About Me

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Marlan Warren is a journalist, novelist, editor, playwright, screenwriter, blogger, website designer, and publicist. She is the author of the fictionalized memoir, Roadmaps for the Sexually Challenged: All’s Not Fair in Love or War and the AIDS memoir, Rowing on a Corner. She reviews for Midwest Book Review. Marlan is also a filmmaker.

You can check out but you can never leave...


My life, your life, our lives inside and outside of Los Angeles and its angels.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Title: The Necessary Bride
Author: Patsy Frost
Publisher: Create Space
ISBN-13: 978-1501069628
Genre: Historical Women’s Fiction
Paperback  374 pages    Kindle E-Book
Available at Amazon:

“Can a lady like you watch livestock and people fall down and die of thirst in the desert, the flies swarming on the sun-bloated carcasses and smell the stench of ‘em after they bust open?”—The Necessary Bride

Rape, forced marriage, death by childbirth and the repressive status of women in Early America take center stage in Patsy Frost’s historical romantic masterpiece, The Necessary Bride. As the saga draws to a close, its heroine proclaims that if she had not run away to seek her fortune in California, her life as a Maryland “lady” would have been “proper” and “dull” (i.e., dull when the vicious Baltimore males weren’t treating her like chattel). Frost puts a fresh spin on an old story about wagon train travel in the Old West by letting us view it through this adventurous young woman’s eyes—urging us to feel what she feels in her heart as she gradually builds a new life that is built on trust and mutual respect with a man who is not of her culture or race.

This painstakingly crafted tale brings the smells and tastes and emotions of that time into bold relief through meticulously detailed scenes of pioneer life. The author also deftly manages multiple points of view to provide character insights that keep even the villains from coming off as one-dimensional. Frost subtly alters reader perceptions by loosening the writing style from narration-heavy, archaic language to a looser, more contemporary tone when this bold young seeker finally reaches her destination and her destiny.

Seamless lively action carries the story, making it a fun page turner. The last line portends a sequel. One can only hope there is one soon, and also a film.

Very impressive first novel!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

New Book Review: "For those who have loved passionately..."

Title: Roadmaps for the Sexually Challenged [All’s Not Fair in Love or War]
Author: Marlan Warren
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Kindle E-Book Only: 332 pages
Publisher: Roadmap Girl Publications
Pub. Date: Feb. 23, 2015
Author Contact: memoircity at gmail
Facebook: Marlan Warren, Author
E-Book Available on Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TYKV5ZG

New Book Review by Barbara Tira!
     When I found "Roadmaps," I put down the best-seller-turned-movie I was reading at the time, so I could savor Ms. Warren's story until the very end. As a longtime Los Angeleno, I was immediately drawn back into the lifestyle, loves, and struggles in the expansive, diverse, and incomparable Los Angeles of 20 years ago, the likes of which is just a memory today. But whose emotions, challenges, and successes remain Universal.
     This novel/memoir is for anyone who has ever known the epitome of joy and the profound depths of despair. For those who have loved passionately, and for those whose hearts have been trampled to shreds. For those who have found, or for those who are still seeking the strength and spirit to rise again.

     I eagerly await the sequel! I want more!!!!!
Barbara Tira is the author of the upcoming memoir:

Monday, March 23, 2015

Remembering Yuri: Treasuring Links of Friendship

Opening Night of "Bits of Paradise" at The Marsh Theater, San Francisco (Nov. 2008): Marlan Warren (L); Yuri Kochiyama (M); Ruth Ishizaki (R); Photo by Victoria Yang

I wrote the following memorial last year when activist and justice crusader Yuri Kochiyama "made her transition" from this mundane world to whatever glory no doubt awaited her in the next. I had posted it on my Open Salon blog, "Dancing in the Experience Lane," because that blog seemed to get the most attention of all my blogs. However, with the sad news that Open Salon has shut down its operation, I re-print it here. For more info on the documentary-in-progress that I've been working on since Dec. '08, please visit http://www.yurikochiyamafilm.net.

 "To never break one link of friendship, regardless of the time or distance that separates me from that friend, even if that friendship is only a memory stored away in my heart and mind."--Yuri's Creed

Yesterday I did not listen to the radio or TV. It was a busy day full of Light and people carrying Light. I ended up at a Buddhist Temple in L.A.'s Chinatown which is dedicated to a Sea Goddess, and sat for hours with my friend whom I call "Tiger" who was spending time with a couple friends. One was a filmmaker who had not met Yuri Kochiyama personally but admires her, and we spent an hour or so talking about my Crusaders film project that I began shooting at the end of 2008, and that is now in need of funds for post-production. It was not until this morning, June 3, that I woke up at 4 a.m. and saw a message on my phone that Yuri (aka "Mary Nakahara") had died in her sleep yesterday afternoon. Around the time that I was walking into the temple to light incense and send prayers for loved ones.
I have never met anyone else as egoless as this woman.

Yuri had that rare gift--like that old saying "The charming woman is the one who finds ME charming," she would light up at the sight of you and say things like, "Oh how is the acting going? I thought you did such wonderful acting in that play!" As she did to one actor who was in "Bits of Paradise" (Jean Franco) when he saw her again during the shoot we did all day in her room at the San Pedro Hotel. When Jean told her that he was in "Milk," Yuri cried, "Oh they made a movie about Harvey Milk! I must go see it!" And when Jean showed her a clipping from a paper with a photo showing him in the crowd scene with Sean Penn, Yuri said, "Oh! That yellow just sets you off!"
I had the good fortune to meet Yuri when she was 87 years old; at a time when all that she had done and lived through had blended into the layered personality that was hers and hers alone.
She asked me to come the day before the shoot and help her organize her papers so they could be easily put aside in the tiny room, and not clutter up our visuals: "Bring red folders and green folders and yellow folders..." and she requested colored tabs and rubber bands.
Yuri was writing to 200 political prisoners at the time (the T-shirt she wore for our interview says "Free Mumia" on it). And when I arrived to help her, she quickly assigned me the role of "assistant" and I had the pleasure of observing her still-sharp mind in action as she went through the voluminous mail so we could file it.
 "Oh I haven't read this one yet...It goes in that pile with the red folder...."
And when we started shooting the next day, I wasn't sure if the sound equipment we brought would be adequate. I muttered, "Maybe we'll get lucky." Right there on camera, Yuri says sharply, but not unkindly: "Oh it's not a matter of LUCK, is it?" or words to that effect.

Yuri was a woman who carved her own swath from Day One. It has always been my intention to cover the WOMAN rather than the political activist (which she most certainly was so that is of course infused in every frame). Since that day in 2001 when I happened to read the first of her letters in The Crusaders Scrapbook in the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo, I have wished I could grow up to be Yuri Kochiyama (to paraphrase the Blue Scholars terrific song title). In other words, I wanted to be able to roll with the punches the way she had, and not be depressed by oppression and loss. Yuri lost her father to FBI interrogation right after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and soon found herself in the Santa Anita Assembly Center (aka "first concentration camp in Southern California where they held law-abiding Japanese American citizens because they were of Japanese heritage).

"Hello Boys" one of her cheerful missives intended for "any soldier in need of a letter" starts out, "Are we bothering you for the first time or the fortieth?" Cartoons, jokes ("I said, 'Bring in all the jokes you can find," she tells me during the interview when she's looking at a copy of one of her pamphlets.
When World War II ended, her "intended." Bill Kochiyama sent her a telegram warning her that he was alive but broke with no prospects. Not much to build a future on, so if she wanted out. I don't have the words in front of me right now, but she sent him a telegram back telling him that they would have love, adventure and each other.

Yuri Kochiyama and Jean Franco at her 88th birthday bash (San Francisco); 
Photo by Marlan Warren 
Yuri Kochiyama was born "Mary Nakahara." In the interview, I asked her what Mary would think of Yuri. She answered, "Two different people. Totally!"

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

New Kids Book Takes Aim at the Tooth Fairy: Kelli & Kelly Books for Kids on TV!

"New Children's Book Takes Aim at the Tooth Fairy"

Two moms have written a book that perfectly sums up a child's mixed feelings about losing a tooth. But -- "I Am NOT Selling My Tooth" goes a bit deeper than that, and ends up being a touching look at children's fears of letting go of their childhood. Author Kelli Nielsen and illustrator Kelly Hawkins joined guest hosts Suzie Wiley and KING 5 Evening's Jim Dever to talk about their book and upcoming projects.
--"NEW DAY" Website (Seattle, KING 5 TV)

If you'd like to see Kelli Nielsen and Kelly Hawkins of Kelli and Kelly Books for Kids on KING 5's "New Day" Talk Show (which aired Mon., 3/2), here's the link:

Title:                           I Am NOT Selling My Tooth!
Author:                      Kelli Nielsen             
Illustrator:               Kelly Hawkins
Pub. Date:                  11/23/14
Genre:                        Children’s Picture Book (Ages 2-8)
ISBN:                           978-1503366077
Paperback                 Pages: 40             List Price:     $9.97 
Publisher:                 Kelli and Kelly Books for Kids
Website:                    www.kelliandkellybooks.com    
E-Mail:                        kelliandkellybooksforkids at gmail
Order at:                    Amazon

Mon., March 2 Mom Entrepreneurs Kelli Nielsen (Author) and Kelly Hawkins (Illustrator) of Kelli and Kelly Books for Kids were featured on Seattle's "New Day" morning show (KING 5 at 11 a.m. and KONG 16 at 2 p.m.) introducing their newest book, “I Am NOT Selling My Tooth!”—a picture book that supports children’s need to make their own decisions about how to cope with life changes.

“We are so grateful to New Day for inviting us,” Nielsen said. “It’s a great opportunity to share this book with a wide audience and talk about our dream which is to market quality children’s books.”

Last week the Washington publishing partners launched “I Am NOT Selling My Tooth!” at the Children’s Museum of Skagit County in Burlington and Imagine Children’s Museum in Everett in honor of Children’s Dental Health Month.

Nielsen and Hawkins will return to the Children’s Museum of Skagit County Sat., March 7 to participate in activities and share their book again.

Cate Anderson, Executive Director of the Children's Museum of Skagit County, said the museum is "excited" to host Kelli and Kelly because "not only does their book tie in perfectly with our theme, but it really speaks to how many children feel about letting go of their teeth...and their childhood."

 Kelli and Kelly Books for Kids are offering dentists a 20 percent discount.

“We believe dentists will find this book an educational tool,” Nielsen said, “for their young patients who are facing this exciting rite of passage.”

The dynamic duo will also read and sign “I Am Not Selling My Tooth!” March 22 at the Everett artisan co-op gallery SugarShak by the Sea at 5 p.m.

 Nielsen and Hawkins were inspired by their own children’s resistance to “selling” their teeth to a tooth fairy. “They all still have bags of their baby teeth.” Nielsen said. She dedicated her book to her “wonderful” son Austin: “Thank you for giving me the words.”

Hawkins credits her two daughters with giving her “inspiration every day.” In addition to book launch appearances, she will be teaching art workshops at the Young Authors Conference at Skagit Valley College March 23 through 27.

Kelli and Kelly are Skagit County natives and longtime friends whose first book  “You Will Always Be My Son” sold over 1000 copies. Niesen said, “We are two moms with an inspiring dream to bring quality children's books to market.” 

3/2: "New Day" TV Appearance 
3/7: 11 a.m. Children’s Museum of Skagit County. Kelly Hawkins will present art activities for the kids. Signed copies of "I Am NOT Selling My Tooth!" and "You Will Always Be My Son" will be for sale. 
3/22: 5p.m.SugarShak by the Sea Art Coop, Everett, WA
3/23-27:10-2 p.m.: Kelly Hawkins will conduct art workshops at the Young Authors Conference, Skagit Valley College.  

Children’s Museum of Skagit County
550 Cascade Mall Drive
Burlington, WA 98233
(360) 757-8888
Adults $5.25

SugarShak by the Sea (Artisan Coop Gallery)
3710 W Mukilteo Blvd
Everett, WA 98203
(425) 322-6564

Author Contact | kelliandkellybooksforkids@gmail.com
Facebook | Kelli and Kelly Books for Kids
Facebook | I Am Not Selling My Tooth


This book never talks down to children, but is right there with the child’s need to have some self-leadership in coping with life changes.—Midwest Book Review

 Beautifully told and sweetly illustrated...a treasure for children young and old. Almost everyone will identify with the themes.—Cate Anderson, Executive Director, Children’s Museum of Skagit County

Austin is a child whose worries and fantasies reflect feelings children may have as they begin to realize that growing up means more than getting taller. He goes through a comic identity crisis, stubbornly refusing the reassurance of adults, and insisting on coming to terms with change in his own way. Playful and original!—Leslie Bolinger, Children’s Librarian, San Diego, CA

I build dental offices, many of which cater to children, I will recommend this book to all my clients!—Bryan J. Alar

 About the Author and Illustrator

 Kelli Nielsen and Kelly Hawkins are also the author and illustrator, respectively, of You Will Always Be My Son. Kelli is a Certified Life Coach and former European model whose two adventurous sons inspire her. Kelly is an artist and teacher whose two daughters’ wit, charm and silly moments provide continuous ideas for drawings. Natives of Skagit County, Kelli Nielsen lives in Everett, WA and Kelly Hawkins lives in Clear Lake, WA. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Amazon launches “Roadmaps for the Sexually Challenged: All’s not fair in Love or War” with E-Book KDP Giveaway (3/7-3/8): “Fifty Shades of Hot”

Summary: L.A. Author Marlan Warren’s new novel “Roadmaps for the Sexually Challenged: All’s not fair in Love or War” will be offered as a free e-book via Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform Sat., March 7 through Sun., March 8.

Marlan Warren is a witty, wild, highly observant writer who has her way with words. ‘Roadmaps for the Sexually Challenged’ is crazy, sad, sexy fun. An intimate look at the wild side of cross-cultural relationships and the power of the Tao.—Judith Fein, Author of “My Life Is a Trip: The Transformational Power of Travel”

Title: Roadmaps for the Sexually Challenged [All’s Not Fair in Love or War]
Author: Marlan Warren
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Kindle E-Book Only: 332 pages
Publisher: Roadmap Girl Publications
Pub. Date: Feb. 23, 2015
Author Contact: memoircity at gmail
Facebook: Marlan Warren, Author

On Sat., March 7 and Sun., March 8, Roadmap Girl Publications in collaboration with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) will launch Marlan Warren’s debut novel, “Roadmaps for the Sexually Challenged [All’s Not Fair in Love or War]” with a Kindle E-Book Giveaway.

“I can’t believe how fast this process moves,” said Warren. “Amazon announced it as a ‘Hot New Release in Divorce’ a few days after it was published as a Kindle E-Book. Reviews and sales are already popping up."

“Roadmaps for the Sexually Challenged” is set in the City of the Lost Angels in the mid-90s with the O.J. trial in the background. It follows the hot romance of a divorcing Jewish American woman with a Japanese American man who bears the scars suffered by his family during World War II. As both are on the rebound, the woman’s girlfriends cheer from the sidelines, but issue warnings.

“One of my favorite lines is from one of Carrie’s friends who says, ‘The mind cannot process sex,’” said Warren. “It sums up the book."

"Roadmaps" has its roots in Warren's 1994 diary entries and now stands as a “fictionalized memoir.” The veteran documentary filmmaker and screenwriter added: “The first draft was finished before there was a ‘Sex and the City.’ But it covers similar topics. The 90s produced stories of women exploring their sexual ‘freedom’ and feeling less than thrilled with the results.”

Warren credited the 70s "Fear of Flying" author Erica Jong with opening the literary door. "Jong boldly wrote about sex and made it sound like a necessary component to learning how to care for one's soul."

For those who may be Kindle-less, Amazon offers a free download app for smartphones. "And I have some excerpts on the book's blog," Warren said. "They give more plot points than the 'peek inside' option."

"The Asian man/Caucasian woman dating aspect in the book is not a small thing," said Warren. "A lot of Americans know nothing about the Asian American experience. It's rare for media to portray Asian American men as romantic leads in fiction. I tried for years with other projects and hit the wall every time in Hollywood."

Just how sexy is it? “Not as graphic as earlier drafts,” Warren said with a laugh. “But it’s still very erotic when it needs to be. I’d say about Fifty Shades of Hot.”

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