Q&A: Allie Pleiter
Safety first. It's a good motto for life but sometimes, life teaches us to take it to extremes. Sometimes, in the interests of "staying safe," we wall ourselves off from everything—including the ones who love us. Author Allie Pleiter answers a few questions about her romance
Falling for the Fireman (Love Inspired):
WHAT LED YOU TO WRITE FALLING FOR THE FIREMAN?
We had just experienced a long, significant illness with my son (who is just fine now, by the way) and I wanted to write about the storm of maternal emotions that go along with a trial like that. I’d had such fun with a large cast of small-town characters in my Bluegrass series that I knew I wanted to do that again. I used the charming town of Galena, IL as my model, and the town has this beautiful firehouse, so the seed was planted in that way. Plus, who doesn’t love firefighter romances? With cuddly dogs? And a young boy in danger? Really, how could I resist?
STARTING OUT, WHO WERE THE AUTHORS WHO INSPIRED YOU? WHO INSPIRES YOU NOW?
I never set out to be a writer. I wrote my first book on a dare from a friend in the business (really!). I tell people God set it up that way so that I couldn’t take any credit for my career (He knew I’d try to steal the kudos if I could). I’m inspired by a wide variety of authors—secular and inspirational. I’ve always admired how Diana Gabaldon has managed such a epic story arc with the same extraordinary couple. I soak up Charlene Baumbich’s warm, oh-so-familiar characters and Maureen Lang’s lyrical historical tales. I love Lisa See’s historical family sagas and I’m currently having great fun with Camy Tang’s witty contemporary suspense. And I read a lot of non-fiction, too... I just started Ann Voskamp’s wondrously poetic One Thousand Gifts
HOW DOES YOUR FAITH INFLUENCE YOUR WRITING?
How could it not? It’s so integral to how I see the world, how I approach obstacles and victories, that my faith couldn’t help but show up in anything I write. I do try to risk when I feel “called” to write about subjects that feel uncomfortable or vulnerable to me. That’s true of all the public speaking I do as well. Most inspirational writers will tell you we view it as a ministry, as the unique way God has called us to build up The Body. For me, that’s true of both my writing and my speaking; it’s how I put my faith in action.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN YOU WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR?
Ha! See #2. No one is more surprised than I at what I do. I was a theater major in college (I wanted to be a soap star, can you imagine???), and I suppose I’ve always been a storyteller. I’ve been at it for over a decade now, and every once in a while I still look up at the bookshelf and have a good laugh at where I’ve ended up. It’s been a terrific, crazy, wonderful journey—one that I hope goes on for a long, long time.
WHAT DO YOU MOST HOPE THAT READERS GET FROM READING YOUR WORK?
Hope and encouragement. I like to think a that a reader steps away from one of my books with a greater trust of God's provision for the challenges they face. I strive to write characters who think of themselves as ordinary, with insufficient capabilities, who find themselves facing great challenges. Those great challenges—as characters learn how God provides each step of the way—become great adventures. My characters always discover they're more than they thought they were. Stronger, more daring, more capable of love and courage. That's why my theme is "the adventure starts right where you are." If they laugh a bit along the way, then I know I've done my job well.