Monday, June 10, 2013

Marlene Banks author interview and feature

 Welcome, Marlene! We are so happy to have you here this week, and that you have agreed to share a bit about yourself.

Q: First of all—Pepsi, Perrier, ice tea, or a fruit smoothie from organic non-GMO fruit?  J

Marlene: Ice Tea, I am a hardcore tea drinker. Earl and Lady Grey (and the Duchess) are my favorite black teas along with herbal teas and White Tea Pomegranate.

Q: When did you first know you were a writer?

Marlene: Around 7 0r 8 years old I knew I loved to read and write stories even then. I printed out little stories as best I could back then but didn’t know (connect the idea) that I was born (designed by God) to be a Kingdom storyteller until I was 40 years old. Amazingly I had been writing all my life but didn’t truly connect the dots.

Q: How does history play into your writing?

Marlene: I like writing romance. The male-female dance of love never grows old in my opinion but history excites me too. I have become a bit (a small bit) of a history buff in the last decade or so. I love learning about historical events that spark my imagination wanting to know more about the feel and culture of that time. For me marrying the two genres, romance and history, is a wonderfully blissful writing experience. I love taking little known or misunderstood African American historical events and add them as a backdrop /subplot to my love stories

Q: If you could sit down and interview any person, fictitious or real from any time, who would that be and what is the first question you would ask?

 Marlene: That’s an easy one, Jesus, The Christ and my first question would be, “I’m in, right?”

Q: Who have been your mentors, and how did they help you most?

Marlene: This may sound odd but in writing I haven’t had any personal mentors. I have had spiritual mentors in my life though. One is Dr Yvonne Naylor and another is Mrs. Annie McCants. Annie McCants helped me find Jesus. She prayed for me…a lot. She also set an example of how Christ-likeness looked in living terms.  Being in her godly presence ushered me into wanting to know Christ for myself and subsequently getting saved. Dr Yvonne Naylor helped me learn how to biblically educate myself and find my spiritual groove. It was through her ministry work that I realized I was designed and called to write for the Kingdom.

Q:  What do you hope your readers will take away from your books?

Marlene: The short answer would be I hope they take away a desire to get to know Our Savior or know Him better in my showing of how He works in everything concerning our lives.

The longer response is, I do not write my novels with specific messages in mind. As the Holy Spirit leads I write and the messages unfold without my forethought. Because of my not so conventional style of writing the messages are many. Their relevance, I dare say, is according to the reader. Wherever the reader is in their faith and mentality my stories will in some way touch and speak to them right in that place. However, my universal message; seek and trust God in all things at all times even when the circumstances seem impossible. Nothing is impossible for God and His plans should guide our lives in all areas. That includes romance which even some born again believers seem to forget.

Q: Do you have a question you would like our blog readers to answer?

Marlene: Yes. When you read a novel do you prefer a formula type story in conventional makeup or do you prefer something a bit out of the box like soap opera style? Bear in mind I’m talking presentation and style not subject matter. Is it too hard to follow multiple plots in a read story?

Kathy: Thank you for being with us this week. I wish you every blessing as you write for His glory!

Marlene: Thank you for the opportunity to engage with other historical fiction readers.

About the Author: 
     MARLENE BANKS is a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native where she now live. In addition to being a prolific writer she has an associate degree in Theology from Rhema Bible Institute in Keysville, Virginia. Marlene is a member of Bethel Deliverance International Church in Wyncote, Pennsylvania. She considers her writing a Kingdom assignment and being a novelist is by God’s design. It is also Marlene’s goal to bridge the gap between faith-based and secular literature.
     A divine gift of storytelling with her unique voice and love of Christ Jesus creates engaging and inspirational novels. RUTH’S REDEMPTION was her debut fiction release followed by SON OF A PREACHERMAN and her third novel and sequel to SON OF A PREACHERMAN titled, GREENWOOD AND ARCHER.
     Her novel, RUTH’S REDEMPTION has been translated into the Dutch language. Her other novels are also selling (English versions) in the international market in Australia and South Africa.

To find out more about these novels visit her website:

 on Facebook or Tweet and Follow on Twitter.


  1. What a lovely and heartwarming interview! I love the first question you would ask Jesus. ;) As for stories, I lean a little more towards one plot line for ease in following, but I love the "soap opera" out of the box, many plot lines because of the great suspense and info it gives me.
    Susan P

    1. Susan, thanks so much for coming by! Great comments.

    2. Thanks for an honest and insightful answer to my question, Susan. I would love to send you a novel of mine to get you hooked on my soap opera style of Email me your mailing address and I will send you a book. Thanks for dropping by!

  2. I think it's so great to see books going international like this, and yours sound wonderful Marlene. Great interview, ladies!

    Marlene, what a blessing to have those spiritual mentors in your life, especially those able to model the Christian life.
    Have you attended the Write His Answer conferences in Philadelphia? I went a couple years ago and loved the combination of non-fiction and fiction really helps us focus on the power in our writing.

    As for your question, It's a tough question. I truly believe it's all about 'story'. A compelling story that pulls you in and I don't think that can be boxed in by expectations.

    1. Great answer Debra; the story IS the thing not the formula or some rigid writing style. Although I am all for structure in written storytelling I think when writing a novel it takes on a life (character and structure) of it's own. For me it does, at least.

      Yes, I have been to that conference twice and plan, God willing, to be there this year as well. Will I see you there? Please look for me if you attend. It is a wonderful spirit filled conference. If you cannot find me ask my agent Diana Flegal she will be able to tell you where I am. She is an instructor there.

  3. I won't be there this year because I'm going to the ACFW conference in Indianapolis (a blessing because someone paid for my registration). I enjoyed the smaller atmosphere at Philly and do hope to go again!

    It's a nice drive from upstate NY. Enjoy the conference! thanks Marlene