Alice Greenhowe Wootson grew up in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She attended Cheyney University and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. After graduating, she married and remained in the Philadelphia area. She earned a Masters Degree in Education and Reading Specialist Certification and taught in the public schools. Alice is the award-winning author of ten romance novels and an award-winning poet; she has taught writing workshops for numerous groups. She is also a board member of the Philadelphia Writers Conference. Alice Wootson is an active member of Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church of Philadelphia. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, Isaiah. http://www.alicewootson.net/
Interview with g emil reutter
AW: I write romance novels because I like happpy endings.
GER: Some have described your novels as realistic romance full of suspense with out of the ordinary plot twists. How does this set you apart from others in the genre?
AW: I add twists to my novels because I don’t want the story to ‘unfold in a straight line’ and I don’t want the reader to reach the end and say ”I knew that’s what was going to happen.”
AW: ‘Border Love’ features Border Patrol Agents assigned to Brownsville, Texas located on the Texas/Mexican Border. My husband and I spent several winters in Brownsville and I found many interesting things about it. A highway just outside town has a tall chainlink fence running parallel to the road for miles and miles. Just on the other side of the fence is the Rio Grande River. If your arms were long enough, you could dip your hand into the water. The river is also shallow along here so the most that would get wet would be your pants legs. No buildings are visible on the Mexican side and ranches are along the road on the US side with no buildings in sight. It would be easy to wade across the river, use the spaces in the fence to climb and be in this country. The fence follows the contours of the river so many areas are out of sight. Also many Mexican students commute to Texas Southernmost University which is within walking distance of the bridge they walk across. You can pay a small toll and walk across into Mexico. With all of this in mind, I let my imagination run wild and thought of various problems that could arise from the close proximity and easy access to and from Mexico. I did extensive research which I do for all of my books. Then I decided what problems to give my agents. Drugs are a bigger problem in Mexico than they are here. Some towns are subjected to nightly battles between rival gangs over turf. A lot of the problems are caused by people from countries to the south of Mexico. I also had to consider that the drug smuggling trade wouldn’t get a foothold here if not for the involvement of US citizens. Unfortunately all of the situations I use in the book are possible.
GER: You have conducted a number of writing workshops. What are the benefits of workshops to those attending and to you?
AW: I do several writing workshops for groups of interested people. The basic one deals with the three elements necessary to write a story: character, setting and plot. I go into detail about the three and explore various options. If time permits, I have those attending develop the beginning of a story that includes all three elements. I pose questions along the way. (I’m a retired teacher so I can’t help it. What’s in it for me? I enjoy helping people follow their dreams.)
GER: What advice would you give to emerging writers and poets?
AW: I always tell writers and poets, if you have an idea, write it because it will continue to bug you until you do. You don’t have to worry about forgetting it. It’s not going anywhere until you write it. Remember, the hardest part is starting.
AW: I don’t know why my short stories and my poetry are not only different from my novels, but they are different from each other. I think my personality is split three ways. I might read something or see something and an idea pops into my head and I have to get it down.
GER: You are firmly grounded in family and faith. How does this stability assist you in your writing?
AW: I am blessed in many ways and I am aware of it. I have choices. I do not have drama in my life and I am thankful for it. I live comfortably in a nice house on a quiet street in a quiet, safe neighborhood and I have everything I need. I am aware that too many people aren’t as blessed as I am. I write because I want to, not because I have to. (Although, if I have an idea it will make me write it so it will leave me alone.)
GER: Some poets shy away from public readings of their work. You have performed your poetry at many venues. Tell us how the interaction with an audience has assisted you in the development of your poetry?
AW: I am still a little uncomfortable reading in public, but I like to think people enjoy hearing my poetry and find much of it thought-provoking. I get positive feedback from those who hear it and I am grateful for that.
GER: Who are your favorite writers and poets?
AW: A few of my favorite poets are old: Langston Hughes, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Gwendolyn Brooks, but I read whoever I have access to. I’m only going to name two authors: Beverly Jenkins and Catherine Coulter although I read many, many others. I’m on a romantic suspense kick right now and there’s a lot of authors out there.
GER: What is next for Alice Wootson?
AW: My next book released will probably be “Border Danger” because my editor already has it. “Border Danger” also features Border Partol agents stationed in Brownsville, but they are different agents facing different dangers. The two books aren’t part of a series, just wiith the same setting. I also have to get back to Nate, a secondary character from ‘Aloha Love” who tried to take over every scene he was in. He finally backed off when I promised him his own story. I started it and have to get back to it soon, but I’ve been working on submitting 4 other finished novels. I have to get back to Nate, though. I have a feeling he’s losing patience with me. I’m serious about this..
Alice Wootson at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Alice-Wootson/e/B001JRUHYM
You can read the poetry and fiction of Alice Wootson in The Fox Chase Review: http://www.foxchasereview.org/2008/22-AliceWootson.html http://www.foxchasereview.org/10WS/WootsonA.html http://www.foxchasereview.org/13WS/Wootson.html
-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. (USA) https://gereutter.wordpress.com/