Thursday, May 10, 2012

Guest Post from author Allie Pleiter

Please welcome our guest blogger today, Love Inspired author ALLIE PLEITER! Allie's latest novel is HOMEFRONT HERO. Here's the overview from Barnes & Noble website: 

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.

And now, without further ado: 

Interview Questions I Wish I Were Asked 
by Allie Pleiter

What kind of snacks fed your writing for this book?

They tend to be different with each book, but this one definitely leaned toward the Mr. Salty 100 calorie pack chocolate covered pretzels.  And no, I hardly ever stuck to one pack.  Those things are awesome (too awesome...)!

Who did you pattern the hero after, visually?  The heroine?

Thanks to my well-known Dr. Who obsession, John Gallows was almost immediately Captain Jack Harkness from Dr. Who/Torchwood fame.  He’s WWII in the television series (actually, he’s a whole bunch of decades but that would take another hour to explain...), but he translated beautifully.  My heroine was Taylor Swift (but older).

On a scale of 1-10, how freaky did you get in the month before your deadline?

A 4 or 5, which is a big improvement for me.  There was one crazy couple of weeks when I realized John couldn’t be Navy, he had to be Army, and that created a wild reorientation of facts and locales (and uniform artwork on the cover!!), but I was unusually calm for this one.  Believe me, that’s not always the case.  Every once in a while a story slips together as if the author is only taking dictation--that was true for this book.  I think God does that so we’ll keep going, because some books are like ripping your skin off every single day.  This one did make me cry a lot, but for an author that’s always a good sign.

At what point in the manuscript were you sure this would never come together?

The day before I realize John needed to be Army, not Navy.  All kinds of details and locales and motivations weren’t working until I moved him from Charleston to Columbia.  That’s the challenge of working with real history--sometimes you can tweak things for the sake of the story, and other times you’ve just got to keep twisting your story until it matches up with the history.  Without giving to much away, the other plot hurdle was figuring out how John would make the crucial choice he did.  I had about four different versions, and I was sure I would never make it work to my satisfaction.  Then one day it did, and everything fell into place after that.

What’s your favorite line from the book? 

Oooo, this is one of the first books where this is a tough question.  John is such a silver tongue, he gave me some truly exceptional lines.  I had some fun with that, and tweeted 30 of my favorites every day for the month before release date.  My personal favorite:  “He wasn’t here stirring up patriotism because he was brave. He was here because his name was Gallows, he had a silver tongue, took a good photograph and had somehow managed not to die.”

What was your original title?

Signs in the Sky.  Original titles hardly ever stick, so I’ve learned not to get too attached to them.

How did you celebrate when you sit the magic “Send” button and finished the book?

What I usually do:  go the Apple store and buy myself some new gizmos.  I love gizmos!  And yarn.  I’ll take any excuse to buy more yarn.  Both of these are particularly amusing when you realize the last thing in the world I’m in need of is more gizmos and more yarn.


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