|The many faces of Alyson Reuben|
Alyson: I’m the oldest in my family. You know those ugly stories that younger siblings tell about the oldest? Well, we have our share of those. Especially coming from my brother, Dereck, two years younger than me. He swears I led him around on a leash and made him do my bidding. Swears I intentionally got him into trouble, then stood back and laughed. Is any of that true? Of course not… but do you really think I would tell if it was? LOL My baby brother, Brandon is eleven years younger. I babysat him while my parents worked, so our sibling relationship is different from most, simply because there’s an element of nourishing that is more of an exception than the norm.
We grew up together in Brown County, Indiana, known as ‘little Tennessee’, a very rural, beautifully scenic area of Indiana. We moved to our current small town when I was a teenager, and although we’ve all moved away a couple of times, we find ourselves right back here again.
Caroline: I babysat for my brother who's just over ten years younger than I am. Were you the shy kid or the tomboy? Share anything that lets readers get to know the real you.
Alyson: Growing up in the country, I was a happy medium of princess and tomboy. I could make mud cakes and play with toads as easily as any boy. At the same time, I loved my dolls, collected 36 of them, and rotated their names on a list that hung from my wall, taking whichever doll was next on the list with me wherever I went. So I guess you can say I’ve always believed in diplomacy, fairness, and equality. Ha! And this attitude has carried over to my ten-year old daughter, who owns a gazillion Barbies and takes turns playing with them all!
Alyson: When I’m not writing, I’m usually spending time with my fabulous family. But I do have other hobbies. Lots of them, in fact. Besides being an author, I’m also an artist. In fact, I thought at one time that I would pursue art as a career, but later changed my mind. I love to sketch and paint. Sometimes I paint wall murals. I also enjoy sewing and quilting. Antique shopping is high on my list. There are so many ways to use, refurbish, or reconstruct the vintage goodies I find. Touring old houses is another hobby — I like to visit and learn about them (they provide excellent settings for my stories, also). Reading is probably my best way to relax. Unfortunately, I don’t do it as often as I used to, since I became seriously involved in writing. However, I’ve recently committed myself to reading someone else’s book for at least an hour a day, which usually ends up being longer. While reading, I like nothing more than to curl under a warm blanket with a cup of hot tea or coffee at my side. Sometimes, my cat Benji settles on my lap to join my peaceful escape.
Caroline: Sounds as if we have a lot in common. Describe yourself in three or four words.
Alyson: Four words that describe me: Passionate, scatterbrained, loving, eclectic.
Caroline: Tell us something about yourself that would surprise readers.
|Alyson holding a copy|
of BEAUTIFUL CAGE
Caroline: I know others with that problem. Would you like to share any guilty pleasures that feed your muse?
Alyson: Guilty pleasures? Does excessive coffee-drinking and eating chocolate and pretzels count?
Caroline: Eating chocolater a guilty pleasure? Of course not! Chocolate is a necessity. Are you a plotter or a panzer?
Alyson: I’m a little bit of both. For the detailed historical parts, I have to rely on research and careful planning. But for the human interaction and romance scenes I’m totally a panzer!
Caroline: Tell us about your writing schedule. Do you set goals? Do you write daily?
Alyson: Yes, I set goals. I try to finish a rough draft within a certain time frame. Sometimes I make the deadline. Other times I don’t. But I’ve discovered that I can’t rush my stories too much.
And, yes, I write every single day. I write at crazy hours. I write in my sleep. Well, not really. But I do dream about characters sometimes. And I often wake up at absurd hours to jot down inspired scenes.
Caroline: What is it about a lot of us writers who keep late hours? What long-term plans do you have for your career?