Marthese Fenech is the number one bestselling author of epic historical novels set in sixteenth-century Malta and Istanbul. Research has taken her to the ancient streets her characters roamed, the fortresses they defended, the seas they sailed, and the dungeons they escaped.
Obstinate curiosity has led her to sixty-five countries across six continents. She does her best plot-weaving while hiking mountain trails, wandering local markets, paddle boarding cliff-sheltered bays, and sitting at home with her Siberian husky curled at her feet.
The youngest of five, Marthese was born in Toronto to Maltese parents. At twelve, she moved to Malta for six months and was enrolled in an all-girls private school run by nuns; she lasted three days before getting kicked out for talking too much. Back in Toronto, she started a business recording, editing, and selling bootleg heavy metal concerts. She later worked with special needs children and adults, witnessing small miracles daily.
Marthese has a Master’s degree in Education and currently teaches high school English. She speaks fluent Maltese and French and knows how to ask where the bathroom is in Spanish and Italian. She took up archery and wound up accidentally becoming a licenced coach. A former kickboxing instructor, she surfs, snowboards, scuba-dives, climbs, skydives, throws axes, and practices yoga—which may sometimes include goats or puppies. She lives north of Toronto with her brilliant, mathematically-inclined husband and brilliant, musically-inclined dog, known to lead family howl sessions on occasion.
The Pen is Mightier than the Battle-Axe
While going through a shoe-box of old photographs, I came across this little gem, evidence the Knights of Malta fascinated me from a very young age.
When I was little, my parents owned a life-sized knight armed with a battle-axe. It stood in a corner of the house near the fireplace. and was much taller than me.
I looked up at that knight with awe and admiration—until the day my older brother snuck up behind me while brandishing the fake halberd. I never screamed so loud or ran so fast. After that, I was wary of the knight.
Until I grew taller than him.
An Inveterate Storyteller
Storytelling has always been important to me, something woven into the fabric of my being.
My dad recently shared this video of a four-year-old me telling a Pulitzer Prize-worthy story.
No, not really—there's not much of a plot, hardly any character development, and the dialogue is sorely lacking. But there's a lot of heart in the telling.
Also, I'm wearing barrettes and a Papa Smurf sweater.