Friday, September 10, 2010
Not much, actually. When I’m creating my characters, I have a chance to create people who are stronger, wiser, nicer, and smarter than I am. Why would I make readers suffer through stories about people who make the same mistakes over and over and over again? Seriously, though, I tend to pop up in some of the more satellite characters, and not often in a flattering light!
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I once managed to slam my own head in a car door. Not so much quirky as painful, I guess.
I once was resting my foot on the frame of a car with the door open when someone slammed the door. Very painful, too. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When I was very young—like, before kindergarten—I would get disgruntled at some perceived wrong that had been done to me and would decide to run away. I couldn’t write yet, so I would dictate my “I am running away from home because…” note to my mother. I could have created my own scribbles, but I knew that wasn’t “real” writing, and I wouldn’t settle for less. I’d place the note on my bed, pack my underwear in my Barbie suitcase and walk down to the corner and wait until dinner-time.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
It’s a fairly limited range: I like good books. I need rich detail and sophisticated writing to keep me engaged, so that could be historical, fantasy, suspense, literary, YA… I am not one of those who feels compelled to finish a book once I start. My life is littered with unfinished books. A story gets about 72 pages of grace before I’ll set it aside. Part of that is because I am such a slow reader—it can take me forever to finish a book I love. I mean, I’ve been reading Run by Anne Patchett for over 2 years. I love the writing, but the story’s kind of ‘meh? So, no rush to finish. On the other hand, I read A Reliable Wife in two days.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Who says I do? Seriously, though, my saving factor here is my ability to decide that some things just do not matter. Like housework and laundry. If I have a chapter to write, I can sit in the middle of the messiest house you can imagine and write, write, write. Most important, though, I find pockets of time to simply STOP. I’ll go out and get a coffee with my husband, or watch YouTube videos with my sons, or pray. Just be still.
Sometimes I look for some symbolic meaning. In For Time and Eternity, Nathan’s last name is “Fox,” chosen very purposefully because he’s kind of a trickster, but I really have no method to naming Camilla other than the fact that I wanted three syllables. Because it’s a first-person narrative, I gave myself the luxury of a complicated name. Other than that, I scroll through my facebook friends (yes, really), pull up old high school friends, browse through census records for the story’s time period, or just start saying name after name out loud until something “clicks.”
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Every day I wake up living in the middle of a successful, vibrant marriage to a wonderful godly man, knowing just down the hall are three beautiful, smart, talented, respectful, godly sons. What more could this life ever give me?
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would be my dog, Stella. She lounges around all day, eats whatever and whenever she wants, gets to go out and walk every day (unless it’s too hot or too rainy). Wait, maybe I am Stella…
What is your favorite food?
Honestly? McDonald’s Big Mac. But, I swore off of them this year. So, second favorite is a really good BLT.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
For me, it was the idea of promoting a book once it was published. I chalk this problem up to a mixture of fear, humility, and laziness. It’s still very hard for me to say to someone, “You should read my book.” I guess I’ve never been much of a risk-taker, but God knows this about me, and in His amazing grace, He’s allowed my career to flourish despite my shortcomings. Not that things have been handed to me—I’ve had to step up to the plate, but He’s allowed me to go great distances with relatively short steps.
Tell us about the featured book.
For Time and Eternity takes place in the early days of the LDS church. It tells the story of a young girl, Camilla Deardon, who, despite her parents’ warning, falls in love and runs off with Nathan Fox, a handsome, charming young Mormon. She joins him on his journey to the Utah territory where they build a loving home together until the death of her infant son brings into focus some of the false teachings she’s been exposed to. Her grief frees her to question the Mormon doctrine, and rediscover her relationship with Jesus Christ.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
They can go to my website, http://www.allisonpittman.com/. Or, my blog, apittman-crossroads.blogspot.com . And, of course, on facebook: Allison Pittman Author Page.
Thank you for stopping by, Allison. I can hardly wait to read your book.
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