The trust of the innocent is the liar's most useful tool. Stephen King

Wareeze Woodson Interview Published on: 07, Feb 2018

Where did you grow up? What are some major differences you find between your childhood then and what childhood is like now?

I grew up in Houston, Texas at the edge of the sprawling city ever growing to engulf our neighborhood. There were a few houses on large lots with open city blocks between each dwelling. The vacant lots were blanketed with grass and tall weeds, some trees as well. A community park a few blocks from our house served as a meeting ground for the children to come play. We didn’t have play stations and video games to amuse us—thank goodness. We were not glued to an electronic devise. As an elementary student, I walked six blocks and caught the city bus to school. I remember the clinking sound of the coins dropping in the meter to pay for the ride. Now days, it is extremely dangerous to allow a young girl to walk six blocks alone, or to ride public transport by herself even with other children. In this present day of danger, all the children in my neighborhood ride a school bus or arrive in a car pool. There are a few children living within a few blocks of the school that do walk each day.

What does the word “love” mean to you?

Love is strong yet gentle. Love is deep, trustworthy, forgiving, understanding, and everlasting.

Why do you choose to write historical romance as opposed to modern romance?

I love historical romance, the different era, the ball gowns, the carriages, the parties, the mannerisms, all real, but make believe, no longer relevant in this day and age, drama without the physical danger. In today’s world, everything has changed from our clothing, vehicles we drive, our manners, and the morals of the day. I want to escape into a time no longer in existence, not flung into the middle of today’s turmoil.

What is the most romantic story you’ve ever had the pleasure of reading or hearing?

One of my favorite romances was written by Elizabeth Thornton. Dangerous to Kiss was the title, a romance mixed with suspense. She is no longer with us. Her voice shall be missed in the romance world.

Tell us about the most difficult thing you’ve ever had to get through and how you did it. If someone else is going through something similar, what advice would you offer them?

This question about the most difficult thing I ever faced is the hardest to answer. Tears blind me at the moment. I lost my beloved husband to cancer Dec. 10, 2016. He was my high school sweetheart. It was and is tough. I shall always miss him. Buried ten days before Christmas, he still managed to leave a present under the tree for me, a beautiful music box to add to my collection of over one hundred. I can’t play this special music box yet, but one day soon it will be okay. I get by one day at a time. I don’t dwell on grief but continue to write and live. Keep on keeping on is my policy. God is helping me through each day and each lonely night. Hang in there, the light comes in the morning.

Was the character Laurel Collingsworth from After She Became a Lady inspired from your own self in any way? How old were you when you first fell in love?

I hadn’t considered the character Laurel in After She Became a Lady anything like me. However, I was young and in love at age 17. I married my sweetheart straight out of high-school, in fact, two weeks after graduation. I thought I knew everything. Every year since then, I’ve learned something new, and shall always keep learning.

What do you like most about your book, Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman? How do you think a modern Lady Laurel Laningham would behave if this happened today?

In Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman the heroine did everything necessary to take care of her child. She would have fought to the death for him. I admired her strength of character and dominate will to keep going against all odds. Naturally, I’m not painting all with the same broad brush, but I have witnessed many young women giving up, throwing up their hands knowing the grandparents would step in and raise the children. It is easier to blame society and play the victim. So many girls are weak-kneed and selfish allowing the victim mentality to excuse their behavior. Today, I hope Laurel would have chased after her child as well. She’d use her cell phone to call the authorities for assistance. After she located her son, she’d find it necessary to hire a lawyer and good luck to her with that, money, money, money required.

How do you keep your romance from getting boring and sappy? How do you incorporate suspense into your books without stealing away from the romance?

Trying to keep my romance novels from getting boring and sappy isn’t too difficult. I conquer the boring aspect with the suspense surrounding the characters. The elements of suspense add to the romance, not take away. For instance, in A Lady’s Vanishing Choices, late one night, the hero finds the heroine thrashing about in the lake obviously in distress. His rescue of her, and the tenderness he displays towards her paint a picture of caring drawing the reader into the story, perhaps even into his tender embrace.

Which scene was the hardest to write in your book An Enduring Love?

The bedroom scene is always the hardest to write. Did I get enough emotion into the scene to satisfy while leaving out too much of the graphic details? That is always my goal and I hope I reached it in An Enduring Love.

What did writing A Lady’s Vanishing Choices teach you? Do you think that writing a book is as much a learning process as it is a hobby?

Digging into history always fascinates me. Writing A Lady’s Vanishing Choices brought home to me some of the advantages we take for granted today. I love to escape into a book of a long ago era, but I’m glad I have all the conveniences of the present. With each book, I learn a little more about writing, what draws a reader’s interest, how to show and not tell, and a hundred other things about life as well as the written word. Writing can be a hobby to some people, but creating another world in which fiction lives is work. I invest time in each character, the time, the place, what happens and on and on and on it goes, complicated at best, often discouraging, too. Always learning, polishing the work and hoping for the best when the script goes out to the publisher. Some writers never do more than write as a hobby. These people are afraid to succeed. When a writer does manage to have a book published, and it garners a small success, the accomplishment often leads to ruthless criticisms. Discouraging, harsh reviews are often fatal to a writer’s career. Reviews are needed, a necessary evil, but no writer is willing to face such callous opinions except the ones driven to write, write, write regardless.

Name a talent you always wished you possessed as a teenager. Do you still wish it today?

I always wish I could do everything better. That would be an amazing talent. I don’t have it yet, but I’m still hoping, always working toward the goal, and knowing I shall never achieve such a thing.

When are you most inspired to write? What is the longest you’ve written without a break when you were hit with that inspiration?

Late in the afternoon, the urge to write often overwhelms me. I sit at the key board and try a few sentences. As I write, the story begins to unfold on the page. I usually have a glimmer of a story in mind. From there, it is all up hill. I have no idea of how long I continue to write. When I’m finish with a passage, I stop for the day. If ideas, dialogue, and other notes worthy of consideration linger, I turn on my computer again, even in the middle of the night—especially if I can’t sleep. There is usually a pen and paper by my bed to jot down thoughts. Often, if I wait until morning, the ideas are gone.

Do you plan on experimenting with new genres in the future or have you found a permanent home with historical romance?

I have a few contemporary stories with other authors in a collection of short stories released on Amazon. I love historical romance the best. I find my voice, my vision, and my escape between the covers of my historical writings. The genre always calls be back. There must be elements of mystery or suspense in each of my novels. A jewel heist, a murder, abduction, mayhem, even a ghost or two always finds a way into my writing. Love in abundance and without ceasing is always the goal, but the web of life tangles with those other elements. How could I resist?

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