Mary was born in Fort Towson, Oklahoma. She received her primary education in Oakland, California. She attended California State Hayward University where she majored in healthcare administration and dance. She has served in various healthcare positions working as a certified nursing assistant. She has also worked as a librarian and an academic mentor.
At an early age, Mary fell in love with writing and storytelling. Her writing and storytelling was inspired by her late father, Elmer Mose Tyson, who told her stories about the adventures of Brother Rabbit when she was a young girl. These African American folktales had verbally been told to him when he was a young boy. Mary’s father could not read or write, but he made sure that she could.
Mary has always enjoyed gardening. One of her fondest memories was a conversation she had with her son when he was a young boy. She was telling him about plants that ate bugs and he said, “Mama, plants can’t eat bugs. They don’t have a mouth and teeth like me.” His statement was the beginning of her first children picture book.
Many year ago, Mary worked as a temporary librarian and an academic mentor for Parker Elementary School located in Oakland, California. Back then, what she enjoyed the most was working as a librarian and working in her beautiful garden. These two experiences planted a seed within her that blossomed. Years later, this blossoming seed was her inspiration for her first children picture book entitled, Grandpa has plants in his garden that eat bugs for breakfast. She presently resides in Sacramento, California, with her lazy fat cat, Tony.