Ms Blume to educated her on the trials and tribulations of being a young girl. Marlene laughingly states that due to having a tight-lipped, strict stepmother, she was happy to have access to such books as Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret, Blubber and Forever to keep her informed as she advance into womanhood.