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Allison Bottke

Allison! Welcome to Pencildancer.com! I have a few questions for you.

What do you do when you aren't writing?

Oh gosh, a ga-zillion things! Currently, I’m doing a lot of packing as we are moving at the end of this month from Minnesota to Texas! However, I love to garden in the warm season (very short here in MN) and reading and going to the movies are BIG favorite pastimes of mine. I could take off for the nearby Cineplex and watch 3 movies, back-to-back with no trouble at all! I’m a movie-holic!

What other creative outlets do you have?

When I have time (make time) I love to scrapbook. I’m also somewhat of a teacher at heart, I love to encourage other writers, and to that end I’ve begun to produce a series of Teleseminars for writers, with bestselling author Randy Ingermanson. Your readers can find out more about these online MP3 workshops here: http://www.boomerbabesrock.com/eventsteleseminars.html

When did you realize there was a need for baby boomer fiction?

I read a lot. Especially what is known as “chick-lit.” But the typical “chick-lit” is written for a 20-30 year old target market. The protagonist is usually single, and struggling with her faith, career, family, love-life and things young women often struggle with. In my books, I wanted to approach the issues that baby boomers are dealing with, things like the empty nest syndrome, aging parents, a change in career, retirement, menopause, and other health issues. I wanted to look at women in the prime of their life who were suddenly stepping out in faith to achieve the dreams of their heart. Women who weren’t afraid to take risks—who had the chutzpah to dare to dream big. That’s how “Boomer-Lit” was born.

Are you leaving God Allows U Turns behind to write fiction?

Not at all! I have a passion for sharing the true stories of how God turns people around. In fact, we are currently accepting true short stories for three new volumes in the acclaimed series. Your readers can check out the Writer’s Guidelines here: http://www.allisonbottke.com/writersguidelines.htm My co-editor, Cheryll Hutchings, is collecting the stories and our submission deadline is December 30th.

You've written a lot of books and you're so young! When did you start writing? How long does it take you to write a book start to finish?

Young? God bless you! (Where do I send your check? Ha-Ha) I’m 52 years old! I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil—it’s how I best communicate. However, I was 45 years old when my first book was published—volume one in the God Allows U-Turns series. It takes us about 9 months to compile and edit a volume in the compilation series. It takes me about a year to write a novel. Alas, I’m not very fast.

As a young baby boomer, I just turned 50. I look to my older sisters to see how they are handling the aging process. Many of them are turning to plastic surgery. What are your thoughts on that?

Okay, I’m going out on a limb here, but if a person can afford plastic surgery, and it’s being done for the right reasons, I’m all for it! For your readers who read my debut novel, A Stitch in Time, they know my lead character had gastric bypass surgery and lost a great deal of weight. She had a lot of plastic surgery. Well, the fact is that I had gastric bypass surgery in October of 2000 and I’ve lost 120 pounds. I’ve had plastic surgery to remove excess skin as a result of that weight loss. I say this only because there are so many stigmas in “Christian circles” regarding plastic surgery. Weight loss surgery and plastic surgery gave me back my life, I’m a big proponent of both. But again, for the right reasons.

When you look back at your twenties what do you wish you would have known then that you know now?

I’ve heard it before but it rings very true now…I should never have spent so much time sweating the small stuff! I should have chosen my battles better…and not made mountains out of molehills.

Who are your favorite three Christian music artists?

Without a doubt I am a huge fan of Bonnie Keen (from the band First Call.) Bonnie helped me to get all the musical info correct in One Little Secret. I also love Sandy Patti – what a vocal range! And Mark Schultz is amazing, his gift for story telling is amazing.

What blog or website do you try and visit every day?

FOX News and Glen Beck.

Allison, is there anything you’d like to share with readers before you go?

I encourage your readers to tell me what they think about One Little Secret. I really do want to hear reader feedback. I’m working on my next novel to release in summer of 2009 and I take to heart reader comments. They can reach me here: AB@AllisonBottke.com and please, I’d love to invite everyone to participate in the Hollywood Casting Call Contest where a lucky winner can win an all expense paid trip to Hollywood! Visit my web site and select the actors and actresses you think would make the best lead characters in One Little Secret! Check it out here: http://www.boomerbabesrock.com/bookcontests.html

And …we have a monthly newsletter that we call a “Dream-Zine,” I’d love to invite your readers to subscribe: http://www.boomerbabesrock.com/dreamzine.html

And one final thing, we have a co-authored blog with six best selling authors blogging each and every day – BOOMER BABES WITH BRILLIANT DREAMS: http://www.boomerbabesrock.com/blog/ I think that’s it – thanks for having me!

Thank again Allison for blogging today.
Dear Readers, if you'd like to ask a question or leave a comment please click the comment button it should bring up a box for you to type a message.


  1. Anonymous10:26 AM

    I have several questions for Alison, mostly about the writing process. For instance, how many hours a day does she work on her novel? Does she write on a computer, on paper, or in some other way? Does she dictate first drafts? Does she outline her plots? what does she think of Joseph Campbell's research into the structure of myth as a guide for structuring her novels?

  2. In addition to writing fiction, I juggle multiple writing and speaking businesses from my home office. This requires a modicum of discipline especially regarding my time. When I'm woring on a novel I prefer to use a word count per day goal as opposed to hours. 3,000 words per day is typical - however long that takes is how long I'll be sitting - seat in chair! I use the computer and legal notebooks to write. I'll often take a legal pad to Starbucks and jot notes and dialogue and bring it home to the computer. Never dictate. I don't outline my plots, but I do develop a three-act structure for my plotline. Don't know J. Campbell but I'm going to Google him right now!

  3. Hi Allison,

    I enjoyed reading your interview. There are many things listed there which I will be checking out. Your God Allows U Turns series sounds like something that would really appeal to me.

    My "hat" is certainly off to authors. I have done an "outreach college program" at our church for several years and am trying to get everything written down to pass along some day. Even that is a daunting task for me.

    We will be delighted to have you here in Texas. It is a tad toasty in the summer, but our winters are great!!


  4. Allison,
    While reading One Little Secret I noticed you liked to drop a lot of fashionsista terms. Do you have a passion for fashion? What's your fashion downfall? The one item you just can't leave in the store?

  5. Anonymous5:42 PM

    I wanted to comment that 3,000 words a day is a tremendous pace. Back 20-odd years ago I could start in the morning with notes from interviews and by evening have a 3,000-word article written. Alas, no more. I seem to be able to produce about 1,000 words a day these days, and at that when I finish I still have a comprehensive edit at least that I need to do, and that is with nonfiction, which I have been writing all my life. Fiction is harder for me in part because I have written so little.
    Bert Latamore
    Freelance Journalist
    ComputerWorld Online columnist and blogger

  6. Anonymous11:06 PM

    Sounds like an awesome book! It is always wonderful when authors can use their Christian faith and inspirations to write a creative, unique novel. God bless!

  7. I just finished One Little Secret and gotta say Allison, you outdid yourself. I also noticed what Diana commented on--the fashionista in the know--and would love to read your answer to her question. It's not just Boomer lit you write, it's Chic Boomer lit!

  8. Anonymous12:05 AM

    Diana & Allison--Really enjoyed the interview because it is soooo much fun to connect with other "Boomer Babes"!!

    Allison, I have heard of you and your book, God Allows U-Turns, but because I really LOVE fiction, I am particularly excited to check out your new novels.