L. Y. Marlow

L. Y. Marlow
Color Me Butterfly

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
March 2, 2007

Q.    Who is L.Y. Marlow?

A.    L.Y. Marlow is a daughter, a sister, a mother, a woman whom has allowed her life experiences to carve a path that she is grateful for every moment of her life.

Q.    What inspired you to write the memoir of 4 generations of women that traveled similar paths of tribes and tribulations of abuse.

A.    Once I fully understood, I mean really understood, what the women of my family have gone through, I felt inspired to write this book in hopes that it could help another woman, another family.

Q.    How did you come about the title "Color Me Butterfly?"

A.    Very good question... The original title was 'In My Shadow' and I'd kept that title from the start. But then when I was near finish, I realized that it didn't resonate and really speak for the four women, really resonate with them. So I went out on Google and tried to find something that meant hope, transformation and generations. Well, low and behold, a butterfly definition came up; and when I researched it, I learned that a butterfly goes through 4 phases of life before it transforms into the beautiful creature that we so enjoy. So I sent an email to a group of women who'd I'd formed as a bookclub to read each part as I wrote, appealing to them to give their feedback. I asked them to help me find a title with the word butterfly included. Well, there was mass pandemonium (you'd think I was asking them to rename their first born.) I struggled with the name change because the women felt that I was making a grave decision. Then, my best friend, who always helps to center me, said "I'll tell you what. You can write a poem just about anything. If you can write a poem describing what Color Me Butterfly means, then that's your answer. Long story short, the poem 'Color Me Butterfly' was born in under an hour.

Q.    Out of Eloise's children why did you chose Mattie and Mattie's daughter and granddaughter (Lydia and Treasure) lives to reflect on the Bingham's stories?

A.    Because although there was other members in the family that encountered some form of abuse (whether sexual, emotional, physical), Eloise, Mattie, Lydia (me) and Treasure (my daughter) stories seemed to perpetuate from one generation to the next.

Q.    What are the response you are receiving from your siblings from writing "Color Me Butterfly?"

A.    No one in my family has read it yet; and I purposedly decided not to allow them to read it until the book was completed because I didn't want them to change its outcome. I did, however, talk everything over with them, especially my mother and my daughter, so there are no suprises.

Q.    Where is Lloyd now?

A.    Still in prison for the bank robberies. Treasure has spoken to him for the first time (since I took her to college) just weeks ago.

Q.    Where is Treasure in her life now?

A.    Treasure, my daughter, lives in Philadelphia with Mattie. After leaving the University of Maryland, she decided that school was no longer for her. She moved to Philadelphia with Mattie to get out of an abusive relationship... (This is another story, for another time).

Q.    How is Mattie doing?

A.    Mattie's wonderul. My mother is the joy and strength of my life; as well as Roy Jr., Eileen and Anthony's lives. Our mother means everything to us. We thrive off of her strength. If you were to ever meet her, she's the most humble, timid woman you'll ever meet, but there's a love and fire under her that I can't begin to describe.

Q.    Are you currently working on another book?

A.    Yes, I'm just about done a second book entitled 'Thirty Days Till the End'; and am soon starting the research on a third book entitled 'ColorBlind'. Both books are about women, and family, and hope!

Q.    What message would you like readers to receive from reading "Color Me Butterfly?"

A.    That there is hope! No matter how bad things may sometimes appear, there is hope. That hope exists in us all.