Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Alecia Whitaker Graces Us with her Awesomeness.

I am happy to welcome Alecia Whitaker to Makeshift Bookmark. I loved Queen of Kentucky (my review is HERE) and Alecia was gracious enough to do a very Kentucky-centric interview with me! She even tries to ease me into country music, which is quite a feat! Welcome, Alecia and thank you so much for your time!

1. I know you’re originally from Kentucky (C-A-T-S, Cats, Cats, Cats! Right?) but now live in New York. What is the biggest difference between the two? And most importantly, do New Yorkers even know what sweet tea is?
Yes! Go Cats! We try to go to any UK game that gets near us. Last year we went to New Jersey for the Sweet Sixteen and Elite 8 games and the year before that we drove up to Syracuse to see the Cats of the John Wall era get knocked out of the tournament. That was a long and somber ride home. It was heartbreaking. And of course, we make all the Madison Sqaure Garden games.
So yeah, we try to incorporate as much "back home" stuff as we can into our life up here in Yankee-ville. I'd say the biggest difference between New York City and anywhere in Kentucky is that we don't have to drive to get around. In fact, public transportation is usually faster, cheaper, and a great place to read.
But sweet tea? Not popular. Although they have started selling it at McDonald's these days.

2. Ricki Jo -- ahem, ERICKA. Sorry! -- decides being a farm girl may not be for her and wants to be less country and more country club. Might this be something you experienced as well?
Oh for sure. There was a time in early high school when I was angry with my parents for living so far out of town. My friends would meet up at the country club or the movies and I would hear all about it at school. Social butterfly that I always was, this really tortured me. I never wanted to miss a thing! Thank goodness we didn't have Facebook. It would have really driven me batty to see all my friends "checking in" at fun locations around town while I sat at home trying to beat the Super Mario Brothers game on Nintendo.

3. Having gone through her identity crisis, what advice would Ricki Jo give to young girls who are trying to find who they are?
I think she would tell girls to take stock of what they have before they go looking for something else. She didn't regret everything about those couple of months and definitely liked a lot of the changes she made; but when she started to change on the inside, that's when she started jeopardizing real relationships and her own integrity. Ask yourself who you are changing for: If the answer is, "Myself," then that's awesome; but if it's for someone else (especially a boy), then it's likely not worth it.

4. I moved from the Chicago suburbs to Kentucky 5 years ago, but I’m still not a country music fan. Which songs do you suggest I start with to ease into the genre? (Or is it stereotypical to assume that everyone from the South is a country fan?)
Well, I didn't grow up with country music. My mamaw used to sing Hank Williams, Sr. at the top of her lungs on long car rides and I sort of thought that all country music was like that and I wasn't interested. My parents loved soft rock and top 40's. I thought that's what everybody listened to. A little Casey Casum counting down the hits and Michael Jackson all the live long day was heaven to me. But then in college, I actually roomed with a girl from the suburbs of Chicago and she loved country music and got me into it.
I like it all now, even the classic stuff, but I don't think you can go wrong with Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, or even Taylor Swift. And I am in love with George Strait. I sort of think the country music seed was originally planted when I was a freshman in high school and I flipped head over heels for a junior at the Christmas dance who told me about George Strait's "Cross My Heart". I got the cassette tape immediately and played it over and over, daydreaming and swooning over this handsome baseball player. You see, I had the intense desire to like country music because I liked the boy. I don't know if you're coming from the same place, but I doubt it. Desperate teenage love is a powerful thing. :)

5. What do you miss most about the Bluegrass state?
Space. I miss space. Oh! There's a country music song I love: "Wide Open Spaces" by the Dixie Chicks. In fact, you should play that song right now while you're putting together this post. Not trying to convert you, but it'd be a good musical score for The Queen of Kentucky blog stop.
Anyway, I live with my husband and 17month old in a one-bedroom apartment. Growing up on a farm, one thing we didn't have a shortage of was space. I had my own room, we had two living rooms, we had lots of closets, cabinets, and bathrooms. We didn't get leaks from the neighbors upstairs or hear peoples' loud music or screaming kids through the walls. And if we got cabin fever or felt the urge to explore, we had acres to walk or run before running into another house. I always wanted to move to an action packed city, so it's very ironic that I now long for those rolling hills and big open skies.

Alecia is ridiculously sweet and will actually be doing a signing on January 13, 2012 at Carmichaels in Louisville, KY, for any of you in the area! Thanks again, Alecia, for stopping by!


  1. Fabulous questions, Jen, and great answers, Alecia! I am so pumped for the the 13th.

  2. Ahh, this was such a cool interview! I love that she put so much of herself into Ricki Jo! I really need to purchase a finished copy :)