Historical Fiction, Christian
Allison Pittman is an award-winning author of fourteen novels in the Christian historical fiction space. Her novels span the centuries from the Protestant Reformation (Loving Luther, Tyndale) to the American Dust Bowl (On Shifting Sand, Tyndale). When not writing, Allison works as a freelance editor for The Christian Communicator and heads up a thriving writers’ group in her beloved San Antonio, Texas. She spends a few weekends a year speaking at women’s and writers’ conferences. She and her husband, Mikey, are currently enjoying a semi-empty nest, with three big boys mid-launch in the world. Her happy place is her pretty little writing room with her dog Snax snuggled at her side.
For more on Allison, visit her website.
Ten Thousand Charms (2006)
Speak Through the Wind (2007)
With Endless Sight (2008)
Saturdays with Stella (2008)
Stealing Home (2009)
The Bridegrooms (2010)
Lilies in Moonlight (2011)
For Time and Eternity (2011)
Forsaking All Others (2012)
All for a Song (2013)
All for a Story (2013)
All for a Sister (2014)
On Shifting Sand (2015)
The Offering (novella) (2017)
Loving Luther (2017)
The Seamstress (2019)
Biggest literary influences:
- Tracy Chevalier
- Lynn Austin
- Cathy Gohlke
- Charles Dickens
- Rona Jaffe
- Rainbow Rowell
- Anne Patchett
- Elizabeth Camden
Last book read:
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
The book that changed your life:
Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy. It was one of the first books I read post-college—purely for escape and entertainment. I remember being absorbed into this world and these people, feeling simultaneous hatred and empathy. I learned that my favorite type of character is one who skirts the edge of likeability. I don’t care about nobility in heroes or pluckiness in heroines. I don’t need to be swept up in romance, and I don’t like pretty people. Most of all, I don’t need a perfectly happy ending. This book also introduced me to the idea of author loyalty. I discovered it right after college, where my reading life was nothing but textbooks and Stephen King. This brought me back to my middle-school years sneaking away my mother’s copies of Evergreen and Thornbirds.
Your favorite literary character:
Francie Nolan from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. First, I love that Francie builds her world around words. That first chapter—the WHOLE FIRST CHAPTER—is nothing but a Saturday afternoon and Francie going to the library to check out books and to the store to get peppermint candies to savor while she reads on the balcony in her poverty-stricken neighborhood. Francie understands the importance of education and fights (and lies) for a chance to get it. As a budding writer, she receives some of my favorite writing advice to this day: Tell the truth; write the lie. Francie is a survivor. She loves her broken father. She has such a dreadful fear of becoming her mother. We see such ugliness through Francie’s eyes, and we see it unflinchingly. There’s no pity for the poor, and no disgust for the sinner. And really, no reverence for the saints.
Currently working on:
I’m working on a Pride and Prejudice send-up—Pudge and Prejudice—in which I take the Jane Austen tale to a Texas high school circa 1984. The book is due to release in summer 2020. I’m also working on Keeping Christmas, a book of Advent readings that traces the spiritual reclamation of Ebenezer Scrooge. I will also have a Thanksgiving-themed novella out in October of this year.
Words to live by:
You rarely regret what you do not say.
Advice to new and aspiring authors:
Read—a lot. Read what you write, what you want to write, what you’ll never write. Reading is training for writing. All of the language and the craft and the art burrows deep into your brain, and you call it back up when you’re putting your own words on the page.
Articles / Reviews:
Historical Novel Society Review: The Seamstress
The Christian Fiction Girl Review: The Seamstress
- “Set amid the tumultuous French Revolution, The Seamstress is unabashedly profound and yet crafted with such care that I relished every heartrending word. Through the lives of vibrant and genuine characters, notes of love, faith, and loyalty rise from its pages―all striking with one unanimous chord of courage. Allison Pittman has woven a novel that fortifies the spirit brick by brick so that as a nation is broken and transformed, so takes shape yet another landscape: the reader’s heart. The Seamstress is an absolute masterpiece with all the makings of a classic, and is one of the finest novels I have ever read.” (Joanne Bischof, Christy and Carol Award-winning author of Sons of Blackbird Mountain)
- “All for a Song proves Allison Pittman is not only one of the most talented and literary writers in the CBA but also an author with a tremendous writing range. Never afraid to confront subjects that have a bit of edge, Pittman sets the coming-of-age story of innocent Dorothy Lynn against the Evangelical fervor strummed up by charismatic speaker Aimee Semple McPherson. The result is an engaging and unique experience that reads like a breath of fresh air in a market filled with many similar historically influenced tales.” (Rachel McMillan, author of Murder at the Flamingo)
- “Although Pittman’s previous novels have been set in the United States, she feels quite at home in 16th-century Wittenberg. This novel should be of interest not only to readers of Christian fiction, but to readers of general historical fiction as well.” (Historical Novel Society Reviews)
- “Pittman manages to . . . satisfy readers’ thirst for drama, deceit, and deliverance.” (Booklist)
- “Demonstrating her versatility as a novelist, Pittman has written a moving tale of temptation, surrender, guilt, and redemption.” (Library Journal)