An avid knitter, coffee junkie, and devoted chocoholic, Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and non-fiction. The enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie spends her days writing books, doing laundry, running carpools, and finding new ways to avoid housework. She grew up in Connecticut, holds a BS in Speech from Northwestern University, spent fifteen years in the field of professional fundraising, and currently lives in suburban Chicago, Illinois. The “dare from a friend” to begin writing nine years ago has given rise to a career spanning two parenting books, eight novels including the multi-nominated MY SO-CALLED LOVE LIFE, and various national speaking engagements on faith, women’s issues, and writing.
Welcome, Allie. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
I’m in talks for a new series of linked historicals and contemporaries for Steeple Hill. I love both formats, and I’m looking forward to the challenge of pulling them together into one sweeping multi-generational series. I can’t say much more than that--and that I’m very excited!
Tell us a little about your family.
They put up with more than most families, that’s for sure. I’m afraid being a writer only exaggerates all my goofy tendencies. And we will not discuss how much yarn is all over my house--I’m an obsessive knitter. I’m in the midst of raising teenagers, so life is never, ever boring. My husband is a car guy, and has the patience of a saint.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
I’m a very impressionable reader, so I have to be careful what I read. I don’t read historicals when I’m writing historicals, although I’ve learned that audiobooks can be useful because they put the musicality of the language into my head. I read very widely--non-fiction, fiction, historical, contemporary, all sorts. It’s much harder to read for pleasure when you write for work...I still love to read, but it’s not the “getaway” it is for me that it is for other people.
What are you working on right now?
I’m finishing up the novella, Bluegrass Easter, that will be in Easter Promises released from Steeple Hill in March 2010. Then I’ve got to polish up the historical/contemporary proposal and get right back into final re-writes for the sequel to Masked by Moonlight, called The Midnight Messenger, which comes out later next year.
Many people know me as much for my knitting as for my writing. That’s my passion off the page, definitely. Well, and cupcakes. And chocolate. And coffee.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I choose a city I want to get to know. It’s an important part of my process to spend time in the city where my books are set. It’s part of the fun for me. So I choose a location that calls to me somehow. Right now, it’s Charleston, South Carolina, that’s calling my name--the perfect escape from Chicago’s challenging winters, don’t you think?
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Right now, it’d have to be the World War I dirigible pilot that I’m researching for my book. I’d have a ton of questions to ask him!
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I’m glad I didn’t know much--I’d never have pushed forward if I’d known all that was waiting for me. I suppose, then, that I’d say I wished I’d known that many of the frustrating things about writing don’t go away with success or publication. You never, ever “arrive.”
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
I’m at a place where I can only see a small bit ahead. There’s a lot of unknowns in my future, and I’m the kind of person who wants a detailed plan (but I’m a “pantser”--I never plot!--go figure). So the lesson for me is trust. And faith.
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Write. Nothing beats it. Nothing replaces it. Nothing happens if you try to get around it.
Gather friends who write. This business has the oddest of challenges and you need folks around you who understand the idiosyncrasies.
On the other hand, don’t live all your life on the page. Make sure your real life is as rich and compelling as the tales you tell. I always tell writers “your books will not come and visit you in the nursing home.”
Tell us about the featured book.
Bluegrass Christmas was great fun to write. Middleburg and its quirky inhabitants make funny material for a holiday episode. Mac MacCarthy isn’t expecting to find the love of his life living over his office. And Mary Thorpe isn’t getting anything close to the “perfect small town Christmas” she was seeking. Like all good love stories, they make each other miserable before they make each other happy, but there are lots of good laughs along the way.
Back Cover Copy:
#4 In the KENTUCKY CORNERS Series
ISBN 13# 978-0-373-87556-6
#4 In the KENTUCKY CORNERS Series
ISBN 13# 978-0-373-87556-6
An Old Fashioned Christmas...
That’s what led new believer Mary Thorpe to start over in quaint Middleburg, Kentucky. As director of the church’s Christmas pageant, Mary’s job is to bring the townspeople together, to remind them what the season is really about. But everyone is all riled up over one very handsome man: the man daring to run against Middleburg’s popular long-standing mayor. Mac MacCarthy wants change. Mary wants things to stay as they are. Is there a happy medium? Both Mac and Mary are in for one very big Christmas surprise.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is http://www.alliepleiter.com/, and if you are a knitter, my knitting blog is http://destiknitions.blogspot.com/. Come visit!
Thank you, Allie, for spending this time with us. I love to knit, too. I talked to Camy and another author at conference about knitting Victorian lace. I'm just going to have to get started on that. I've ordered the book.
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