While Makenzi, an experienced writer, was writing, “That’s How I Like It!” she faced unavoidable turmoil that inspired the storyline for “Dangerously.” Through it all, Makenzi can say she is loving life as an author and is continuing to work on her craft as well as more page-turners for her readers.
I had the privilege to ask Makenzi a few questions about her life and her new novel “That’s How I Like It!” Let me introduce you to Ms. Makenzi…
Interview With Makenzi
MJB: Many writers have alter egos that they use when they write. Do you have an alter ego? Who is Makenzi the author? The person? Are they the same?
M: I would say that yes I use an alter ego because Makenzi is nothing like me; I’m very shy and laid back. Makenzi is creative and more direct.
MJB: Describe your journey to becoming an author? Were you ever rejected in the past by publishers or agents? If so, was it an extensive amount of times? How did you keep pressing on?
M: I’ve been writing for three years now. I started writing initially as a bet with my mother, she was writing a biography of her life (just for my sister and me to read). The bet was to see who could finish their story first. With the help of my sister and cousin, I picked the names of the characters and “That’s How I Like It” was developed from there. As I was writing, “That’s How I Like It,” tragedies happened within my family and that’s where the storyline for “Dangerously” came from. I had to write to release the pain I was feeling.
When I finished my manuscript I started off with a small publishing company, in which I will not name names, but they ripped me off, I never received any royalties and I was told the company would cover the edits in the book. Later to find out the book was never edited and I was not given a preview copy of the book, so the book was published with errors all through the book, which was quite embarrassing. I sent my manuscript off to several agents and publishing companies to only hear that I’m a great writer but no one picked the book up or would take me on to be my agent. Then I tried self-publishing but I did not having the marketing part together so that fell through and now I’m with Xpress Yourself Publishing and things are working out great.
MJB: Most books now have very raw and provocative characters. Who inspires these characters? Do they have characteristics that you have?
M: Compared to other books written my books do not have raw and provocative characters. My characters are true to life and down to earth, you do not have to live a certain life style or live in a certain place to relate to my characters. My characters were created from people I currently have in my life, have come across either from high school, college and/or everyday life.
MJB: Who are some of Makenzi’s favorite writers?
M: Terry McMillan because I love her writing style, she can switch up (“Disappearing Acts” is still one of my favorite books because it talks about emotions within a relationship), Sister Souljah “Coldest Winter Ever” is a beast, and I could not put that book down. Kimberly Lawson Roby-that Curtis Black is a handful.
MJB: What are some of Makenzi’s favorite books?
M: “Coldest Winter Ever,” “Casting the First Stone” and “Disappearing Acts.”
MJB: What inspires you to write? Is it the love for written expression or the paycheck at the end of the day? (I must ask)
M: I write books to entertain and also it’s a stress reliever, it helps release emotional pain.
MJB: How did Makenzi become who she is today?
M: I became the person I am today because of the love of support of not only my parents but my family as well. I’m very close to my family I grew up with my cousins like we were sisters now that I live in Virginia and their all in Ohio it was very hard for me to adjust but I’m managing. I honestly did not have a bad childhood actually I’m very spoiled; my sister said I was a rotten apple. (smile)
MJB: What is next for Makenzi?
M: I’m working on my third book; I’m going to keep the title and the storyline a secret for right now (smile). I’m also in the process of hitting the road doing book signings to promote my books!
Makenzi currently resides in Virginia where she is currently working on another novel.