Colleen Marlett, Central Coast of California local author and speaker

About Colleen

Author, Speaker and Dreamer

Colleen was born and raised on the central coast of California where she still resides today.

Being raised by teachers, Colleen was encouraged to use her imagination and find her passion. For her, this was writing.

The Winter Oak series is a middle grade fiction fantasy, written in the vain of fairy tales from a time long past mixed with a dash of today's modern adventure story telling. The tale was born in Colleen at a young age. She took every day occurrences, interactions and her surroundings, living on the central coast, and turned them into the adventures of Clover Lawless and her majestic steeds, the Duhdbshlaine (Du-slay). If you happen to be from this part of California, you might recognize a scene or two with her vivid detailing of her imaginary world in the town of Wildewood or on the Winter Oak Ranch. Colleen has put these stories down on paper to remind the ones she loves, that through them everything is possible.

Colleen is also a cancer survivor and has been a mother and wife longer than she hasn't. She speaks publicly about her battle with a rare cancer and her advocacy that has followed, sharing her family's journey along the way.

"As a survivor of a rare and aggressive cancer, called Small Cell Neuroendocrine Carcinoma of the Uterine Cervix (x2), the fight continues.  I'm cancer free, but as I have found in my work over the last 9 years, this cancer usually comes back...anytime it feels like it. Statistically, well there aren't I'm doing whatever I can to keep this old body as healthy as I can.  I hope I'm living successfully despite a few bumps in the road; embracing life and family in new ways all the time. I believe you are never too old to learn something new, see yourself in a new light or expose yourself at not so flattering angles, with hopes someone might learn from your journey.

I've done a lot in life so far, but have many things still to accomplish on my "to-do" list.  I've co-founded a group for women diagnosed with this same rare cancer and co-authored a book with the stories from these women (Sorority of Hope:Women Connected By Possibility), to hopefully give a face and a voice to this rare cancer (SCCC and LCCC). I also help host an annual gathering in Vegas each year, so these woman affected by SCCC or LCCC can meet each other, (another going through what they are), in person. There's nothing like a hug from someone who "knows".  Its all been very rewarding and exactly why I would never change the fact of being diagnosed with this cancer. Giving back and getting involved has been a blessing.

 Cancer has become a staple of my life, in one form or another, however it does not define me...I will survive....Cancer may not be something you ever deal with, but no matter what your fight may be, you are not alone. Like I is very unexpected. 


While looking the other way as it often happens, another beast crept into our family....drug addiction.  I am now also the mother of a recovering adult drug addict and the last 6 years I WOULD trade for a battle with cancer, any day! But, in my usual fashion, I couldn’t sit back and do nothing. My daughter's life is at stake…right? But what to do? Be part of the solution! I now find myself deeply invested in this battle with parents from all over the country reaching out to me through my website and writing. Although I never wanted to be a voice for rehab and recovery reform, I couldn’t turn my back on the problem I saw growing like a weed in our youth. I’m still not sure exactly what to do or how to get anything done in this country, concerning the epidemic plaguing our youth. But, I am sure of the necessity for drug rehabilitation and recovery reform. I see a great need to break the silence and the stigma that goes with being an addict or a parent of an addict and so I will do what I know how to do; write, talk,  engage and hopefully inspire. If you're looking for information on addiction, you can find some of my articles on  If you're looking for a wonderful program that encompasses not only healing from addiction, but healing their soul go to

**Did I mention I'm adopted?  Oh yes, wait until you hear that story.  The story that started it all...still surviving that tale today!" 

Winter Oak: Keeper of the Realm

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Sorority of Hope: Women Connected by Possibility

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