Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Marian Cheatham  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Contemporary Fiction Historical Fiction Romance Young Adult Fiction

Audience: Young Adult;

Born: in Chicago, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Born in Chicago, Marian grew up in Elmwood Park and later attended Northern Illinois University. She graduated with a B. S. Ed degree and taught Special Education for years before becoming a full-time writer of Young Adult fiction and screenplays. She also writes a weekly blog for the Chicago Tribune’s Chicago Now website. Her blog, Everyday Eastland, (inspired by her YA novel, Eastland) relates news, both current and historical, about Chicago’s greatest loss-of-life tragedy, the 1915 Eastland boat disaster.

Biographical and Professional Information

Full-time writer, part-time everything else - spouse, parent, caregiver, chef, housekeeper, and animal guardian. In her free time, Marian loves to read, walk, garden, and travel. She and her husband work hard (and have fun) ticking off items on their Bucket List.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

ISBN: 1495203646

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2014

WOULD YOU RISK YOUR LIFE FOR JUST ONE DAY OF FREEDOM? For hardworking teen, Dee Pageau, the annual employee picnic will let her escape the drudgery of work and possibly find love with her best friend Mae’s older brother, Karel. But in 1915 Chicago, girls don’t go on picnics without their mother’s approval. Unfortunately for Dee, Mama has had a premonition of disaster and forbids Dee from going. Forced to watch as Mae and Karel leave without her, Dee defies Mama and rushes off to join her friends. But Dee’s joy soon turns to terror when the ship ferrying them to the picnic capsizes. Rescued not once but twice-by Karel and a mysterious sailor-Dee finds herself tested in unimaginable ways. What happens next turns out to be worse … and better … than anything Dee ever expected.

Ruined (Stratford High) (Volume 1)
ISBN: 1500335444

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2014

When your life has been ruined by lies, do you seek justice … or revenge? Blythe Messina spends her senior year focused on her studies and college, and not on her ex, Stratford High's lacrosse star, DB Whitmore. At least, that's what Blythe keeps telling herself. But her younger cousin, Bonni, knows otherwise. Same goes for DB, who professes to be over Blythe and their breakup, but his teammates aren’t fooled. When scandalous photos of Bonni and the lacrosse captain are texted around Stratford, Bonni's virtuous reputation is ruined. She pleads innocence, but no one believes her. No one, except Blythe and DB, who come together to uncover the truth. But, will they stay together? Ruined is a modern twist on a classic Shakespearean romance.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

Marian is available for readings and lectures (power point presentations)

and/or book signings. Her standard fee is $250.00. Her novels and presentations are suited for high school groups and above. ''Eastland'' would be great supplemental reading for a high school/college unit on the history of Illinois, Chicago, the Great Lakes, or the time period just prior to WWI. ''Ruined'', Book One in the Stratford High Series, is a modern retelling of Shakespeares romantic comedy, ''Much Ado About Nothing''. Each subsequent book in the series will be inspired by a Shakespearean play. Books Two and Three are due out in 2015. The books are stand-alone novels and need not be read in any order. The Stratford Series would be perfect supplemental reading for a high school literature/Shakespeare class. Please contact her directly by email to schedule an event.