Friday, June 27, 2008

Guest Author: Allie Pleiter

Hi Allie, so glad you’re visiting! (Allie and I met during one of her research trips for a book called "The Perfect Blend." Our local writer's group met with her and answered what questions we could about our region. Very enjoyable lunch meeting!)

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve been writing for about ten years now, with eight books in print and another four in the works to come out over the next two years. I grew up on the East Coast, now live in the Midwest, am an avid knitter, a die-hard coffee junkie, and am very serious about chocolate. I have been married for 19 years to my husband Jeff, who is an engineer by day and sportscar enthusiast the rest of the time. We have two children and the world's most spoiled dog.

Tell us about the book which just came out.

Masked by Moonlight is my first historical for Steeple Hill. It’s a swashbuckling tale of a man who stumbles by accident into a secret identity, and how he falls in love with the woman who created that identity. Trouble is, neither of them knows of the other’s secret role in their lives—and that makes for lots of drama. Think if Zorro fell for Lois Lane—that sort of thing, only in 19th century San Francisco. It’s an historical adventure, but still carries the wit and humor that I think readers have come to expect from me. Where else will you find an historical with drugged chickens and exploding pajamas???

How did you get started in writing?

I have an amazing story in this, completely God’s doing. The short version is that a friend dared me. The more complicated version is that friend happened to be an editor at a major publishing house, and I happened to have this secret talent I’d never discovered. I have a theater degree, and was a professional fundraiser for many years before accepting the dare to write a novel. I tell people God set it up as such an amazing story because He knew I’d try to find a way to take credit for it if I could. I can take very little credit for my start in this business. No one is more surprised and amused by the whole thing than I. Moral of the story? Some dares are definitely worth taking. Aspiring novelists out there---I DARE YOU!

How do you balance home and family with writing?

It’s much easier now that my children are older. My first two books were written in McDonald’s, I think. God bless laptops! I’m a very serious student of my productivity, so I start each day with a complicated to-do list that interweaves writing, home, church, and other tasks. That means you may find me throwing in a load of laundry while the printer spits out Chapter 3, dropping off a manuscript into the DHL box on my way to baseball practice, etc. It’s much harder in the summertime, but in the winter I try to cram most of my creative writing into the school day (while they’re gone) and the more task-oriented stuff while they’re around. I’ve been writing since the kids were 2 and 6 (they’re 12 and 16 now), so I’ve become used to writing in fits and spurts—I wouldn’t know what to do with a “Book in a Week” program…

What are your dreams in regards to writing?

That’s a funny question, because in many ways I’m “there” and it doesn’t feel like I thought it would. After 12 books, I suppose you could call me “established.” While I’ve come to recognize the ups and downs of the process, it’s gotten no easier and I don’t feel much calmer. Some books come delightfully easily, others are like peeling your skin off one cell at a time. My dream was for it to come easier, for the pressure to let up. In a sense, that’s happened. It doesn’t come easier, but I’m more at ease with the process. Some pressures have let up, but they’ve been replaced by new pressures. My core dream isn’t, I suppose, that much different than any other working writer’s: to be able to continue writing what I love in a way that brings me satisfaction. That being said, having to decide who gets to play my next hero in a blockbuster movie by auditioning Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig, and Colin Firth—well, that’d be dreamy, too.

Tell us about your next project and what else is lined up for you.

My next big project is a series of three books set in a fictional Kentucky town called Middleburg. I had a grand time taking on a small town—that was a totally new setting for me, and let me really play with a large cast of characters. Bluegrass Hero comes out very soon—August of this year, followed by two more; Bluegrass Courtship in February 2008 and Bluegrass Blessings in July 2008—all from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. We’re in conversations about a sequel for Masked by Moonlight right now, but it’s too early to say when that will all come together.

Thanks for visiting!

Thanks for having me. Stop by the website, and click on the link that lets you hear me reading Chapter One of Masked by Moonlight to you—you’ll get to see that theater degree in action….

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Allie's "Masked by Moonlight"!! We'll have the drawing on July 2nd. So, tell your friends and get entered twice. ;)

3 comments: said...

I don't think i've ever read one of your books, but "Masked by Moonlight" may be the start. Hope it is, especially if it has to do with drugged chickens and exploding pajamas. Looking forwaed to reading your book!

Annette M. Irby said...

Hi Sarah, glad you're here. Allie's always one for putting those great elements into her stories! ;) One of her earlier titles was: "Queen Esther and the Second Graders of Doom." Go, Allie!

Annette M. Irby said...

Hi Sarah, since you were the only one who signed up, you win!!!! I'll email you next so we don't miss letting you know. Please send me your snail mail address and I'll connect with Allie so she can send your free book!!!

Congrats!! annette [at] annetteirby [dot] com