How to Empower Women Through Books | Marlene Wagman-Geller


Stories about Empowered Women Throughout the Ages

Ep. 157 - Marlene Wagman-Geller - Do you want to read some fabulous books about women empowerment? She chronicles women in various phases of life, from a variety of times in history, and women behind successful men. Marlene Wagman-Geller is the author of 10 books, half of which celebrate the empowerment of women. She’s also a high school English teacher in National City, California. Absolutely amazing woman! Listen in to learn why it is important to keep making a difference as a woman even after life’s hard hits. You will also learn the importance of your self-worth and why you shouldn’t allow it to be defined by your job or lack thereof.

Key Takeaways:

  • How not to allow your self-esteem to be defined by your job
  • Learn to keep your eyes on the prize even when things don’t seem to work at first
  • How to venture out of your comfort zone and experience the opportunities that’ll open up

"You can be Miss Nobody, from nowhere, and still break into a field that you want, so don't listen to the naysayers. In the end, if you don't reach your dreams, you will have the satisfaction of knowing you've tried."- Marlene Wagman-Geller

In this episode you’ll discover:

How Marlene’s childhood in Canada and love for books contributed to her becoming a writer [1:29]

Why her books are dedicated to feminism as an appreciation to women dedication [4:20]

Why she featured African American women in more than half of her books [5:00]

Marlene on her desire to impact women to keep making a difference even after life’s adversities [6:11]

How women empowerment has drastically shifted over the last 30 years in young students [8:56]

Why you shouldn’t allow losing your job during the pandemic define you as a woman [10:03]

The relativity of women empowerment in different parts of the world [11:31]

The difference between experiences in writing fiction and nonfiction [14:21]

The different things Marlene does to find alone time and fulfill her responsibilities [15:28]

The hurdles of migrating from Canada or any other country to the US [16:28]

Marlene on the lessons she hopes you get from the interview [17:22]

The frigidity of the Torontonian winters-not to mention shyness-led to her becoming a life-long bibliophile. And, like most voracious readers, at the pinnacle of her bucket list was the dream of seeing her name on the spine of a book. However, until she could pen the Great Canadian Novel, there was the matter of economic survival. After reading The Great Gatsby, she decided to become an English teacher,

I made the great sacrifice of leaving my winter wonderland when I moved to San Diego and currently am an English teacher in National City, California. I always tell my students that dreams do not just have to be for sleeping and several times, in the quest to pursue my own, I sent out my novels to literary agents. The result: enough rejection notices to wallpaper my home. And then serendipity stepped in.

In 2008, she read Peyton Place and became intrigued by its Dedication Page: To George for all the reasons he knows so well. I turned to Google and discovered that George was Grace Metalious’s long-suffering husband, and their marriage was as tempestuous as the ones in the novel. I then had my Eureka moment—a book that explored the backstories of the world’s literary masterpieces.

Fired with enthusiasm, she told her husband her idea, and he responded, “Don’t think you're quitting your day job.” Undaunted, she sent out query letters, and after signing up with a literary agent, three days later she had a contract with Penguin Publishers. One of the great moments of her life was seeing her husband's jaw drop when she showed him her advance check.


Marlene received her Honors BA from York University and her teaching credentials from the University of Toronto and San Diego State University.


The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Washington Post have reviewed her books.





YouTube Interview

Marlene's Website



Rae Meadows

Robin Kardon



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