INTERVIEW | Alvin C. Romer

Alvin, describe yourself for our visitors.

Early in life I was expected to be a leader and proficient in the things that would define me. I found solace in reading and sustenance in writing. By nature, I’m a sponge for knowledge…a man of many words schooled on ways of wit and wisdom willing to share my talents and gifts. I consider myself to be outgoing, mainly a person thirsty for knowledge; a stickler for order, one that follows through on protocol and expect others to do the same; loves the out of doors, and a person with a keen sense of perception where discernible options, deductive reasoning, logic and common sense come together to reveal a soul of a man that truly cares!

How do you find time to connect with God?

That’s easy because God is first in my life. My connectivity to Him is an everyday thing…We talk daily. Prayer changes things as I learned early the importance of adhering to the faith initiative. Everyday I stick to a plan: I have morning devotion, and at least once again before retiring from the day I reconnect with Him. Moreover, I’m cognizant of taking stock in the fact that in order to have a connection with God one has to purpose diligently to endeavor establishing a relationship with Him where it’s mandatory without other options and inhibitions! As a Deacon, I’m required to do so, by actualizing my purpose through various outreach ministries I’m involved with and his guidance is with me always!

Do you have a favorite bible verse and or quote you wish to share?

I really don’t have a ‘favorite’ verse, but there are a few that come to mind that seem to be reverent to what I’m all about. My walk of salvation emanes from Romans 8:22; 2 Peter 1: 1-10; and Isaiah 40:31. I can take the whole books of Psalms and Proverbs and make a case for directives to apply for better living

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?

Every time someone asks me this question I find it to be sort of an aberration to me in the sense that the type of reader I am, reading well across the board with many genres that may be of interest to me, it can be frustrating trying to choose ‘favorites’. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mark Twain, and Stephen King were authors that shaped my writing. As a trained Journalist and a self-proclaimed Essayist, nonfiction work has been my bailiwick and I tend to be drawn to opinionated editorials and books from the academy. Authors and their work run the gamut from classical to modern-day wordsmiths. However, there are a plethora of books and authors that whet my appetite as well as themes that propel me wanting to embrace the former and the latter.

A few seminal authors and their books readily come to mind though, but should not be a de facto or end-all for the question to be status quo. Claude Brown’s Manchild in the Promised Land; Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison; Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston’s masterpiece; and Nigger! by Dick Gregory, which are the proverbial classics…Oh, then there is Think and Grow Rich and In Search Of Excellence and the list goes on. But there are yet, a few contemporary authors and works that grace my personal library, i.e., any book by Walter Mosely; romance authors such as Brenda Jackson, Beverly Jenkins and Francis Ray; and last but certainly not least of all are writers of suspense, mystery and mayhem — James Patterson, and Stephen King, especially his book ‘On Writing’.

What influenced you to contribute to The Soul of A Man?

My contribution to The Soul Of A Man, I feel was Providential in nature. What I mean by this has a lot to do with God’s purpose for me to be accountable for transitioning myself to influence others to my writing as opposed to being influenced myself to that which is not indicative of my talent.  I felt that I needed to say some of the things that are not being embraced by my peers, family and other relations indicative of men both individually and collectively to be make a difference as it pertain to self, family and community. The essential influences to propel my involvement and be a part of this outstanding effort can be summed up by the plight of my people in the African American Diaspora. Men throughout the annals of time have always had something to say that have defined roles to mankind, real or imagined and for better or worse. I feel that I’m no different when opinionated matters are laid on the table for discussion and this topic compelled me to action!

We men have traveled a great distance over time, depending on persuasion and cultural affiliation and roads traversed may have been different for some than for others. We all have stories to tell and something to say that may be the favric of our being that have stuck to the craw and decaying inside of us. We have not been honest and open with things that should have been, or should be as I talk present tense for success as a race to close the gap for respectability and equal to other persuasions. We need to dig deep intrinsically and come to grips with what needs to be done to galvanize our selves, fortify our familial order and help build the Kingdom!

Tell us about your contribution to the anthology.

I have two non-fiction articles that speak truth to what I feel are righteous apples and spiritual gems with the purpose of giving both men and women a different spin on what I feel is apropos to deal with change and challenge apathy. The first entity is the opening piece which I feel sets the stage for all of the other stories that make the whole of the book. ‘What’s In the Souls of Men?’ is asked in a deliberate fashion and I candidly tell why things are as they are with us and what perhaps are the reasons why we are in the predicament that we find ourselves. I wrote ‘Adam Where Art Thou’ to parallel the plight of man from the earliest days of creation after the fall of man, an on to today’s backdrop where women are still looking for him to stand accountable amid the angst where (his) trials and tribulations can be accounted for, and be given a chance for him to redeem and redefine his worth.

What do you hope readers will retain from reading The Soul of a Man?

It’s my hope that both men and women read the book and be broad-minded in realizing that men DO have feelings and want to be understood. I want women to truly get to know their men to the extent that there’s much more to us than what is shown on the surface, and that we are prone to be sensitive, serious and sensuous as we attempt to regain, restore and reappear for greater emphasis on doing the right thing. I’m hoping too, that the world can give men a chance to get it right and to go to whatever depths needed to understand why we articulate as we do, and what applications can be extended for further scrutiny for better assimilation for societal acceptance — all ac
ross stereotypical notions. I want readers to identify with our issues should th
ey apply, and perhaps use them for viable solutions to right identifiable wrongs, stem tides and to spur action to galvanize self, family and community.

What’s next for you?

I want to scale literary mountains to hone my craft, after which I would rappel down again and transcend valleys for greater validation where my words would meander along rivers of reasons without rapids  to impede my journey. I want to be write among my peers and be accepted in the academy. As such, I want to publish my essays, write a novel or two and finally open my journal to the world in sharing the many Christian writings that I’ve run out of space to harbor. I have quite a few writing projects in process. I have at least 3 volumes of essays which number around 150 that I’d like to publish in a series…AuthorsDen ( at present count has 117 of them in their archives. ‘The Magnificent Obscession’ is a tentative fiction manuscript and title I’m currently working on, hopefully for publication by summer 2010. And there’s the poetry that are in numerous binders that someday wil make it to print. The key for me is to find a publisher willing to make this work for me!

Where can visitors find you online?

I’m all over the place online in cyberspace with several blogs, columns and editorial forays. Most recently I’m one of the contributors in the award-winning anthology, The Soul of a Man. Also, try my CATBIRD SEAT column at AAKultureZone, VERBATIM! (, ALL THINGS LITERARY (, BLOGGING IN BLACK (, author Kendra Norman Bellamy’s THE WRITERS HUT (, and of course my signature location — THE ROMER REVIEW (  Although TRR is in hiatus and in the process of being revamped, it’s necessary and long in need of being repositioned to coincide with some of the newer things that I’m doing.

There are 1 comments for this article
  1. Faye at 2:06 am

    This gives an opportunity for your readers to have another piece of you. The Soul of A Man sounds very appealing. Still fathoming how to lay hands on it. I will check out your CATBIRD column. Anything by you is pleasure reading, so do roll your archives out here. Bravo!