Overcoming Pain


It all started with an ordinary ink pen, a blank notebook, and a vivid imagination. Marcus Allen’s dream of becoming a published author was fulfilled in 2009 when he released his first book, The Corporate Genius. Penned as Alexander DeMarcus, he has since published four more books. Allen is not just a writer, but he is also a student of Northwood’s Adult Degree Program (ADP) in Livonia, Mich. He began his education at Northwood while working at Ford’s Livonia Transmission Plant. In 2008, Allen decided to dedicate himself to his writing and his education. “I wanted to learn everything that I could about being a better writer and manager, and I didn’t want to return to the workforce again (if ever) as an unskilled laborer,” he said. “Something that was, in and of itself, mentally and emotionally painful.”

His book, Pain: A Force of Nature is the first of a seven book series. He hopes to teach others how to overcome and even control the forces of pain, fear, and love. “By understanding these forces better, people can learn how to overcome their pain.” Allen knows firsthand what it means to suffer mentally and emotionally, having grown up fatherless in the rough neighborhoods of Detroit. “After experiencing mental and emotional pains myself as a child and then witnessing the pains of others, I became curious to know why human beings suffered in the first place,” he said. 

For him, the long road to becoming a successful writer began in 1981, after enlisting in the Army. “I not only wanted to serve my country, but I wanted to know what it meant to be a man,” he shared. Allen served nearly 12 years, earning the rank of Sergeant before leaving the military. “While I was serving in the Gulf War, I got a better understanding of why men feel that they have to go to war to solve their differences, but I was more surprised to discover that humans everywhere suffer both mentally and emotionally during wartime.”

For Allen, writing is a liberating experience, “because a writer can create a world that never existed before and turn this fictional world into a form of reality for others.” He enjoys writing both fiction and non-fiction books equally. While there is no single author that has personally influenced him; he does, however, admire the work of author James Patterson, someone he has shared correspondence with, but only through blogging and emails.

Overall, Allen credits much of his writing skills to his professors at Northwood. “My education at Northwood has broadened my perspective on writing.” Adding that, “without it, I might not be who I am today. My education here at Northwood has brought out the best in my writing. I still try to keep in contact with many of my professors,” Allen said, as he is presently looking forward to collaborating with one or more of his past professors on future writing projects.

“Marcus is a multi-talented person with many exceptional skills,” said Eileen Figure Sandlin, an author and adjunct instructor of ENG 4010 – Communication & Interpersonal Relations. “He’s not only a deep thinker; he’s a musician and an author, among other things. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up being president some day!” As Sandlin indicates, “writing is just one of Mr. Allen’s many talents.” 

Allen has been performing professionally on the trumpet since he was in high school. His musical talents were greatly enhanced after studying at the Army School of Music. Allen spent the majority of his military career performing in the U.S. Army Field Bands. As a civilian, he has held the position of principal trumpeter for the Detroit Wind Symphony Orchestra (DWSO). 

In 2005, Allen founded the jazz group Diamond Steele, who released two CDs – Late Bloomer and Lavish Living before disbanding in 2011. In addition, he loves to teach music in his spare time. He is also an international martial artist of Taekwondo. 

Apart from the world of books, music, and martial arts Allen is also a patented inventor. He is founder and CEO of his own home security company, LatchLock One1. After experiencing a home invasion himself in 2001, Allen designed and patented the Deadbolt Latch-Lock, an invention that greatly reduces the threat of home invasion. 

Allen is expected to graduate from Northwood earning a bachelor’s degree with honors in May 2013. He also hopes to further his education this fall at DeVos Graduate School of Management. He is currently working on two new books; Fear: A Force of Nature, and the sequel to his novel The Curse of the Trumpet, entitled Little Gabe. Both are expected to be released next spring.

- Nikki Gonzalez