Marianne Cushing always knew she would pursue a creative career. In the late eighties, armed with her portfolio and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Syracuse University, she knocked on the door of every mega agency, ready to make her mark among New York City’s advertising elite. But Cushing never made it to Madison Avenue.  

Perhaps it was the sun, or maybe the margaritas, that possessed the young Cushing and her new groom not to return home from their Florida honeymoon. Yet regardless of the setting, Cushing’s impressive career has spanned more than three decades, half of which was spent as creative director of her own internationally award-winning advertising agency. It was during this tenure that Cushing’s love for the written word flourished.

In a bold move, Cushing sold the agency in 2010 to live out her dream of becoming a novelist. After finishing her first manuscript, she returned to marketing and now oversees content strategy for a major retail department store corporation.

Cushing’s debut novel, Mahalas Lane, was inspired by the author’s real life summer stay at the quaint Maine cottage on the lane that bears the novel’s name. It was during her family’s 25-hour drive home to Florida that the story of murder and romance unfolded. Five years in the making, Mahalas Lane is a tribute to Cushing’s first love–her husband of 30 years.

Cushing resides in Charlotte, NC, with her husband Gene and their fur babies, Mia Rosa and Tucker.