Mymcbooks Interview Author Arthur Wooten
ARTHUR WOOTEN is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Birthday Pie, On Picking Fruit and Fruit Cocktail, as well as the short story, A Stroke Of Luck. Also a playwright, his works include the award winning Birthday Pie, which had its world premiere at the Waterfront Playhouse, Key West, FL. His one act plays, Lily and The Lunch, have been produced Off-Off Broadway and for two years he has been the humorist for the London based magazine, reFRESH. Arthur grew up in Andover, MA and now resides in New York City. www.arthurwooten.com
Interview with Arthur Wooten author of Wise Bear William. A New Bginning
I want to thank you for being my guest here on Mymcbooks Blog.
What is the last book you read?
I just read an early copy of the yet to be released novel Patchwork Of Me by Gregory G. Allen, published by ASDpublishing. It’s a kaleidoscope of unexpected twists and turns, emotional and psychological. It’s soul-searching, self-discovering, humorous and romantic. I think you can tell that I liked it.
What were your earliest memories of writing?
My mother found, in an old box, a “book” I had written when I was maybe six or seven, called Skinny Malinky Long Legs And Umbrella Feet. It was wild to reread it since I had completely forgotten all about it. Centers around an ant colony under a house and how one ant just doesn’t fit in with the rest but ultimately, he becomes everyone’s hero. Hmmm, maybe I should revisit that concept.
Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural?
It came so naturally, I couldn’t stop it. I’d wake up in the middle of the night and have to start scribbling as fast as I could. So much creativity was coming from that in between/twilight phase of slipping in and out of sleep.
What was your favorite children’s book?
The Velveteen Rabbit for sure. It still reduces me to blubbering tears.
What inspired you to write ‘Wise Bear William –A New Beginning’?
My Scottish grandfather (on my mother’s side) served in the British front lines infantry during World War I. His army blanket was made into a bear and given to me. I name him Blanket Bear. And I thought about all the memories that must be woven into him…the good and the bad. I was going to write a story about it, but Wise Bear William evolved instead. In fact, when I wrote Wise Bear William, I quickly wrote nine more books after A New Beginning. And blanket bear appears in the stories as Old Teddy Tartan.
Have you had to examine your own self- shortcomings and what are they?
I think, I hope, we all have. And the questions each of the toys ask of themselves and of each other, in this book, I’ve certainly examined within myself. Am I likeable? Do people want to be around me? Will I fit in?
Are you working on a new book?
I several new projects coming up. In February of 2012 my next novel is released. It’s a romantic dramedy set in 1955 titled, Leftovers. Its premise is: A divorced and destitute suburban housewife finds self-esteem, financial security and true love selling Tupperware.
What is the most difficult part of writing?
This may sound odd, but I don’t find it difficult at all. If the story intrigues me and the characters are honest and true, the writing flies and I really enjoy it.
What do you do when you’re not writing or promoting your books?
I’ve actually been a shiatsu practitioner (like acupuncure without the needles) for the past 27 years. I still practice and it’s a wonderful and complementary career to the writing. Often, if I have a creative question to solve, I’ll do a session and suddenly the answer appears.
Also love to travel and I’m a foodie!
Who are some of your favorite authors you would love to dine with?
I’ve been compared to David Sedaris and Armistead Maupin so a dinner with the three of us would be a hoot! I also would love to meet the playwright Beth Henley – she wrote Crimes Of The Heart as well as many other plays. And I’d be shaking in my boots if I ever sat down and had a meal with Tennessee Williams or Eugene O’Neil.
What author inspires you the most and why?
Actually, all of the ones I’ve just mentioned that I’d like to have dinner with. They are brilliant writers. I also love Mary Renault and all of her historical novels about Alexander The Great and such. They are all incredible storytellers.
How do you react to a bad review and have you ever suffered from writer’s block?
Honestly, (knock on wood) I’ve never had a really bad review. There are some that have confused me and a couple that were attacking me as a person and not my work. But I think, with any type of constructive criticism, once you remove yourself from the initial knee-jerk emotional reaction, you can always learn from other’s opinions.
What do you hope that readers will take away from your book?
I hope readers will leave with a sense of hope and goodness. We live in a strange and insecure world nowadays. Wise Bear William offers a feeling of security. It’s also a story about tolerance, growing old gracefully, teamwork and understanding that attractiveness, on all levels, comes from within, first.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
Once I start a writing project, I become obsessed. Which is a good thing. I don’t procrastinate and I write very, very quickly. I do strategically decide when a book is going to be released. I have two waiting in the wings but this is Wise Bear William’s time to shine.
What advice would you give parents on selecting the right books for their children to read?
Listen to the message. And get in touch with your own “inner child”. It will guide you in the right direction.
What advice you would give to new writers?
Just keep writing. Hang in there. And learn to be lucky. I’ve said this before…in order to be struck my lightening you have to stand out in the rain. But you have to be willing to stand out in the rain longer than anyone else. And I’ve been poured on. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!
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My name is Ella Johnson. I started Mymcbooks to promote reading. As a former teacher, I know that making basic education fundamentals interesting to children can be challenging. Education can be fun, exciting and captivating for children with the right learning tools. So my goal is to “make learning interesting and fun” for the children while they learn, by introducing them to fun books with colorful and captivating illustrations.
In 2009, I start the giveaway program giving away free school supplies at random to 2 winners each year. I also started a monthly free giveaways for books and gifts.
August 2010, I extended the free school supplies from 2 to 5 winners at random on my blog and also give away 20 bags full of school supplies to familes in need at Chick-fil-A in Brandon, Florida during their family nights. And in 2012, I beat my that number and gave away a lot of school supplies to needy families. Hopefully, I can continue to do this each year.
In 2011, I started writing reviews on children’s books then giving these books away free on Mymcbooks Blog. I increase the number of books we giveaway free to help support parent. My goal is to give away as many as I can each year. This is also a great way to introduce parents to new books.
Mymcbooks blog is always looking for other ways to give kids free books. So I started Mymcbooks Birthday Library http://mymcbooksbirthdaylibrary.wordpress.com/
My goal is to giveaway at least 300 books to children each year.
Books Given in 2011: 315
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Read Interview about Ella Johnson, http://melangeofcultures.wordpress.com/2011/07/31/interview-with-ella-johnson-founder-of-memorable-children-books-gifts/ Interviewer: Nicole Weaver
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