Marti Healy has been a professional award-winning copywriter for more than 30 years. The majority of this time was spent with The Design Group, Inc., a total communications firm, where she served as vice president and senior writer.
She has also been a contributing columnist for the Aiken Standard daily newspaper since 2004.
“The God-Dog Connection” was her first published book. Her first novel, “The Rhythm of Selby,” won a 2009 Bronze Medal for Popular Fiction from the Independent Publishers Awards for Excellence, and two Indie Awards in 2010 for writing and design. Her second novel was launched in June 2010, titled "The Secret Child," and is appealing to a wide range of readers, including Young Adult and Adult; it was selected as a 2010 Okra Pick by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) and was a finalist in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards. Her latest book, released in 2012, is a compilation of fifty of her newspaper columns, selected from the almost 150 she has written for the local paper. It takes it title from on the of columns, "Yes, Barbara, There Is An Aiken."
Marti is a popular speaker on the topic of her books as well as her columns and on writing in general. She has also appeared on numerous television talks shows and special features on news broadcasts in the southeast.
Currently, Marti lives in Aiken, South Carolina, with dog Sophie and cats Sparkey and Tuppence. She is actively developing several new books in a variety of genres.
Thoughts about writing, from Marti Healy
“I try to write about things that make me feel good. If I enjoy writing it, I think people will enjoy reading it.”
That’s author Marti Healy’s style of writing in a nutshell. In fact, it’s a philosophy she’s devoted herself to for her entire writing life – which reaches back to the mid 1970s, when she began a career as a professional copywriter.
“I used to write ads and brochures and annual reports as well as radio and television commercials – and I tried to write each of them as if I were the audience,” she explains. “What would interest me? What would I find important or attractive about the message?” she says.
“Of course, I used to have to put myself into a variety of different shoes and lifestyles to accurately ‘be’ that audience,” she quips. “Over the years I’ve had to project myself into such diverse people as business executives ... commercial buyers of flowers ... restaurateurs ... world travelers ... medical professionals ... race car drivers ... financial wizards ... persons on welfare ... among dozens of others,” she remembers.
“I’ve spent time ‘being’ a variety of races and religions and genders, as well. But with the proper imagination and empathy – that’s not so hard. I mean, we all have feelings and dreams – we all have our realities, they’re just different, but they’re no less valid or real to each of us.”
With more than three decades as an award-winning copywriter behind her, Marti Healy has a broad base of understanding. “I know a little bit about a great deal of subjects, but I stress the ‘little bit’ part,” she says. She credits her long-time professional writing career for introducing her to a wide world of interests and understanding.
“Now, the best thing about writing books,” Marti says, “is that I can finally use my own style – my own voice. For more than 30 years, I had to be someone else’s voice – the client’s voice. And I had to write to reach very specific audiences. Now, I can write what my own heart wants, with my own voice, and let the audience – the readers -- find me. It’s very liberating.”
“My first book was really straight from my heart.”
Marti Healy’s first book combined her love of animals with her strong sense of faith in “The God-Dog Connection,” a collection of stories or essays that are each structured in the same way – retelling an observation about animal behavior, and then identifying the faith lesson that can be drawn from it. This book struck the hearts of thousands of readers – almost immediately by word-of-mouth. It continues to be a top seller.
“I didn’t know if anyone would want to read the stories or laugh at me for the premise, but I felt very ‘called’ to write the book, and it has turned out to be almost a ministry,” Marti recalls.
“I remember one of my neighbors – someone I had lived next door to for 20 years – read the book and said that she believed now she really knew me for the first time, that she really knew my heart. I took that as great praise, indeed.”
“I’ve been equally pleased when people I’ve never met before come up to me and say that I have put into words the feelings that they have experienced but could never express for themselves. That warms my heart greatly as well.”
“The God-Dog Connection book has been responsible for ‘connecting’ me to a great many people and opportunities. I think it was a gift, for which I am eternally grateful.”
Please read more about the book “The God-Dog Connection” on the page of this website devoted to it.
“My first novel was an absolute labor of love.”
“It took about a year to write ‘The Rhythm of Selby,’ my first novel, and I loved every minute of it,” Marti reports about this book.
The book is set in a small Southern town called “Selby,” and contains a wonderfully gentle yet compelling mystery, along with the telling of some decidedly southern experiences.
The town of Selby itself is one of the most important characters of the book, which is filled with plenty of human characters as well, most of whom lean toward the eccentric.
“I think part of the book’s popularity is that it is just a ‘nice’ read,” Marti says. “There’s no bad language, no sex and violence ... it’s just kind of fun. But that’s because I have had such wonderfully fun and brilliant experiences since I moved to the South. I just had to share them.”
Reviewers have also commented on Marti’s exceptional lyrical style of writing that captures the beauty of the settings in the book – her descriptions make the reader feel as if they are right there with her. This book in particular seems to prove her philosophy true – she obviously enjoys what she is writing about, and, therefore, as readers we enjoy it right along with her.
Please read more about the book “The Rhythm of Selby” on the page of this website devoted to it.
“My next novel -- a fantasy -- was great fun to write.”
“I started with an actual event that happened over 150 years ago near where I live, and then I just thought 'what if...' The setting involves places I walk in and visit almost every day. The rest is pure imagination. I am, however, a real believer in "Fairies" and creatures of the forest, although I've never been fortunate to actually see or talk to one. But I sense their nearness when I am in their midst."
Reviewers for this book also point to Marti’s exceptional lyrical style of writing that transports the reader to a place and time.
“I write my newspaper columns primarily because I can write about anything I want – and I get in on some of the best times! Friends convinced me to collect some of these short essays into a bound book.”
Marti has been a contributing columnist to her hometown newspaper since she moved to Aiken, South Carolina, in 2004. It continues to be a regular draw for readers, and became the basis for her newest book: "Yes, Barbara, There Is An Aiken" - a bound collection of 50 of these columns.
Her personal style of warmth and empathy, and her ability to find the interesting and intriguing part of whatever she comes across in life, keeps her a popular speaker as well.
“Quite a few of my columns feature my own animals and those I enjoy around me. Many folks refer to my columns as stories about my pets, although they are actually only in about half of them,” Marti says. “It’s interesting what sticks in people’s minds.”
Please read more about the book "Yes, Barbara, There Is An Aiken" on the page of this website devoted to it. Her individual columns may also be read on her blog: MartiHealyBooks.Blogspot.com