Marie Williams, artist and author of the memoir Green Vanilla Tea, grew up in South Africa and lived in Canada before moving to Australia with her young family.
Marie worked as a Social Worker (MSW) for much of her career. In health settings, not-for-profit sectors, clinical education and private practice. While she drew on her professional background in the writing of Green Vanilla Tea, this is an intimate story. An offering of hope written for her teenage sons after her husband died in 2007. It went on to become an award-winning book.
Marie then stepped away from Social Work and swapped clipboards for paintbrushes. A long time dream. These days you’ll find her in paint-spattered overalls in her home-based art studio in Brisbane. She paints under her full name, Gela-Marie. Writing and art seem to go together for her now, each creative process feeding the other. Feel free to follow Gela-Marie on Instagram to see what she is up to and to enjoy some of her work.
Green Vanilla Tea, won the Finch Memoir Prize 2013. It was published in 2013 (ANZ) and 2014 (North America and Korea).
Photo: Dean Whitling