Q&A: Alice J. Wisler
After returning home from teaching English at a refugee camp in the Philippines, Samantha Bravencourt enjoys her quiet life working at her mother's clothing boutique in Falls Church, Virginia. When she receives an invitation to a wedding in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, she looks forward to reconnecting with her college friend. Instead her life collides with Carson, a fellow teacher and the man who broke her heart, and a young Amerasian refugee named Lien who needs Samantha and Carson's help to find her mother before Lien's own wedding. When the search for Lien's mother reveals surprising secrets from the past, Samantha must reevaluate her own memories and decide whether to continue to play it safe or take a risk that could change her life.WHAT LED YOU TO WRITE A WEDDING INVITATION?
I received a pretty wedding invitation in the mail, but it wasn't for me. It was for the previous home owners. I wondered what it'd be like to attend, sort of a "crash the wedding" scenario. I also worked in a refugee camp in the Philippines in the 1980s and so decided to put the two situations together to create A Wedding Invitation
.STARTING OUT, WHO WERE THE AUTHORS WHO INSPIRED YOU? WHO INSPIRES YOU NOW?
I was inspired by Elizabeth Berg's novels. She is a brilliant author and I had the chance to meet her when she came to town. She still inspires me, as does Anne Lamott.HOW DOES YOUR FAITH INFLUENCE YOUR WRITING?
My faith has been tested since the cancer treatment death of my son in 1997. My son Daniel was four. I have a real tried-and-true faith, having lived through the horrendous diagnosis and death of my son. I am not one to quote trite platitudes or take things lightly. God is a faithful friend, but he is also mysterious in his ways. I trust him because he is loving and loves me. That is the way I present him in my novels. He is a God of second chances and rapid forgiveness.HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN YOU WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR?
Ever since I wore red tights that bagged around my ankles. That would put me at age six at Kyoto International School in Kyoto, Japan. My first grade teacher encouraged me to write.WHAT DO YOU MOST HOPE THAT READERS GET FROM READING YOUR WORK?
A sense of real life with its struggles, joys, and fun. I want readers to laugh, cry, and experience moments they can relate to. My characters are flawed, as are my readers. We grow together.