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Interview with Allie Pleiter

Her last name just happens to rhyme with “writer” but that doesn’t mean becoming one was a sure thing for Allie Pleiter. Read on to find out the unusual way Allie entered the writing world and to discover the hobby she picked up when she started writing fulltime.

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You are a prolific author in a variety of genres. How and when did you start writing? What genre got you started? And how did that lead to being a published author?

It’s a long and funny story, but the short version is that a friend dared me. And that friend happened to be well placed in the publishing industry. So I tell people God set it up so I couldn’t take any credit for it (because He knew I’d try…). I started in historical romance and then branched out to non-fiction to write two parenting books for Zondervan before finding my longtime home at Love Inspired. I’ve done chick-lit, historical, and contemporary for them—nearly 50 titles!

Do you gravitate toward one genre or another? What are the perks and pains of having books published in different genres?

I really like writing a broad spectrum of genres. This year I’ve also branched out into mass-market cozy mysteries and journals in addition to the contemporary romance many ACFW people know me for. The perks are that it suits my preference for variety—in addition to writing, I also speak and am a productivity book coach based on my Chunky Method. The pains come when one publisher hits me with a tight deadline at the same time another publisher also needs something quick. That usually involves some deep breathing, a few negotiations…and pie.

You newest book is the fourth in the Wander Canyon series. Does it follow characters readers have met before or does it simply take place in the same setting? And for those who might not be familiar with Wander Canyon, what can you tell us about the stories set there?

Wander Canyon is a quirky, quaint fictional small town outside of Denver. All of the characters in the series live there, and while a new couple takes center stage for each book, many of the other characters take minor roles in the story. It’s like visiting old friends. The stories are deeply emotional but with a hefty dose of faith and humor—which is exactly how I view life.

You're also a writing coach. What can you tell us about The Chunky Method and how has it helped you as a writer?

I simply could not have the career I do without the structure of The Chunky Method! It’s a systematic process to discover your “chunk”—how much writing you can do before you run out of energy and focus—and using that data to create a highly personalized plan to reach your manuscript first draft (or revision or magazine article or blog or whatever—it works no matter what you’re writing). Writers think the math will squash the art out of it, but just the opposite happens: the structure makes so much more stress-free creativity possible! You can read more in The Chunky Method Handbook.

Knitting is another passion of yours. How did you get started and what knitted creation are you most proud of?

I became really passionate about knitting when I began writing full time. I needed something that didn’t involve words, was tactile and creative, and gave me the satisfaction of visible progress. I also don’t sit still very well, and knitting is “socially acceptable fidgeting.” I am never without knitting, ever. And my house contains an absurd amount of yarn. I can’t think of a single project I’m most proud of…I like them all. I’m currently working on an intricate, beaded shawl made from yak down, and I’m just as fascinated with that as I have been with everything I’ve ever knitted. I will admit to a fondness for shawls—they’re so elegant and dramatic.

Tell us one thing you love about where you live.

I wasn’t born a Midwesterner, but I’ve become one in my nearly 40 years of living here. I like the no-nonsense, direct attitude of Midwestern people. There are no hidden layers to decode; people speak their minds. I have a lot of respect for that.

Since your website says you live with the world's most adorable dog, what kind of dog is it and what is his/her name?

We rescued Paisley two years ago, and she has been a non-stop source of amusement, affection, and antics ever since. She is a lhasa-poodle mix with as much fur as attitude.

Any parting words?
I’m so grateful for the readers who seem willing to follow me anywhere—across genres, beyond typical tropes, and on wild adventures. What better blessing could any author receive?

Lisa Bartelt is a child of the flatlands fulfilling her dream of living near mountains in Pennsylvania. She loves reading, writing, and listening to stories—true ones, made-up ones, and the ones in between—preferably with a cup of coffee in hand. Wife, mom of two, writer, ordinary girl, Lisa blogs about books, faith, family, and the unexpected turns of life at

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