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.
Biggest literary influences:
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.