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A Book Bar Author Interview: Jae Henderson & Mario D. King

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

In celebrating Black History and Love, we sat down with Jae Henderson and Mario D. King about their “Where Do We Go From Here” series, where they penned concerns of the family unit.

I want to first thank both Jae Henderson and Mario D. King for granting me this interview and allowing me to share it with the Book Bar VIPs.  I have a few questions for you that I am sure the Book Bar visitors would greatly enjoy.

Purchase Links:. Where Do We Go From Here Book #1


What inspired the two of you to do this project?

Jae: Mario and I met at a book event in Memphis and while talking we discovered that we both have a love for the African American family and concern for its demise. Those are themes that you will find in each of our books. We decided to do a project together and then I discovered a 2014 statistic that 72% of African American children are born to unwed mothers. We know that just because a child’s parents aren’t together doesn’t mean the child is doomed. They may be together but not married or may have broken up and created a great co-parenting arrangement. However, what about those children who were born to parents who were never in a relationship? They had a “friends with benefits” arrangement that went someplace it was never intended to go. That was the segment we decided to focus on within this series.

Mario: When we met at the book event in Memphis I had been thinking about creating something with another writer. I knew at some point I wanted to do a joint venture with a woman to deliver something that was authentic from both a male and female perspective. I guess you can call it perfect timing. When we finally connected, it just all made sense to proceed with this project/venture.


Where did your character profiles come from?

Jae: The initial concept for Marcus was actually very loosely based on a friend of mine. He’s handsome, successful and the ladies love him. However, he lets every woman he dates know that he doesn’t want a relationship or children. He’s a happy bachelor. I wondered what would happen if he ever got “caught up”. With the help of Mario, we crafted a great storyline for our own Marcus who did get “caught up”.

For me, Natalie is every woman who ever fell for a man she was just supposed to be having a strictly sexual relationship with. Once feelings become involved the previously agreed upon arrangement often changes and even more so with a pregnancy. It was important to me that she be vulnerable but not too weak and nobody’s damn fool.

Mario: When we discussed and agreed upon the premise of the story, I became very familiar with Marcus to some degree. I was able to base a lot of his characteristics from different experiences, both directly and indirectly. Marcus is the type of individual many of us grew up with or have known at some point in our lives. He’s an interesting, conflicted character that represents many of the complexities of manhood in our village. I enjoyed exploring and bringing this character to life.


What message would you like the readers to take away from this story?

Jae: For me, it’s make wise decisions. Too often we treat sex like a pick-up game of basketball at the local gym. In my opinion, when an act can create an entirely new life, it deserves a bit more thought and precaution, especially if you aren’t trying to procreate.  A minimum of three lives are altered forever every time a child is born, and if we hope to have stronger communities we have to take the time to build stronger family units.

Mario: I would agree with Jae’s choose wisely comment. I heard something not too long ago as it relates to finding the right mate. I’m paraphrasing here, but it went something like this…The right mate will bring out the best in you and if you’re married or living together, then your home should be a spiritual recharge center. So again, be careful and patient with who you choose to create or share your life with.


What were the challenges of working together?

Jae: Mario and I worked really well together. We took turns writing the chapters from a different character’s perspective. I was Natalie and he was Marcus. I have a great amount of respect for Mario as a writer and a person. I enjoyed learning how the male brain thinks even though I didn’t always agree. He brought ideas and perspectives to the table I never would have thought of. We have distinct writing styles and he actually made me step my game up. The only challenge I can think of was finding time to write our chapters when we both lead very busy lives. Neither of us pressured the other about though. We weren’t on a schedule.

Mario: It was a pleasure working on this project with Jae. I enjoyed the brainstorming sessions more than anything because it challenged my own thinking and grew me as not only just a writer but how I approach and perceive different situations when it relates to how women think. It was therapy in a sense. As Jae mentioned, time was a challenge at times due to our busy/conflicting schedules, but we worked it out.


What do you enjoy most about being an author?  And what’s the most challenging?

Jae: I enjoy being able to let my imagination run wild. My characters can say and do things that I could never do in real life and I control the outcomes and repercussions. I also enjoy being able to impart wisdom to people in an entertaining form. That makes it a little easier to digest for many.

Mario: I love the creative aspect from beginning to end. I just love to create. Finding the time to create is a challenge for me at times though. Also, the business side of things can be a challenge. As I mentioned, I just like to create and share. The underlining things that come with it can steal the joy, but I understand that it’s a necessary part of the process.


What’s next for you?

Jae: Jointly, who knows? We agreed that this would be our last book together in the series and haven’t discussed anything beyond that. Although, it’s a possibility. Personally, I am working on the sequel to my first three books in the Someday series. I plan to release it in 2021.

Mario: I released another project in 2019 titled Low Reign. I’ve started another project that I plan on finishing this year. I believe I will try my hand going the traditional route. It’s just a bucket list thing for me. So, I’ll take the rest of this year to figure out this life of writing. As far as creating with Jae again, I believe in due time I’m sure we’ll work together in some capacity. I enjoyed the experience and the feedback has been great. I’m just glad that people love the project.


Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers?

Jae: I’m grateful to everyone who has taken the time to read all three books in the Where Do We Go From Here series. I invite those who haven’t done so, to do so. It’s an entertaining series for men and women. We’ve even had couples say they enjoyed reading and discussing it together. The twists and turns that happen as Mario, Natalie, and their crazy friends and family try to figure it all out will keep you wondering what’s next.

Mario: I ditto what Jae said.


Jae Henderson:

What can Jae Henderson do for you?

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