He is an author and the owner/founder of 5ive Star Publications. He represents the struggle of independent authors.
She is the founder of S.T. Ellis & Co., a marketing and promotions company that represents many independent authors. Her mantra is: "Grow...Gain...Give!"
Successful in business, Markeise and Sharmina are also successful in love. A couple for five years, while they may not love the same books, they love each other and they love books.
How did you two meet? We met while I was at work. I'm so stupid because I didn't realize she was flirting with me at the time. She had great conversation and I thought she was beautiful. Once we got to talking for a while, the rest was history.
Do you think the portrayal of black love in books today is an accurate depiction? Sometimes it can be and other times not so much. I enjoy reading stories when there is a hint of realism in the relationship. And another thing, not every black man is a player and not every young black woman is promiscuous.
What's a romantic night for you two? I love to cook. So I'd prepare us a steak dinner and we'd share a bottle of wine under candlelight. Then we'd spend the rest of the night snuggled up watching a movie or two.
What was it about Sharmina that made you know she was the one? Quite simply, I couldn't imagine living my life without her. It's a distinct feeling that you have. Whenever we're apart from each other I'll think of her smile and I'll go back to the first time I saw it. If I couldn't wake up to that smile everyday I'd go crazy.
With hectic schedules, how do you two find the time to maintain a happy and healthy relationship? We have to plan "us" time or lose what we've worked hard for. We've learned to speak things out instead of bottling or yelling things out. The ultimate goal is to find balance and then maintain the equilibrium; we are successful because we trust each other and our love supersedes the stuff that is unhealthy.
You're obviously both readers. Do you read the same books? Absolutely not! Markeise loves a variety of book genres, mainly urban fiction. I prefer spiritual, self-help and chick lit. I'll be in the back watching Joel Osteen and he'll be in the front watching 'The Wire.' We are opposites for sure!
What is the key to a long- lasting relationship?Forgiveness is key to longevity in any relationship. In our relationship, it's honoring our word, admitting when we need to walk away and loving despite imperfections.
What was it about Markeise that made you know he was the one? Markeise had an innocence about him. He was bright eyed, bushy tailed and I was like Angela Bassett in "How Stella Got Her Groove Back"...ready, willing and able with rose colored glasses on. Most people know that I am a tad bit older than Mr. Washington. While not a cougar, I loved that energy he brought me and the age difference was a compliment to me. I knew that he was the one when my every other thought was consumed by something about him...we would be apart and I could smell him on or around me. I knew that he was special and worth my devotion.
"I'll be moving higher
Closer to my dreams
And higher and higher, higher
Feel it in my being
I know that I could not go alone..."
"Closer" by Goapele
If you were to write a book based on your current love life, what would be the title of your book? There are no right or wrong answers, just creative ones.