Marlene Banks

MARLENE BANKS resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In addition to being a prolific writer she has an associate degree in Theology from Rhema Bible Institute in Keysville, Virginia and is currently pursuing studies to initiate a Christian counseling ministry. Marlene is a member of Bethel Deliverance International Church in Wyncote, Pennsylvania. Her work resume includes forty years in nursing and business. She considers her writing an avenue of communicating the Gospel and Christian principles through fiction. 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 creates engaging and inspirational novels. RUTH’S REDEMPTION was her debut fiction release followed by SON OF A PREACHERMAN. October 1, 2012 her third novel and sequel to SON OF A PREACHERMAN titled, GREENWOOD AND ARCHER will be available. To find out more about these novels visit Marlene’s website:

Author By Night

Looking in the Rearview Mirror

My route to getting published started on Writing Stories Highway, which took me up Interstate Hard Work to the Determination Road overpass. I traveled through the highly populated Town of Insecurity. I ended up in Blows of Life Forrest and almost drowned in Upheaval Lake. I was getting disheartened and weary so I spent the night in Frustration Valley and later broke down in Doubting County. With God’s guiding hand I was able to make my way to the Tunnel of Tenacity and came out the other end with an indomitable spirit. When I hit Rejection Mountain my heart sank but I resolved to climb it. The wildflowers were well watered with my tears. Once I was on the very edge of giving up, the Lord grabbed hold of me and let me know I must continue the journey.

Years into this trek, holding on to Jesus and focusing on my goal, I finally reached the beautiful Borough of Purpose in the Region of Destiny. I had achieved publication. That view in my rearview mirror was an amazing eye opener because it presented a graphic look at the map of where I’ve been.

In my most vivid memory is the image of me, a woman in my forties at two o’clock in the morning slumped in sleep over my computer. That was a regular occurrence because I would get home from work and feel the passion to write. At this juncture, I had abandoned the rigors of nursing for the madness of business and was carving out a career with an insurance company. Already tired from working eight to ten hours and sometimes twelve, I would wolf down something passing for a meal at the computer while I wrote. My mind raced with ideas, ideas my fingers couldn’t type fast enough. I would get sleepy but fight it because I had to write it out. The adrenaline rush did well for a while in keeping me going. I was exhausted, but my writing flow was not. Alas, after hours of writing and rewriting, my body would win the battle and I’d literally fall asleep sitting up in the chair, my hands resting on the keyboard, or I’d be slumped in some other silly position. My husband was not happy to find me here in the morning. He couldn’t understand the relentless drive that urged me on night after night. To him it was insanity . . . or menopause madness, as he called it. This went on for months until I completed my first book, a nonfiction goal fulfilled so I relaxed . . . just a bit.

Mistakenly thinking the passion was satisfied, I soon discovered my first work had fanned the flames. Now I was dealing with a roaring inferno that gravitated toward fiction. Stories started pouring out of me. I connected with my calling to write, with the realization I wasn’t running the show. This lifetime love and hobby had morphed into a burning passion that wasn’t about to go away. This was a God thing and what had been placed in me from the start. I was born to write, to tell stories and highlight the gospel and all the related revelations that come to me through the written word. Wow! What an honor, what a mindblower to step into your divine vocation so unintentionally yet so assuredly.

After that my day job was just that, a job. It became less and less fulfilling, while writing grew more satisfying and I became more productive. I had to pull back the runaway enthusiasm,

however. I gradually learned how to manage my time, my other responsibilities, and my feeling-neglected husband. After doing all that I needed to do throughout the day, I was too tired to write. So I prayed for wisdom and the Holy Spirit showed me I should write at specific times when I’m more rested. A tad of the drive to write all the time waned so I could think about other things and function with balance. I later learned that made me a better writer.

I will never forget those nights falling to sleep at my computer. That in itself was a learning experience. I continue to have a relentless urge to write. I still love it and the passion is alive and well, but I have a handle on it now and can successfully incorporate it into my life and maintain that necessary balance.

Of course writing can consume your thoughts and life, which you want to avoid. Fortunately, I always kept the Lord as head of my writing, which helped me to be solidly attentive to my craft yet always grounded in Christ, and to allow quality time for all life’s responsibilities like family, church, social activities, and more.

The thing about a rearview mirror is that you can’t keep your eyes on it too long. You have to look forward, to where you want to go, or you will crash. It’s okay to glance back to glean wisdom from your errors and revisit the genius of what you did right. There’s nothing wrong with looking around at where you are at the present, but most important, always look out that front windshield to where you want to go.


Son of a Preacher Man