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Member Spotlight: Alice Sherman Simpson

author Alice Sherman Simpson and an image of her book The Winthrop Agreement

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? After a sixty-year career as a graphic designer and illustrator, initially I wanted to break boundaries—create handmade imperfect artist books—paint them and cut into the pages. I made handmade books about dance and integrated my illustrative skills, love of color and whimsy with a need to entertain. Writing stories has come late in life, and I discover so many things about myself; that my excessive attention to detail and persona in everyday real life, which I consider an affliction, actually help me to define the characters I create and write about. I prefer to tell stories about complex, often flawed human beings. We have always been storytellers beginning with the images on the walls of ancient caves

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? Writer’s Block has never been a problem for me. I sit at my computer midday, play music appropriate to the story I want to tell, and when I next look up, I am sitting in the dark, with only the light from my screen. For a few precious minutes, I have no idea where I am.

What is your favorite time to write? I write best from 3:00 pm to about 8:00pm.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Write because you must. Write because you love to write.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? What is “today’s age”? I am eighty-two, with more confidence than when I was younger. Loving the quiet and solitude of writing, the reaching for words to express what I want to say, that define my characters and their longings, and those rare moments when the music in the words resonate in my ear. I’m no longer afraid to reveal my truths.

Alice Sherman Simpson’s The Winthrop Agreement is out now with Harper Paperbacks.