Alice Wootson

Alice Wootson
Escape To Love

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
November 24, 2003

Q. What inspired you to write ESCAPE TO LOVE?

A. There have been many cases of mob hits in Philadelphia and the surrounding area. At least one person from here in the witness protection program left the program and the local newspapers went into detail about it.

I was fascinated by it all and an idea came to me immediately. From reading about the program, I proceeded to do what authors do: I played 'What if'.

Q. How did you come about the title?

A. Because I was going to have the heroine enter the witness protection program and leave home and since I was writing a romance, I put her with the hero, a detective who vowed to protect her until she could enter the program. Since she was leaving everything that she knew and since I knew that Trent was going to follow her, I decided that the title should be, Escape to Love. If she had not witnessed the hit and had she not had to enter the program, she would have never known Trent. It's hard to explain; I come up with a story idea and the title just 'comes to me'.

Q. How did you come about Angela’s character?

A. When I get an idea for a story, the characters appear and tell me their stories as well as their names. (If anybody ever asks me if I hear voices, the answer is a loud 'yes'.) Angela had to be in a dangerous situation, but she also had be strong enough to survive. She was stunned when the murder happened and appeared helpless, but she bounced back.

Q. Why did you choose to have Angela become a victim of a crime she witnessed?

A. Unfortunately, people who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time often get hurt through no fault of their own. Innocence doesn't provide protection in the real world and it doesn't in fiction, either. As for the way the story unfolded, I tried to write a different, unpredictable twist to put her in danger.

Q. How did you come about Trent’s character?

A. As did Angela, Trent also told me his story. he even let me know about the witness whose protection the department botched up. This is why he was determined to protect her himself. He's a no-nonsense man who was troubled by this and who took it upon himself to prevent it from happening to Angela. Neither character is based on a real person.

Q. Why did you choose accounting as Angela’s career?

A. Angela needed a way to uncover her boss' money-laundering scheme. If she was in any other job, it wouldn't have worked.

Q. Which did you enjoy writing the most: TRUST IN ME or ESCAPE TO LOVE?

A. That's a tough question. Actually, I don't ENJOY the writing. I enjoy HAVING WRITTEN a book. There's a sense of accomplishment to hold a 90,000 + word manuscript that you have completed, in your hands. It is also very hard to resist the temptation to keep making changes. TRUST IN ME is more of a story that too many can relate to. I wanted to tell a story that shows that it's possible to overcome your past; that if something bad happens to you, you don't have to curl up and die. I have received several letters from readers with similar experiences in their backgrounds. I was humbled that they told me that TRUST IN ME showed them that they can start over.

Q. When will your book FLORIDA LOVE be released?

A. FLORIDA LOVE has a new title: it is now KINDRED SPIRITS. It is already in the hands of the editors and, if things go according to plans, will be released in June, 2004.

Q. Are you currently working on another novel?

A. Yes. I'm more than halfway through a book set in Hawaii. The working title in ALOHA LOVE, but that might change. I don't have a release date for it, yet.

Q. What message would you like readers to receive from reading ESCAPE TO LOVE?

A. I don't know that there is a lofty message, but readers often get something from my books that I didn't realize was there. Perhaps the message is that you can find love anywhere and that, even though you are forced to make a change, you can bounce back and get on with your life.

I think love is a powerful, wonderful experience and I wish everybody could find the person meant for them. I also want the reader to get pulled into the action. I want ESCAPE TO LOVE to, as I tell those who buy it, make them stay up all night reading, or forget their dinner is cooking and let it burn, or that they neglect their work, because they were so engrossed in my book that they couldn't put it down. :0)

Most of all, I don't wany anybody to say, I knew that would happen. The only thing I want them to be able to predict is that, since it's a romance, the two main characters will end up together."

Thanks for interviewing me, Lauretta.