Thanks so much Alice for joining us on our blog today. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Any hobbies you have?
Thanks for having me as a guest on your blog! I’m so happy to be here. I grew up as an American missionary kid in Japan and rode the train to school every day from the time I was six. Perhaps that’s why I love trains so much, and not just commuter trains, but freight, locomotives and even Amtrak. To me, riding the train brings comfort.
Hobbies? I enjoy reading (even on trains) and cooking (not on trains). I used to have a cake-making and decorating business.
You write Contemporary Women’s Fiction/Romance, what is it about this genre that you love so much?
I like women’s fiction because it gets to the issues of the heart.
Jess: So true Alice
How Sweet It Is was the first book I read of yours and thus it has remained my favourite. What inspires you to create the characters you do?
I think observing and listening to other people’s conversations helps me dig into what people are about. You can tell a lot about a person as he converses with another on a flight or as he stands in line at a grocery store. And thanks for reading and enjoying How Sweet It Is.
How much time do you usually spend on the research element for your books? Do you visit locations and conduct interviews?
For my recent novel, Still Life in Shadows, I watched a documentary on Amish youth who left the Old Order lifestyle to pursue “English” lives. As I watched, I took notes and from there read a lot online about what the Amish face when they choose to leave their communities. I was lucky enough to be interviewed with my inspiration for my novel, ex-Amish, Mose Gingerich. All my novels take place in North Carolina (God’s Country, of course) and each town I write about I have spent time in.
Jess: That’s great that you got the interview! I’m looking forward to reading Still Life in Shadows!
My four novels with Bethany House Publishers are written in first person present and from the viewpoint of twenty-something year old women. Still Life in Shadows is written in third person and told by a thirty-year-old ex-Amish man named Gideon Miller and a thirteen-year-old autistic girl named Kiki. This is my first novel with River North/Moody Publishers. It’s not a romance, although there is a romantic element to it. It’s really a story about how hard it is to shed your old life and move into a new place. Gideon strives to be accepted and Kiki does, too. Basically, there is a great human need to want to belong. This is also a story of forgiveness, especially about being able to forgive yourself. Although different from my other novels, Still Life in Shadows is also like all my other novels because it’s set in North Carolina and there are recipes in the back.
Jess: Yes it does indeed sound different, but great at the same time.
When you get writers block, what do you do to try and get out of it?
To push myself along, I make myself write a certain number of words a day and that helps get my story moving. Once it’s moving, I’m compelled to get excited and write even more.
If you could be any fictional book character for a day, who would you be, and why?
That’s a great question! I think I’d like to be Alice in Wonderland and go down the rabbit hole. There would never be a dull moment, would there?
Jess: Nope, nothing dull about going down the rabbit hole!
What do you know about Australia, and is there anything in particular you would like to see if you came for a visit?
For decades, my dream has been to go to Alice Springs, Australia. In Japan, I went to school with many kids from Australia and learned a lot about the country from them. As a young girl, I remember reading Nevil Shute’s book, A Town Like Alice, and thinking how I’d like to visit Australia. Now I want to meet you there, too!
Jess: A Town Like Alice seems to be the book many authors have read regarding Australia! If you ever make it down here we’d love to meet you too Alice!
Connect With Alice J Wisler
We’re giving away a copy of Alice’s current release, Still Life in Shadows. Winners choice of format.
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Jess’ favourite genre is contemporary women’s fiction and contemporary romance fiction. She also enjoys historical fiction with a focus on romance. She loves books set in country towns or farms with a cowboy featured in either historical or contemporary settings.
She is currently writing her first novel, a contemporary women’s fiction/romance set in a small country town.