Initially, I began to write to heal; now I write to evoke thought and change. Airing my LIFE challenges, by way of my fictional novels, was not something I set out to do when I began to journal my anger, bitterness, and venomous thoughts that were solely centered on and directed at my ex, Keith Washington. I wrote to heal and in the process my debut novel, The Other Side of Through, was birthed.
The drama that accompanied my decision to leave that relationship began before my departure and escalated immensely when I finally “woke up”, filed for divorce, and moved on with my life. Once I began writing about the unbelievable chaos that surrounded me and my decisions to “dump the baggage”, be my own person, think for myself, and do what made me happy, my sophomore novel, Jealousy…A Strange Company Keeper, took on a life of it’s own!
With God at the helm, I continue this Spiritual journey. Each new ending has produced mind-boggling beginnings. I am truly grateful for the peaks and valleys. In them, God meets me and his grace and mercy abounds. Knowing Whose I am and Whom I serve has given me immeasurable peace and the gift of surrender.
I live happily, prayerfully, and peacefully with my husband and sons in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan.
Fill in the blank: “To read JEALOUSY: A STRANGE COMPANY KEEPER is to be entertained and informed.”
In screenwriting, a logline is a one-sentence summary of a script. Typically, a logline does three things: tells who the main character is and what he/she wants, tells who or what stands in his/her way, and tells what makes the story unique. Having said that, imagine the poster for JEALOUSY: THE MOVIE. What would its logline read?
Hung up on what she doesn’t have, can’t have, or won’t ever have, Rochelle Jackson, born without “the pretty gene” and living in the shadow of her cousin, Dakota North, who has the gene, will stop at nothing to dethrone this reigning Prima Donna, whom she believes is the reason for her unhappiness.
What themes, topics will readers find between the pages of JEALOUSY?
Jealousy is a volatile and destructive emotion, if left unchecked. It has been the driving force behind many homicides, abusive relationships, etc. The book can help shine a light on several topics: domestic abuse, child abuse, relationship issues, and insecurity.
How have you grown as a writer from THE OTHER SIDE OF THROUGH to JEALOUSY?
As a writer, it is my goal to continuously improve. However, I am really driven to bring to light issues in our communities. It is my desire to not only highlight those issues, but also try to trigger conversation about the cause and effect of what we do while challenged with these issues.
Although I write about more real life drama in Jealousy, I researched this emotion and its volatility thoroughly and really focused on incorporating how much of a “hot button” it can be. Rochelle’s character is a result of this research mixed with a little fact, fiction and real-life drama.
What are THREE adjectives that best describe JEALOUSY?
Entertaining, Powerful, Suggestive
What are THREE adjectives that best describe YOU?
Loving, Loyal, God-Chaser
Marsha Jenkins-Sanders: THE SOUNDTRACK! What TWO tracks would make it onto a soundtrack of your life, and why?
Never would have made it…Marvin Sapp, The Battle is not yours…Yolanda Adams! My life has been a roller coaster ride and my faith has been tested. God has seen me through many battles and brought me out of the “fiery furnace” unscathed. I am a better person because of these challenges, but never would have made it without HIS guidance, mercy, grace and love.
What are TWO things you have done – as author – to promote JEALOUSY?
I always do “Author Talk’s” to promote my books and I am currently on tour doing signings, interviews, book events, etc.
You’re going on vacation, and you’re only allowed to take ONE book with you — what is it, and why that book?
My bible, it is a part of my daily lifestyle.
Who is ONE of your favorite writers, and how does he/she inspire you as a writer?
I really enjoy Terry McMillan. Her “voice” is so familiar and my life’s circumstances can relate.
Dream-on: You’ve just been told that someone wants to turn JEALOUSY into a movie. Who would play Dakota North and Rochelle Jackson?
My dreams are becoming my reality. The Other Side of Through is becoming a movie. There is a request to do the same with JEALOUSY; however, I want the sequel out first. For Jealousy, as with The Other Side of Through, I would pick Melinda Williams (Cosmetologist- Tracie Bird Van Adams on Soul Food), or Sanaa Lathan, or someone equally gifted and classy to play Dakota. Rochelle’s character could be Ms. Jay from America’s Next Top Model.
What’s currently going on in your WRITING LIFE?
I am working on the movie of The Other Side of Through with my partner, Terry Coffey. Currently finishing two sequels, God’s Loudest Whisper (Jealousy- A Strange Company Keeper) and Set Adrift on a Memory (The Other Side of Through). My focus will then turn to writing books for African American teenagers with a positive message to offer them reading options other than Street Lit, Erotica, Harry Potter, and Vampires.