An only child, Marlene Fanta Shyer was born in Prague and brought to the United States by her parents during the Second World War. The family settled in Forest Hills, New York, and Marlene attended schools there, becoming happily Americanized.Marlene has been back to the Czech Republic several times and has visited many other countries, most recently as a travel writer, which has become a second, challenging career. European travel is a favorite, but domestic trips also have their charms and when not working on a new novel or play, she may be heading to yet another new destination.
However, Marlene is best known for her fiction, including short stories (over a hundred in women’s magazines) and novels, picture books, and a play, FIRST WIFE, which was produced in Westchester County in 1997. Her first play was written and produced in fifth grade and starred all her classmates. The play was a rave, and it hooked her as a writer. She wrote a few TV sitcom segments too, and one, “I Dream of Jeannie” episode is still replayed on TV now and then.
A departure from fiction is her memoir, NOT LIKE OTHER BOYS, which she wrote with her son, Christopher. This is the work she considers transcendent, and of which she is most proud.
As an adult, Marlene moved to Larchmont and lived there with her family for over thirty years. Because her heart and many old friends are still there, she’s maintained a pied a terre in the village she considers her home town. After her three children were grown and on their own, and because city life beckoned, she moved to Manhattan, and that’s where she has lived and worked since 1995.