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Romance Writer Takes Tea with Staff and Students

April 11, 2013

Author and CU Alumna Alice Wootson drew a crowd of students at the tea on Wednesday afternoon in Carnegie Hall

Author and CU Alumna Alice Wootson drew a crowd of students at the tea on Wednesday afternoon in Carnegie Hall

Cheyney University alumna and author Alice Wootson was the special invited guest to a tea hosted by the L. P. Hill Library staff on Wednesday afternoon. Ms. Wootson, a native of Pittsburgh, PA came east to attend Cheyney University years ago and stayed in the area. After graduating from CU in 1960, she taught elementary school in Chester, PA.  Eventually she moved with her family to Philadelphia, where she was a reading specialist and taught mostly fifth graders. She retired from Henry School. 

A member of the Authors Guild, Ms. Woodson has written 11 romance novels, all published by Arabesque. "I'm thankful for the readers who go to the back of the store to find my books and buy them.  My books are in the African American literature section, and since my last name begins with W, they are way at the bottom of the pile. Without those readers, the stores would never keep the books in stock," Wootson remarked.
 
"Getting published is like the salmon swimming upstream or the sea turtles making it to shore to lay their eggs. It isn't easy.  I remember the first time I saw " Snowbound in the Snow" on the shelf at the book store," she recalled.  "I sounded like a deranged person when I saw it!" 
 
Wootson recommended, "If you want to write, just put everything down in the computer. If you have a book in your head it will just carry you until you get it out.  Don't worry about publishing - write first. Before it's published it has to be written."
 
Although she was inspired to write by author Beverly Jenkins, an award-winning author of African-American historical romance fiction, Wootson says she doesn't have any favorite authors.  Currently she is reading a lot of romantic intrigue books. As the students huddled around her at the end of her program, her closing advice for them was "Start writing!"