Most days, my fingers are stuck to my computer keys, typing away at my latest novel. But, of course, there are some days when I just can't seem to wrap my mind around the next idea. On those days, I read. And, like you, I have specific things I like to read about. I've read about doctors, vampires, pirates, and even veterinarians. So, I wasn't too surprised when my fancy turned to firemen.
I fell in love with every one of the firemen I read about in Allie Pleiter's Gordon Falls series. She has fueled my passion for our brave men.
I am thrilled and honored to bring you the interview that Mrs. Pleiter had with me...
Me: Does your inspiration for your books come from real life people and places? Or are they purely fictional?
AP: With the exception of my two parenting books and my most recent The Chunky Method Handbook, my books are all in my imagination. Something in real life might provide the initial spark--a comment, a picture, a news story--but I always spin it in new ways based on where the story is taking me. For me, that's the best part of what I do.
Me: Of all the books you've written, which was your favorite and why?
AP: That's like asking a mother which of her children she likes best! I don't really have a favorite, but Homefront Hero sticks out to me as one of the works I'm most proud of. I have always felt the story went to a depth you don't often find in category fiction. I'm also proud of A Heart to Heal because of the hero in a wheelchair. Portraying Max with humor and reality was important to me, and I'm delighted the book has received so much acclaim.
Me: Do you work from an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
AP: If I had my way, I'd never write a synopsis ever again! Of course, that's just not possible in category fiction, so I bite the bullet and do what's required. And, if pressed, I'll admit the stories probably benefit from a little forethought.
Me: Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
AP: Job one is always to write the best book you can. Marketing efforts are great, and necessary, but not at the expense of your writing. Figure out what you can do without tapping out all your creative energy, and do that without stressing about all the other stuff you could be doing. There's only one of you.
Me: What do you like to do when you're not writing?
AP: Knitting! I knit all the time--it's the ideal creative outlet for me that is the perfect complement to my writing work. I even write a travel knitting blog called DestiKNITions (http://www.destiknitions.blogspot.com). I've incorporated knitting into my brand--many of my books have knitting characters and I often do book signings at yarn shows and such. Why not combine your favorite things whenever you can?
Me: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
AP: I have an offbeat imagination, so the biggest challenge for me in writing category romance is to remember what my readers want. If they enjoy cowboys and ranches--as many Love Inspired readers do--I'll find a way to do my version of a Texas Ranch, as in my latest series. I set The Texas Rancher's Return on a Texas bison ranch, because it was just a little bit different...and because you can make yarn from bison fur.
Me: Can you tell us something about yourself that isn't on your website or blog?
AP: I'm a BBC television geek. I loved Downton Abby, and impatiently wait for the next Dr. Who or Sherlock episodes. Is there a ceramic TARDIS in my office? I'll never tell....
What a smart lady! I especially love the advice about marketing. We can only do so much in one 24 hour period. We have to breathe and enjoy life, not just worry about selling books. -AJ
If you want to know more about Allie Pleiter's books, visit her website today! http://alliepleiter.com/index.html