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Interview with J.Arlene Culiner

by Book Chick City

REVIEWS

INTERVIEWS

Hi, J. Arlene, welcome to Book Chick City. Please can you tell us what All About Charming Alice is about?


I think there are many aspects to this book. Of course it is mainly a love story where two very independent people learn to trust one another. It’s also about Blake’s Folly, a forgotten community in Nevada, where all 52 residents spend their time either sticking their noses into everyone else’s business or helping each other in a potentially hostile environment. I’ve also included a few old pioneering tales, some information about the desert’s ecology, and shared my appreciation of silence in the world’s emptier places.


Tell us a bit more about the hero/heroine in All About Charming Alice


Alice and Jace are clearly over forty years old. They are both living interesting lives and are very independant. Their intense attraction to one another is obvious to everyone, but because they are mature adults, they know that simple passion won’t hold a relationship together. That they need to share their ideas, their interests. But they are so different. Alice loves the desert; Jace is a big city man. Alice is a herpetologist, a woman who protects and studies snakes; Jace has a phobia about snakes. Alice was once married to a playboy husband; Jace has spent his life gong from one woman to another without making a committment. What they do have in common is Intelligence, deep feeling and respect for each other.


How did you research All About Charming Alice?


I take great pleasure in doing research and sharing the information I glean. For example, I’m quite involved in nature preservation and am particularly fascinated by snakes – all snakes. Most people are terrified by snakes, but that’s because they know so little about them. Yet there is information available on the internet, in libraries and through environmental groups. I use all these resources. When it comes to history of the west, libraries and archives are the best bet, and I’ve been ploughing through those for years.


How did you research All About Charming Alice?


I take great pleasure in doing research and sharing the information I glean. For example, I’m quite involved in nature preservation and am particularly fascinated by snakes – all snakes. Most people are terrified by snakes, but that’s because they know so little about them. Yet there is information available on the internet, in libraries and through environmental groups. I use all these resources. When it comes to history of the west, libraries and archives are the best bet, and I’ve been ploughing through those for years.


Is All About Charming Alice the first in a series or a stand alone novel?


I think it’s a stand alone … but you never know. I might want to go back to the community of Blake’s Folly, Nevada, again. I’ve become very fond of the place.


When and where is your favourite time/place to write?


Very early in the morning, say five o’clock, when it’s dark outside, when no one in the village is stirring. At other moments, I don’t care where I write: in the room that is my office, in a cafĂ©, on a train. Writing is nearly always an ecstatic experience for me so I’m happy to indulge anywhere.


When did you decide to become a writer?


I’ve always written. I have heaps of manuscripts – most of them pretty awful: I consider them my apprenticeship work.


What was the last book you enjoyed and why?


Last week a little book – Letters to Dr. Du Bimo, written by Sheila Clapkin – arrived in my mailbox, and I was asked to review it. I think we all open books with some trepidation on these occasions: what do we do if we hate them? What do we say if they’re badly written? Imagine my pleasure when I was pulled into the story immediately. Through a series of letters found in an old orange crate, we discover the hopes, dreams, disappointmnts and loves of a group of women. The book is a witty, intelligent, original little delight.


Which authors do you admire?


There are so many of them I wouldn’t know where to begin.


Describe yourself in five words.


Frienly, amusing, curious, passionate and … maybe even nice?


What’s next?


More romances with main characters who are definitely over 40 years old.

Interview by Romance Junkies

LINKS

by RTomance Junkies

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by Book Chick City

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Interview by Elizabeth Meyette

Interview by Book Chick City

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Video interview

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Interview by Authors to Watch

All About Charming Alice

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