Tuesday, April 17, 2012

An Interview with Allie Pleiter

Today, author Allie Pleiter is stopping by, as a part of the blog tour promoting her newest book, Homefront Hero.  Allie visited last year, as well.  Today, she's graciously answered some of my questions...about the important and the trivial.  


K:  Where do you get your ideas for your books?  
What inspires you?
A:  I get asked this a lot, mostly because my books tend to have unusual or off-beat plot lines.  The honest answer is “I don’t know.”  I’m leery of analyzing it too deeply, for fear of scaring off my muse :).  Usually, it’s a detail that catches my eye, and I pull the thread and unwind the story from there.  For HOMEFRONT HERO, two details created the story--both from museums.  The first was a hand-knit sweater from  World War II which I discovered at the First Division Museum at Cantigny in Wheaton Illinois.  That led me to the Red Cross Knitting Campaign for socks for WWI soldiers, which led me to Leanne’s character.  John’s character grew from an airmen’s helmet I found in a military museum in Columbia, South Carolina.  It told of a heroic act by airship pilot, and I began thinking what it would be like to be a decorated war hero.  I find I tend to be inspired more by tactile objects than concepts or ideals, so I’m forever touching things and collecting photos and visiting locations.

K: Besides your work as an author, what other "hats" do you wear?  
A: Being “Mom” to two teenagers--well, actually one just turned 20--consumes a lot of my time and energy.  It’s much more complicated to be a young adult in today’s world.  I used to think parenting small children was exhausting, but young adults tax you in a whole different way.  I’m also very involved at my church, and the theater major in me loves to speak so I do a lot of speaking and teaching on women’s issues and writing.  I’m also well known for my passion for knitting, and even have a knitting blog (destiKNITions.blogspot.com).

K: What lessons have you learned from motherhood?  
What advice would you share with moms of young children?
A: Enjoy them.  Be okay if you need to take time away from them so that you CAN enjoy them.  Recognize the importance of self care so that you can be a full, vibrant person for your children, not a tapped-out, stressed-out, worn-out woman.  Don’t fall for all that “accomplishment” stuff--your son will be just fine if he doesn’t excel at first grade.  Life--and most especially parenthood--is not a competitive sport, no matter what all those shows and magazines would have you believe!  I’m all for doing your best, but I’m deeply concerned by the current push for excellence in school-age children.  Mistakes are always our best learning tools, and moms need to give their children--and themselves--room to make mistakes and grow.

K: What's your favorite Bible verse?
A: You know, I don’t really have one.  Individual verses hit me at different times, but I’ve never had a “life verse” or anything like that.  Granted, that might be a function of my perilously short attention span :)

These questions are just for fun....about some random goodness! (social media, coffee, & music) 

K:  Do you prefer Twitter or Facebook?
A: I like both, but seem to gravitate toward twitter more naturally, probably because it’s so easy to do on the go and takes place in short bites (see aforementioned attention span).

K: How do you take your coffee?
A: At every possible opportunity!  Cream and sugar, and most especially with some chocolate mixed in.  Strong and very hot--my line is “if it doesn’t burn your tongue it’s not hot enough,” which drives the rest of my family crazy.

K: What songs or artists do you most listen to?  Who'd be on your "favorites" playlist?
A: I love Chris Rice for Christian music, Jack Johnson has an easygoing island vibe that I enjoy, and I love John Pizzarelli’s jazzy retro style.  I’m becoming a big Michael Buble fan lately because of that same snappy feel.  I try to listen to lots of my kids’ music, too, because it speaks a great deal to who they are and what’s on their minds. 

Thank you, Allie, for dropping by! 
Be sure to visit Allie's website for more information on her books.

About Allie: 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, buying yarn, and finding new ways to avoid housework.  Allie hails from Connecticut, moved to the midwest to attend Northwestern University, and currently lives outside Chicago, Illinois.  The “dare from a friend” to begin writing has produced two parenting books, fourteen novels, and various national speaking engagements on faith, women’s issues, and writing.  Visit her website at www.alliepleiter.com or her knitting blog at www.DestiKNITions.blogspot.com

About Homefront Hero:  Dashing and valiantly wounded, Captain John Gallows could have stepped straight out of an army recruitment poster. Leanne Sample can't help being impressed—although the lovely Red Cross nurse tries to hide it. She knows better than to get attached to the daring captain who is only home to heal and help rally support for the war's final push. As soon as he's well enough, he'll rush back to Europe, back to war—and far away from South Carolina and Leanne. But when an epidemic strikes close to home, John comes to realize what it truly means to be a hero—Leanne's hero.



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