Monday, June 30, 2008
Allie Pleiter, Masked by Moonlight
Today I'm featuring author Allie Pleiter. Leave a comment for a chance to win her new book, a historical romance titled Masked by Moonlight.
Now let's hear from Allie:
I’m a big fan of favorite things lists—our Chicago Tribune does one every week, and we all know how successful Oprah’s “Favorite Things” show has become. So, I thought I’d whip up a list of my own, showcasing a few writing-related things as well as some other goodies you might enjoy. Precious few of these have anything to do with my current release Masked by Moonlight, but don’t let that stop you from running to your local bookseller or online source and buying it—maybe even before you check out some of these amazing favorites of mine:
Allie Pleiter’s Favorite Things
Favorite Sweet: Dark chocolate – Lindt Excellence 70% cocoa
Dark chocolate—and that means chocolate with a cocoa composition of 70% or higher—is now actually considered a health food. I eat 1 ounce (that’s three squares of a Lindt Excellence bar) every afternoon. Note: in order for the complex elements of the cocoa to do their job, experts say you should ingest no dairy products either a 1 ½ hours before or after your chocolate.
Favorite Editing Pen: Pilot Precise V5 Rolling Ball
These—especially the green and blue—are my favorite for making up manuscripts. Bright enough to stand out (especially because it’s not red so that the page looks doesn’t look “bloodied” from editing) but precise enough to be legible. They last a good long time and are reasonably priced and easy to find.
Favorite Reference Book: Rodale’s Synonym Finder
While lots of my reference material is on-line nowadays, nothing beats this enormous red book for getting to that perfect verb or adjective. There’s something about scanning a page full of words when you’re grasping for that phrase or book title that looms just out of reach. It’s one of the few books that stays on or near my desk at all times.
Favorite Christian Song: Untitled Hymn by Chris Rice
The first time I heard this song, I had to stop what I was doing. One of those simple yet deeply profound songs that doesn’t so much ring in your ears as it reverberates in your heart. To this day I can’t get through it without tearing up, and I’d demand it be played at my funeral (but not anytime soon, mind you.)
Favorite Kitchen Appliance: Keurig K-cup Coffee Brewer
If my family, dog, and laptop are safe when the house catches on fire, this’ll be the thing I grab. One perfect cup of coffee in something like seven seconds. And come on—190 varieties, including tea and hot chocolate for everyone else in your household who doesn’t need caffeine gushing through the veins within seconds of waking up…
Favorite Editing Trick: Random Page Order
It’s a catharsis and an editing step all in one! When you’ve edited your manuscript for content, whoop loudly and throw the entire thing in the air (catharsis part). This, by the way, can be fun for the whole family--especially those little people who are really tired of Mom paying attention to paper instead of them. Then pick up the pages in random order and edit each single page in that random order (editing step part). In other words, edit page 5 followed by page 112, followed by page 38, etc. This forces you to look at your writing instead of your story. It’s the single best piece of writing advice I’ve gotten in the past two years—now if I could just remember who gave it to me...
Favorite Bath Product: Midway Soapwerks’ Phenomenal Woman and Woodland Soaps
I discovered this amazing store while researching Midway Kentucky and soap for my August release, Bluegrass Hero. I have now become a soap snob. This stuff makes my skin sooo happy. I get to Kentucky about once a year now, and I buy an entire year’s worth of all their scents, but these two are my favorites. The “Woodland” scent became my model for the Lord Edmund’s Pirate Soap in the book.
Favorite Hotel Visited on a Research Trip and Research Tip: San Francisco’s Golden Gate Hotel Bed & Breakfast
I’m a big fan of staying at bed and breakfast hotels when researching books. As a woman traveling alone, I think they’re safer—someone really notices if you don’t show up for breakfast—and the owners are always terrific resources for locales or local culture. Especially when driving, they are often less expensive than a chain hotel with far healthier food choices (and no vending machines to indulge your late-night Cheeto cravings). As for the Golden Gate, how can you not love a hotel with its own cat and dog? Just the right combination of charming and updated—I spent a week there researching Masked by Moonlight and will go back this summer to do additional research for a sequel in the works.
Favorite New Feature on my Website: The Read-Aloud Feature
Stop what your doing and go right now to www.alliepleiter.com and click on the link next to the cover of Masked by Moonlight. You’ll get an audio file of my reading the first chapter of the book to you—how cool is that? Finally, my expensive theater degree put to good use…
Don't forget to check out Allie's new book, Masked by Moonlight.