Mymcbooks's Blog

Keepsake that Educates!

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.

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!



February 9, 2012 - Posted by | Meet the Author | , , , , ,


  1. Wise Bear William sounds like a wonderful story. I enjoyed reading about how your Grandfather’s blanket was sewn into a bear. How wonderful to have that filled with so many memories and feelings. It was nice to meet you here Arthur. and find your books.

    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    Comment by Carol L. | February 9, 2012 | Reply

    • Carol – Thank you so much for the kind words. I still have Blanket Bear – he’s looking down at me from my bookshelf as I write this. Amazing how powerful these toys can be…after all these years. All the best!

      Comment by Arthur | February 10, 2012 | Reply

  2. I am so very pleased to see this great and humorous man earn his attention. Wise Bear William is a tear jerker.. a delightful and warm story that so many children will love as they read it.. .. as well as the person reading to them if they need some gentle help. I felt the tears well up long before they fell reading this sweet little story. Thanks so much for the talent you bring to writing.. !!
    Jim Ellis.. PNW

    Comment by James Ellis | February 9, 2012 | Reply

    • James – I’m so moved by your response. Beautiful comment – and would you like to be head of my PR?😉

      Comment by Arthur | February 10, 2012 | Reply

  3. I enjoyed Mr. Wooten’s interview. Wise Bear William sounds like a wonderful book.

    Comment by CrystalGB | February 10, 2012 | Reply

    • Thank you, Crystal!

      Comment by Arthur | February 10, 2012 | Reply

  4. This sounds like a great children’s story, and even i would enjoy it. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

    Comment by Marianne | February 10, 2012 | Reply

    • Good luck, Marianne!

      Comment by Arthur | February 10, 2012 | Reply

  5. Thank you for a great interview! Keep it up. Will be looking for that book about the ants. but also for your novels.

    Comment by Marianne | February 10, 2012 | Reply

    • Ha ha – seriously – I’m thinking about what I can do with that story!

      Comment by Arthur | February 10, 2012 | Reply

  6. I like his advice about getting in touch with your inner child. I look forward to reading his book.

    Comment by domestic diva | February 10, 2012 | Reply

    • Good luck, Domestic Diva!

      Comment by Arthur | February 10, 2012 | Reply

  7. Interesting that The Velveteen Rabbit is your fave book, as the description of Wise Bear William put that book into my mind. David Sedaris and Armistead Maupin are two of my favorite authors. I look forward to reading your adult books as well as Wise Bear William.

    Comment by Cathe Olson | February 10, 2012 | Reply

  8. I so agree with the advice given on selecting the right books for children.

    Comment by YvonneJ | February 10, 2012 | Reply

  9. What a great interview – I can’t wait to check out your books, especially Leftovers (I’m picturing Jessica Chastain as the lead when it’s made into a movie) & of course, Wise Bear William for my grandkids.

    Comment by Teresa Young | February 10, 2012 | Reply

  10. I really like his advice for new writers. Especially “learn to be lucky” what a cool way to bring positiveness!

    Comment by lisa | February 10, 2012 | Reply

  11. We read alot to my grandson, his mother does especially. Books like this is so inspiring. We have been reading alot of Joy Berry books lately so he can learn things he has a difficult time with like not to Interrupt, about getting angry, feeling scared, etc. This would be such a welcome book, to let him know, it’s ok if he isn’t chosen and that he is special and loved just the way he is.

    Comment by Sandy VanHoey | February 11, 2012 | Reply

  12. I love what you do with author interviews and children’s literature. That is why I awarded you the Liebster Blog award. Read about it and pass it on.

    Comment by Trudy | February 11, 2012 | Reply

  13. I love how she describes this as a story “about feeling security.” All children need this kind of comforting story at times.

    Comment by Marci | February 15, 2012 | Reply

  14. I especially his story of how his grandfather’s army blanket was made into a bear for him and he called it Blanket Bear. I am sure that little bear is woven into his story.

    Comment by Vera | February 21, 2012 | Reply

  15. Leftovers sounds great! I’m going to check my local public library for it!

    Comment by sahmandtw | February 22, 2012 | Reply

  16. Being a shiatsu practitioner sounds interesting!🙂

    Comment by Kristie | February 26, 2012 | Reply

  17. The story about Blanket Bear is incredibly endearing! What a wonderful memory and source of inspiration for his books! I’m not sure that I would have guessed “shiatsu massage” as a secondary career to writing but I imagine the meditative process involved with it could certainly clear up any writer’s block! Love this interview, great job!

    Comment by Dez | March 30, 2012 | Reply

  18. I was initially impressed with the author regarding the fact that he began writing at such an early age and had forgotten it. He really must have ingrained and inherited talent.
    It seems to me that the book will have a broad appeal (no pun intended) to women initially as a writing of hope and “happily ever after”. Then to men that there are women of substance out there. I believe the writer scored this time!

    Comment by Vicki Maddox | March 31, 2012 | Reply

  19. I love what you have to say about “negative” reviews. I think that we can always learn from constructive criticism. I always try to review books honestly, and I stay away from attacking authors and their work, but if the book is not really good, I am going to say that in the nicest, most honest way I can.

    Comment by ruthhill74 | April 1, 2012 | Reply

  20. I like Arthur’s advice to learn to be lucky. I’ll have to remember that.

    Comment by likwan | April 15, 2012 | Reply

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