The Times West Virginian

Local News

April 28, 2014

Local author Markley aims to inspire others

FAIRMONT — Local book author John E. Markley’s goal is to help inspire people and see them succeed.

In February of this year, Markley’s book titled “Lead Yourself Today” was published by WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan. It’s available through WestBow Press, Amazon and Google, as well as at most Barnes and Noble stores and different independent booksellers across the country.

The front cover of “Lead Yourself Today” features the catchphrase “Learn How Your Greatest Gift Will Lead You To Success,” which refers to how people can achieve their goals through their personal faith.

Markley, who lives in Fairmont, said he started writing the book five different times and finally came up with his theme.

“You’re the only one leading your life and it’s a gift, and if you have an idea or you have something special, just take a step out there and create something great for everybody,” he said.

“Lead Yourself Today” is filled with information about leadership and also has a lot of inspirational quotes. The book is designed so that the reader can open it to any section and be inspired for that day. It has a beneficial message for people no matter where they are in their lives, Markley said.

This book project took a couple of years to complete, and Markley learned a lot of unexpected things through the detailed process. While putting the book together, not only did he serve as the writer and author, but he also took on plenty of other roles, like editor, marketing director and webmaster.

Markley explained that his leadership work during his career inspired him to start writing the book in the first place. He began working when he was 22 years old and was employed with the West Virginia Division of Corrections for more than 30 years. He decided to take a lot of his experiences and put them into words.

During Markley’s approximately 17 years with the staff of the Pruntytown Correctional Center, he was the supervisor of several programs, including the community work program. This particular program gives inmates the opportunity to learn skills and benefit the community while working for various agencies.

While stationed at Pruntytown, Markley began taking classes at Fairmont State University as a nontraditional student. He attended school part-time and spent about seven years working toward his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

He then earned his master’s degree in safety and environmental management from West Virginia University. Markley said his graduate course work really taught him how to research and write.

After completing his master’s degree, he taught criminal justice at Fairmont State — primarily at the Gaston Caperton Center in Clarksburg — as a part-time adjunct professor for seven years. With his background in safety, he also taught some Occupational Safety and Health Administration classes at Pruntytown to certify inmates in safety and make them more marketable for jobs as a result.

Markley went on to work for the West Virginia Division of Labor for about six years. In conjuction with the West Virginia Small Business Development Center and the state’s colleges and universities, he developed a pilot training program for OSHA during that time. He then became the deputy director of training for the Division of Corrections, a position he held for around eight years.

Markley was appointed as a regional field coordinator for the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Corrections training academy, and served in that capacity for four years. Next, he took the job as assistant director of safety in Clarksburg, where he focuses on the safety of facilities and regulates the workers’ compensation program.

“I’ve been fortunate,” Markley said. “I’ve gotten to do some great things. It really all comes back to helping people.”

He recently did a book signing for “Lead Yourself Today” at Barnes and Noble in Morgantown, where he spent a lot of time during his writing process. He hopes to also set up some book signings this summer in North Carolina while he’s on vacation.

Markley, a native of the Friendly City, has been married to his wife Victoria for 32 years. They have one son, Logan, who just graduated from Fairmont State with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

So what’s next for Markley now that he’s accomplished his personal goal of writing a book? He’s already working on another book and is excited about the process.

Email Jessica Borders at or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.

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