Since you’re being published regularly, what new avenues will your future books take?
I’ll continue to write for Love Inspired Historical and Love Inspired contemporary series romances. Even after 15 books, I feel like I’m just hitting my stride.
What conferences will you be attending this year? Will you be a speaker at any of them?
Being the raging extrovert that I am, public speaking is a real draw for me. I need the interaction to counteract the isolation writing brings. I speak about once a month (often more), with audiences ranging from 16 to 6,000. All my engagements are listed at http://alliepleiter.com/calendar.html
If you were in charge of planning the panel discussion at a writing conference, what topic would the panel cover, and who would you ask to be on the panel, and why?
I’ve been focusing a lot on writing through adversity, having come through a difficult year in 2010 when my son was seriously ill (he’s fine now). I’ve come to know many other authors who have weathered deep personal storms while continuing to work, and I’d ask each of them to share their strategies, what they learned, and what they’d do differently now. I couldn’t really name names without asking permission, but times are tough everywhere so it should come as no surprise that they’re tough in publishing.
How important is it to you to be active in writing organizations?
Oh, right up there with oxygen! I need personal interaction, and I believe that those of us with established careers have an obligation to nurture writers coming up after us. I’m involved with my local chapters of both Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers.
Where in the community or your church do you volunteer?
I am a sitting elder at Yorkfield Presbyterian Church, where I also write many of the church dramas and run the church’s prayer shawl knitting ministry. I serve on the boards of the charitable foundations for both our town’s school districts, and for many years was active in Young Life.
Who are the five people who have made the most impact on your life, and how?
My mother gave me my fiercely independent strength and the ability to disagree with grace. My high school English teacher Leonard Krill was the first person to introduce me to a love of the written word. My husband Jeff taught me to value relationships over accomplishments. I’ll never have sufficient thanks for editor/agent Gail Fortune for the dare that got me into this business (that’s a very funny story for another day). The vibrant author Charlene Baumbich taught me the ropes of speaking and authorship, and has remained both a colleague and a dear friend for longer than either of us would probably care to admit.
If you could write the inscription on your tombstone, what would it be?
“She said a brave YES to every adventure God laid in front of her and encouraged others to do the same.”
Tell us about the featured book.
I’m deeply proud of HOMEFRONT HERO. It’s the story of John Gallows, a WWI hero who is admired on the outside but deeply wounded on the inside. As a press stunt, he’s forced into the Red Cross campaign to encourage boys to knit socks for soldiers. The campaign shoe-horns him into a partnership with nurse Leanne Sample who proves more his equal than he ever imagined. When the Spanish Influenza epidemic strikes their Army base, each of them is tested far beyond their character, and they learn extraordinary things about themselves, God’s unconditional love, and each other.
Please share the first page with us.
Camp Jackson Army Base
September 1918 South Carolina
I still can't believe it." Leanne Sample gazed around at the busy activity of
Even with all she'd heard and seen while studying nursing at nearby Camp Jackson , the encampment stunned
her. This immense property had only recently been mere sand, pine and brush.
Now nearly a thousand buildings created a self-contained city. She was part of
that city. Part of the monumental military machine poised to train and treat
the boys going to and coming from "over there." She was a staff nurse
at the base army hospital. "We're really here." University of South Carolina
"Unless I'm seein' things, we most definitely are here." Ida Landway, Leanne's fellow nurse and roommate at the Red Cross House where they and other newer nurses were housed, elbowed her. "I've seen it with my own eyes, but I still can barely believe this place wasn't even here two years ago." Together they stared at the layout of the orderly, efficient streets and structures, rows upon rows of new buildings standing in formation like their soldier occupants. "It's a grand, impressive thing,
. Makes me
Leanne had known Ida briefly during their study program at the university, but now that they were officially installed at the camp, Leanne already knew her prayers for a good friend in the nursing corps had been answered. Different as night and day, Leanne still had found Ida a fast and delightful companion. Ida's sense of humor was often the perfect antidote to the stresses of military base life. As such, their settling in at the Red Cross House and on the hospital staff had whooshed by her in a matter of days, and been much easier than she'd expected.
Still, "on-staff nursing life was tiring. "There was so much to do," Leanne said to Ida as she tilted her face to the early fall sunshine as they chatted with other nurses on the hillside out in front of the Red Cross House. "Too many things are far more complicated in real service then I ever found them in class."
"A free afternoon. I was wondering if we'd ever get one. Gracious, I remember thinking our class schedules were hard." Ida rolled her shoulders. "Hard has a whole new meaning to me now." This afternoon had been their first stretch of free time, and they'd decided to spend an hour doing absolutely nothing before taking the trolley into
to attend a war rally on the USC campus that evening. Columbia
"However are you going to have time to do this?" Ida pointed to a notice of base hospital events pinned to a post outside the Red Cross House. "I feel like I've barely time to breathe, and you're already lined up to teach knitting classes."
"I've managed to find the time to teach you," Leanne reminded her newest student.
"Don't I know it. I tell you, my mama's jaw would drop if she saw I've already learned to knit. I guess you've found right where you fit in the scheme of things around here."
Ida was right; Leanne had found her place on base almost instantly. As if God had known just where to slot her in, placing an opening for a teacher in the Red Cross sock knitting campaign. If there was anything Leanne knew for certain she could do, it was to knit socks for soldiers. She'd run classes for her schoolmates at the university; it seemed easy as pie to do the same thing here. And it would help her make friends so quickly—hadn't she already? In only a matter of days the vastness of the base seemed just a wide-open ocean of possibilities.
Where can my readers find you on the Internet?My website is www.alliepleiter.com and my knitting blog is www.destiKNITions.blogspot.com
Thank you, Allie, for sharing your new book with us.
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Homefront Hero (Love Inspired Historical) - paperback
Homefront Hero (Love Inspired Historical) - Kindle
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