Maria Leonard Olsen




About Maria

Maria Leonard Olsen is a biracial woman whose parents were forbidden by law to marry in their home state of Maryland in the early 1960s. She is the mother of two children, a lawyer, journalist and author of two adult nonfiction books and two children's books. She leads writing/empowerment retreats for women, and is a co-host of the Inside Out radio show on WPFW-fm, 89.3, in Washington, D.C.

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Do you want to be inspired? Refresh your life with 50 after 50! 

Order this book for anyone nearing or past 50 years old in your life, for yourself or for anyone who wants to be the best version of themselves that they can be.  Make this chapter your best yet! Ranked by Amazon as #1 New Release in Mid-Life Management!


review by library journal:

When lawyer/journalist Olsen reached age 50, she decided to try 50 new things that were significant to her. As a woman in recovery, the author values the time she has left, and through her own story, urges readers to do the same via activities such as singing like no one’s listening, riding a horse, and performing random acts of kindness. She enumerates many more exercises under the headings of “spiritual endeavors,” “thrill seeking ventures,” “lifestyle changes,” and so forth, but the message is that we should value and embrace life to the fullest. VERDICT An inspiring read for those who are in or have passed through middle age.


At fifty years of age, author Maria Leonard Olsen was a divorced drunk who had long abandoned her successful law career for family. 50 After 50: Reframing the Next Chapter of Your Life documents both her midlife crisis, realization that she was actually at the beginning of a new life rather than the end of what she'd created, and points the way for women in similar situations who have turned to alcohol over enlightenment and change.

Adrift and purposeless, Olsen decided, when she turned fifty, that she would 'gift' herself the purpose of doing 50 things new to her that embraced adventure, spirituality, travel, physical challenges and lifestyle changes.

50 After 50 documents this odyssey and its results, offering midlife readers clues on transformation and change and insights on not only possibilities, but their lasting results.

Chapters unfold the purposes behind each action; from getting off the beaten path to "be a student of the world" to changing the dynamics of daily interactions to make for more meaningful changes and experiences.

Specific approaches, examples, results, and how Olsen let go of the judgments of strangers and family to explore new avenues of personal satisfaction to herself makes for a revealing, involving blueprint indicating how readers could craft their own road maps of transformation.

The result is a powerful blend of lists, journal prompts, autobiography and tips on how to cultivate a more open mind and spirit that offers readers many 'how to' clues for rejuvenating their own approaches to life.

Readers aged 50 and older, in particular, will be not only inspired by Olsen's experiences, but are given the tools for embarking on their own life-affirming journeys in a story that is both engrossing and inspirational; highly and especially recommended for anyone of older years who feels 'stuck' in their chosen path.  (D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review)


More Books

Not the cleaver family: How the Typical Modern American Family Has Changed

"Not The Cleaver Family" is based on hundreds of interviews with families across the country, and illustrates just how the normative paradigm of the American family has changed.


Healing for Hallie

"Healing for Hallie" is about a young girl learning the importance of sharing her feelings instead of keeping them bottled up within herself.

Mommy, Why's Your Skin So Brown?

"Mommy Why's Your Skin So Brown" is a mother's explanation to her bi-racial children about why her skin color is darker than theirs.


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on 50 After 50:

“50 After 50 tops my list for 2018. I don't even consider it a self help book, more a memoir written with a dramatic, gripping flare. It inspired me and moved me to develop a more organized idea of how I envision the rest of my life unfolding. Maria's book is for men and women. You don't have to be 50 to read it. In fact, I wish I had read it before I turned 50. Quickly, it's become my blueprint, my roadmap to leading a more fulfilling, adventurous (without excessive risk taking) and mindful life. Thank you Maria Leonard Olsen! You're a gift that keeps on giving to all of us!”

Bill Funderburk / Los Angeles Attorney



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attend an event

I am currently on my "50 After 50" national book tour. Check out my events and come say hello! 

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All of my books are currently available for sale or pre-order on Amazon. Thank you for your support! 

contact maria

I am available to speak at book fairs, diversity conferences, schools and at other events.  Don't hesitate to reach out!