Tuesday, April 14, 2015

One on One with Bestselling Author Marcena Hooks of The Dating Game

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1. Introduce yourself.

My name is Marcena Hooks. I am a graduate student, juggling the duties of being a pastor’s wife, mother of two, and a writer.

2. How would you describe the road to publication?

The road to publication has been enjoyable. At times I still can’t believe it. I am part of three anthologies now and can say that I stepped out on faith. I saw opportunities to submit, and got nervous. I told myself that if I didn’t try, I wouldn’t know the outcome. I have met some awesome ladies on this journey.

3. What inspired your short story in The Dating Game?

I had the story idea of a woman who had a secret double life. Honestly, after hearing “The Dating Game” as a title, I had the thought of incorporating how/why this particular character named Honey didn’t want to date anymore. From there, the story blossomed.

4. Your best advice on dating in the 21st century.

I haven’t dated in ages! However, I encourage married couples to continue to date each other as often as you can. What you did to woo each other in the beginning is what you should continue to do and more!

5. In five words describe your dating experience.Dating my husband is bliss!

6. As an author, do you believe in happily ever after? Yes I do believe in happily ever after. I am a romantic and tend to have story ideas with happy endings. After all, it is fiction! However, I know there can be bumps in the road that lead to romance. As a Christian, I believe God wants the best for us, so why not have a happy ending?

7. How did you begin writing? Did you intend to become an author, or do you have a specific reason for writing your book(s)? I began writing in a diary as a pre-teen and continued from there. I was the student who loved English and Grammar classes. Over the years I have written poetry and recently dived into fiction. I didn’t have dreams of becoming an author at first because the writings were private and a way for me to console myself. Now I have to speak into existence the fact that I can become an author, and I pray to inspire others.

8. Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?I mostly write at night. I could really work on the structured part a lot more and have actual scheduled times of day where I just write.

9. Favorite quote that defines who you are as a writer.
“Spread your writing for people to comment. That’s called feedback.” –Ajay Ohri

10. What projects are you currently working on? I am currently working things for school. I have several ideas for more fiction and need to pick one and begin!

11. What was the best piece of “writing advice” that you’ve ever been given?

ReShonda Tate Billingsley and Victoria Christopher Murray are awesome mentors. ReShonda has shared how writers should set small, attainable goals. Victoria encourages us to change the “hobby” of writing into a passion. Both of them are very successful and their word is bond! 

12.Favorite writer and book that has mostly influenced your life.Oh my goodness, I have too many favorite writers to name one. A book that has influenced me is Native Son by Richard Wright. That’s one I need to read again in my adult life. 

13. Just for fun: Night owl or early bird? Coffee or tea? E-books or paperbacks?

Crowded room or peace and quiet to write?

I am definitely a night owl. I don’t like early mornings at all! I love sweet iced tea, and have only been drinking coffee for two years. It must have flavored cream and sugar though! E-books are best when I travel, but there’s nothing like a paperback. I need and desire peace and quiet to write. Too much noise or a crowd would distract me.

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