Thursday, September 30, 2010
Generally, I like to make my characters different from me. In Rain Song, Nicole fears flying while I love it! Having said that, I suppose I can’t help but create some attributes that resemble me. In How Sweet It Is, Deena decorates cakes (I had a cake-decorating business years ago) and works at an organization for disadvantaged kids (I did that after graduating from college). In Hatteras Girl, Jackie loves the North Carolina Outer Banks (yep, that’s me).
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Probably sneaking out of the dormitory in high school in Kobe, Japan, with friends. We’d walk down to the local train station and just sit in the quiet to talk. Yes, it was breaking the rules, but we were only 14 and 15, and our sneaky sides prevailed. Once caught, we gave it up.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
My first and second grade teacher, Miss Terwilliger, had me read my stories to the class and even marched me into the third and fourth grade classroom of our tiny Kyoto International School to read to them. I knew then that I wanted to write a book one day.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love women’s fiction. I also enjoy well-written memoirs by anyone.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
After my son Daniel died in 1997, I self-published two cookbooks in memory of kids who have died. Slices of Sunlight and Down the Cereal Aisle are still ordered by many. I also wrote two not-at-all-worthy novels before Rain Song. Actually, I did place one of the characters in Rain Song from one of those manuscripts. I liked Grandma Ducee so much that I couldn’t let her go.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I don’t run. I walk twice a week. :-) All kidding aside, I don’t feel overwhelmed with the pressures of society. I like to keep busy.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Actually, I have two, one a little trivial, and the other, more defining. My first would be birthing four kids without any epidurals. But what is most amazing is what I do every day—surviving the death of my four-year-old son, Daniel. He died from cancer treatments in 1997, and I created an organization in his name. Through Daniel’s House Publications, I conduct online grief-writing workshops and all-day workshops. I also have empathy cards I’ve designed that I sell.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’d be an elephant because they are supposed to have good memories and never forget. Lately, I am much too forgetful.
What is your favorite food?
Sushi! No cream cheese or avocados, just the real stuff I grew up with in Japan.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My greatest roadblock continues to be making myself write. I keep disciplined by creating a word count and sticking to it each day. Otherwise, I can get bogged down with spending too much time on Facebook, Twitter, or on the Internet.
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Write often, edit often. Be real in your storytelling. Keep your chin up and believe in yourself. Read, especially the genre you want to write in. Try to avoid clichés. Remember: The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running.
Tell us about the featured book.
There are two things twenty-nine-year-old Jackie Donovan asks God for: an honest, wonderful man to marry, and to own a bed-and-breakfast in the Outer Banks region. In the meantime, Jackie works for Lighthouse Views magazine, writing articles about other local business owners, and intrepidly goes on the blind dates set up by her well-meaning but oh-so-clueless relatives. There's one specific property Jackie dreams of purchasing: the Bailey Place, a fabulous old home where Jackie spent many happy childhood afternoons, a place that has now fallen into disrepair because of its outrageous price tag. When Jackie meets handsome Davis Erickson, who holds the key to the Bailey Place, Jackie is sure God has answered both her prayers. But as Jackie learns some disturbing details about Davis's past, she begins to question her own motivation. Will she risk her long-held dreams to find out the truth?
Please give us the first page of the book.
Lena, I don’t have access to this unless I were to open the book and type by hand the whole page. I’ve even deleted the file for Hatteras Girl from my computer. People can access the first pages by going to Amazon.com.
I can give you the first line:
Seated at the mahogany counter on a wobbly barstool, I wait for Mr. Wealthy and Available.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Go to my website: http://www.alicewisler.com/ Also find me on Facebook and Twitter.
Alice, thanks for this peek into your life.
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