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April Spotlight Interview: Marie McKenzie

#1 Amazon Bestselling Author of "Things That Keep Me Up At Night"

Author, Beta Reader, Nurse, Educator, Speaker, Consultant.

Jamaican by birth, Marie migrated to the United States and is a successful author. Join us as we have a cozy sit-down to learn more about this inspirational writer.

Marie is a resident of Florida who loves cruises, her family, and learning about different cultures. Author of "Things That Keep Me Up At Night" and a member of the NK Tribe Called Success, she shared delightful anecdotes and musings with us during our interview chat. Her words of encouragement and support are a great source of inspiration for not only her readers, but fellow writers and aspiring authors.



#1 Amazon Bestselling Author, Marie is also a Registered Nurse, Educator, Beta Reader, Community Volunteer, Victims’ Advocate, and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. Jamaican by birth, Marie migrated to the United States, and currently resides in Orlando, FL. She enjoys traveling on cruises to new locations and learning about different cultures.

Her fondest memories include the time she took her family to visit Las Vegas. She discovered that the city was more than just a gambling capital and enjoyed seeing shows. She remembers how nice it was to walking along the strip, sight-seeing things like the Dancing Fountain at the Bellagio. Another fascinating memory was when they visited Haiti and witnessed a healing performance. She was amazed by the unique cultural beliefs and activities.

In January of 2021, Marie wrote her first book, Things That Keep Me Up At Night, after entering a writing contest. "You either write a self-help or memoir. And then I was like 'what do I write about? ... The first thing that came to me, the first chapter, was the first thing that came to me." Afterwards, the floodgates of writing opened and Marie discovered her memoir. As she wrote, she states "Everything I wrote, I {could} see and hear and smell, and it was like it was happening yesterday. Like I was living it all {again} ." Once completed, Marie felt the book had evolved beyond just a contest entry into something that would inspire and encourage other trauma survivors: "Several {friends and family} have come forward to share their {traumatic experiences and they} found their voice." With her new-found encouragement and membership in a supportive author community, Marie decided to continue writing.

Since her first publication, Marie published her second, 90 Days of Pleasure, co-authored with Naleighna Kai, in November of 2021. Her 3rd - 6th books are slated to be released throughout 2022.


The Interview

What are some quirks or hobbies that you enjoy outside of your writing?

I enjoy reading and read in multiple genres. Also love working out. My favorite form of working out is weightlifting.

When you started your writing journey, you become a member of the NK Tribe Called Success. Do you find that being in a group like this benefits you more as an author?

NK Tribe Called Success is a team of authors, some international and national bestsellers led by Naleighna Kai. We encourage and support each other. Due to this I've been encouraged to continue writing.

Not all groups are created equal, but this one is second to none. We support each other, like for example: {There} was about twenty of us, only four of us made it to publication... On the day of {a} publication, all the members promote our books and all their social media pages... It went out in their newsletters and that propelled their readers to buy {the book}... It is amazing. If I am technologically challenged, I can message someone and ask {how} do I do this. I have one member who is teaching me how to use MailChimp. It costs nothing, it's just at community {supporting} each other.

Especially if you are new and have someone or a group of people to help you navigate {writing and publishing}. Can you imagine if I had to research everything by myself? How long it would take? And how many mistakes I would have made that could have been avoided? Find a group, and not just any group. Do your research to make sure they are people who have your interests at heart, and share your same values and interests.

What are the biggest challenges you face as an author?

My biggest challenge as an author is marketing and navigating technology to reach and keep connected with my readers. Glad to say, with the help of my tribe, I'm learning.

What are your favorite genres?

My favorite genres are romantic suspense, thrillers, and mystery

Who/What inspires you the most?

My aunt, Herma, who lives in Jamaica is my greatest inspiration. She is a registered nurse and I followed in her footsteps. Becoming an RN has been the only career I've desired since childhood. She is a Christian of high moral character, compassionate, kind, and generous. I've written about her in my memoir.

What is one book you would recommend that everyone should read once in their lives?

I have a few, but The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon is one of my favorites. In this book, he shares tips for a positive attitude and energy for all areas of life, both personally and professionally. We need that more than ever today. I've listened to it multiple times.

Finally, can you give us a teaser of your current project? Perhaps a favorite quote from you most recent (or soon-to-be) released book?

I've contributed to two books that are on pre-order - The Write Stuff and The Marketing Stuff. I am currently working on an Inspirational novella, which is scheduled to be released in a couple of months. My current project is not yet available for ordering.

My Inspiration novella is called Vocation: Embracing 'the Power of God's Calling’: “When Marie’s journey began, she never imagined that her chosen career in the nursing field, coupled with her childhood experiences, would culminate in a calling she had to answer.”

What benefits will your readers gain from this future book?

We all have a purpose. Find {what} you can contribute to society in our own little way. We don't have to be perfect. When you read the Bible and you {learn that} David was a murder or an adulterer. Yet, he was referred to as 'a man after God's own heart', because he found his purpose. So we all have a purpose, and we need to find ours to make our contribution to society.


Learn More...

You can learn more about Marie McKenzie on her website, here. Marie will hold the April (belated) Spotlight in our Creative Community, here; as well as being one of our newest Market Place listings, here!

Click the links below for details about her published books and where to buy them:

Things That Keep Me Up At Night - available on Amazon:

The Write Stuff: A Journey into Writing Your Book 1 - available on Amazon:

The Marketing Stuff: Presenting Your Book to the World 2 - available on Amazon:

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