Mountain High Productions
Mary A. Byron
Global Events Producer | Author | Screenwriter
Mary A. Byron, is an American author, screenwriter and producer of global events, with over 25 years' experience in public relations. She is one of eight children, born and raised in the upper Red River Valley in Minnesota. From there, she moved to Washington, DC and has since traveled to and lived in a dozen international locations on diplomatic assignments with the U.S. foreign service, from South Africa, Switzerland, Malta and beyond.
Mary's debut published memoir, NO ORDINARY LIFE, is based on her first diplomatic assignment, where she takes readers on a wild journey to South Africa during the final days of Apartheid leading up to the election of Nelson Mandela. This is the first in the trilogy. She continues to write, creating impactful stories drawn from her insider perspective of actual events living abroad, highlighting global issues and diverse cultures, with hopes of opening minds to a world of ideas.
In addition to creating stories, Mary continues to work as an independent public relations consultant for Fortune 500 corporations, nonprofit and government projects globally. Currently, Mary resides in Colorado with her husband Patrick and their adopted pets.
NO ORDINARY LIFE
Awakenings in the Final Days of Apartheid
"Mary witnessed one of the greatest moments in South African history and captures it beautifully. The circumstances were extraordinary, I could totally relate to Mary as a woman struggling to keep her life in balance between marriage, career, and a world in chaos.” - J. Fowler
At 29, Mary and her husband Patrick, a U.S. Diplomatic Security Agent, embark on a two-year assignment to the U.S. Embassy in South Africa during the final days of Apartheid. Working with Ambassador Princeton Lyman during a critical time when a continued campaign of economic sanctions from the international community has pressured President F.W. de Klerk to negotiate with recently freed Nelson Mandela to end apartheid with the goal of a future democratic government. Uncertainty about the future hangs like a dark cloud over the South African heat.
It is into this powder keg environment that the newlyweds arrive in Cape Town in August 1992 on their first diplomatic mission as a couple. A Special Agent in Diplomatic Security, Patrick must protect the Ambassador Lyman and the American community. Negotiations have broken down again after the latest massacre, the black townships are embroiled in gang warfare and Americans lives have been threatened. Patrick immerses himself in work while Mary is left to find her way. Stripped of her name and identity, Mary—Mrs. McGhee to the State Department—is denied permission to work in her field of public relations due to the current high risk. She refuses to be shuffled into passive domesticity as a ‘trailing spouse’. Mary lands a job at the American Embassy. But the unrelenting stress of Patrick’s job along with the constant threat of danger for both he and Mary—including surveillance 24/7 by National Party spies—takes a toll on their marriage.
NO ORDINARY LIFE
"Beautifully written with candor and sensitivity, evoking the highs and lows of that period, the impact on Mary and her colleagues of constant tension and worry, and the challenges in her marriage as both she and her husband become more engrossed in their work and more deeply affected by their environment. Few memoirs have captured this interplay of the personal and the historical as well as in this work.”
– Princeton Lyman, U.S. Ambassador to South Africa
NO ORDINARY LIFE
Audio Book Excerpts
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Nelson Mandela's Inauguration
Western Cape Wine Country
First Democratic Election
Author / Memoir:
NO ORDINARY LIFE, Awakenings in the Final Days of Apartheid is the first in the trilogy series. Stay tune for more stories of international intrigue in the world of diplomatic affairs from Switzerland, Malta and beyond.
Book Adaptation to Script Accolade Highlights:
Second Rounder, Austin Film Festival 2021
Quarterfinalist, ScreenCraft TV Pilot Script Competition 2022
To request pilot script, pitch session, bible and writing samples, contact us.
International Event Management:
Offering all aspects of event production, from concept creation to detailed planning to onsite management.
Conferences & Board Meetings
International Trade Missions
Speaker & Talent Management
VIP/Green Room Management
COVID Pandemic Certified
DMC / TD