Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Hey, it's Boomer Babe Allison Bottke

Are you a Boomer Babe? This post is all about a Boomer Babe and her new book. (Ahem, I'm a Boomer Babe too, and so are a few other FAITH girls. Can you guess who?) Oh, and you won't believe the recipe Allison shared with us!!! The FAITH girls are all going to ask some great interview questions hosted by me, Angie, right after this brief announcement...

Allison:
Introducing Allison Bottke:



Here's her book, One Little Secret:



I love the cover! It's original, interesting, and I honestly touched it because it intrigued me. :-D

Why? It's embossed and really, really cool. That means the design is raised. Then it's glossy, colorful, very realistic. If this does get made into a movie (see the Hollywood contest below) then they'd better use the design on the DVD. It's truly unique.



Book Description
For Ursula Rhoades, her ONE LITTLE SECRET is about to become her one big problem! ONE LITTLE SECRET fits seamlessly into a culture obsessed with reality TV and celebrity lives (think American Idol and E! channel). Delving into the life of a fictional rock star, ONE LITTLE SECRET grabs readers from the start and takes them on a fun-loving ride through Hollywood and the famous GRAMMY awards.

In a land of glitz and glamour, Ursula Rhoades isn't fazed in the least by the constant parade of Prada and Tiffany's or the high-profile celebrity sightings.

A beautiful home, a loving family, and fulfilling volunteer opportunities leave this fashionable and loving Bel-Air housewife completely content, even if she did have to give up her dreams. Nikolai Prevelakis, or Nik Prevel to his fans, is the hottest young music star in the country. But it isn't enough. Handsome, famous, and living the life of a rock star, Nik isn't content. When his path crosses Ursula's, he sees the opportunity he's been waiting for.but what seems like a harmless little secret changes their lives forever-and becomes one big secret everyone's trying to figure out!

Ursula is a fun and hip main character-a baby boomer quite different from most heroines you see in today's inspirational fiction. Offset by a male protagonist who is captivating and gets more likable and "deeper" as the story goes on, it's just plain fun to watch these characters interact. A Hollywood fairy tale with all the pleasures of escapist literature mixed with gentle lessons on using the talents God has given you, the power of sacrifice, self-esteem, and the value of being "just a housewife."

Find out why folks are saying that Allison writes "women's fiction with an attitude!"

An interview with Allison Bottke and the FAITH girls:

Lindi (Belinda Peterson): What is the difference in your approach to writing fiction and non-fiction if any?

Allison: About the same as going to Disneyland versus the Dentist. Okay, maybe not that different, but writing fiction for me is a fun romp in fantasyland and my non-fiction is typically very heavy stuff. The “heavy stuff” requires a focus that takes a whole lotta energy out of my soul. I LOVE what I do, don’t get me wrong, but my non-fiction comes from personal experiences that I feel compelled to write about. Point in case, my next non-fiction project is a spring 2008 release from Harvest House called: SETTING BOUNDARIES WITH YOUR ADULT CHILDREN – SIX STEPS TO HOPE AND HEALING. This came from very painful life experiences with my own son.

Lindi: How did you decide to write a novel after having so many successful non-fiction books? (Has writing a novel always been in your heart?)

Allison: I’ve always wanted to write fiction. In fact, when I grow up I’d like to work in the world of film—writing screenplays. I have a deep love for creating those sappy, romantic comedy fairy-tale love stories that women can escape into. However, I had a major life-changing epiphany at the age of 35 that brought me closer to God in a very profound way. As a result of that, I founded an organization called: GOD ALLOWS U-TURNS. A vital aspect of that organization is a compilation book series of true short stories written by people from all around the world. The GOD ALLOWS U-TURNS anthology collection took off with its first volume published in 2001 and today, there are 23 plus books under the recognized GOD ALLOWS U-TURNS “brand.” That said, I was blessed to enter the world of publishing and get my feet wet—more important—I was able to make connections with editors and publishers who were able to see how I conducted my business.

I also began attending writer’s conferences as an instructor, and while there I was able to take classes as a student with some amazing novelists who generously shared their craft in workshop sessions. I soaked up everything I could about how to write fiction—taking notes—buying tapes—listening over and over again to teachers like Angela Hunt, Gayle Roper, Brandilyn Collins, James Scott Bell, Jack Cavanaugh, Lauraine Snelling, and Tracie Peterson. It was after taking a 3-day long intensive workshop with Tracie Peterson that I was able to fine-tune my work-in-progress and submit it with a proposal to Bethany House. The rest, as they say, is history. Bethany House signed me to write two novels and the whirlwind began.

Lindi: Do you prefer writing fiction over non-fiction or vice-versa?

Allison: That’s hard to say, but if I really and truly had to choose, I’d have to say fiction. I love creating fantasy fairy-tales, those sappy dream-come-true stories some of us love.

Lindi: Where did you get those fabulous shoes that you are wearing on the Christian Speaker portion of your website? I love those! They look so fun.



Allison: Okay, I’ll share my secret, which isn’t such a secret, but I get the majority of my shoes at DSW – the DISCOUNT SHOE WAREHOUSE. You can find DSW locations all over the country. www.dsw.com I look for the sales and buy only when they are 70-80% off. Really. I just bought four pair of totally rockin’ shoes and paid a total of $42 for all four pair! I am a bargain shopper from way back, and I LOVE consignment shops.:-D

Missy Tippens: I'd love to ask Allison about fashion on a budget--a Wal-Mart budget. I've always wondered about shows that tout "affordable" clothes, and then say the outfit only costs $150 or $200. Huh??

Allison: I know what you mean! This cracks me up when Style Magazine says something like, “Only $300!” Only? Hello? Missy, I was brought up in poverty, we lived in the projects of Cleveland and I thought everyone added water to their powdered milk. We shopped at Salvation Army stores for our clothes and shoes. My mom would give me a quarter from time to time when we went shopping and I’d go to the prom dress section and get a fabulous gown for my little girl dress-up collection. Today, those old prom gowns are called “Vintage Apparel” and sell for boo-coo bucks! Too funny! Any way, I learned to budget shop as a youngster and I’ve never stopped. I scout consignment shops, look for deals and NEVER (or very seldom) buy anything retail.

Missy: As a newly contracted author and an avid reader, I'm interested in learning about your upcoming Boomer Babes Book club launching in January 2008.

Allison: I wish I could tell you more, but we’re still in the development stages. However, I visualize this as a place where boomer babes can meet in home groups or cyber groups all over the country and discuss both fiction and non-fiction. I’m blessed to have a great many friends who are authors, and from time to time we’ll even have authors call a reading group and discuss the book on speaker phone, taking questions from group members live! I’ll personally get to select the books we’ll be reading and I’m really excited about this because I have a rather eclectic reading style. If you make sure to sign up for my monthly Dream-Zine you’ll find out all about it as we roll out the club in a few months. You can sign-up here:
http://www.boomerbabesrock.com/dreamzine.html

Christy LaShea Smith:: What have you learned over the years that work as far as balancing writing time and family time?

Allison: Wow, that’s a loaded question. But I guess it would be that when my husband comes home in the evening, I shut off my computer. I’m blessed that we have an empty nest and I’m married to a work-a-holic like myself, so I don’t have the same tug on my time that other women do. However, I try to shut off work when hubby is home.

Christy: We women love ideas that work for other women. Would you be willing to include a picture of your writing space?

Allison: I noticed all of the very cool “before” and “after” office photos on your blog and I was totally impressed! And normally I would gladly show off my writing space, however you’ve caught me 3 weeks away from moving from MN to TX and I have boxes everywhere and my bookshelves are empty (books all packed) and things are in a general state of disarray. So, I’m sorry to say “no can do.” But hey, I’d love to take photos of my new home office space in Texas when I get settled next month, may I come back for a visit and share them?

Christy: We'd love it! Just let us know when you are ready:-)

Jennifer Hudson Taylor: The teleseminars you have started are about a wide variety of topics. How do they work and would you tell us what inspired you to start marketing and teaching this way?

Allison: I’m a big proponent of planning. In my former career as a professional fundraiser for non-profit organizations, I saw firsthand how vital it was for an organization to have a Mission Statement, a Strategic Business Plan, and a general sense about what their goals actually were – in writing. In teaching at various writers conferences around the country, my classes on Strategic Planning were always full. Afterwards, attendees would send me email to tell me their writing life made a total U-Turn when they began to implement the tasks I encouraged them to accomplish. Teaching via Teleseminars has allowed me to reach more people in the comfort of their own homes. The online classes are now available as MP3 downloads here: http://www.boomerbabesrock.com/eventsteleseminars.html

Jennifer: I see that your last teleseminar was on branding. What main points did you hit on?

Allison: Why it’s important to develop a brand, either as a company name or your own name. We discussed the value of branding, what it really is, why it’s vital for writers to be clear about their personal brand, and how to get started. We have step-by-step guidelines available on our web site – complete with an audio MP3 and handouts and resources. We had hundreds of people on this call when we held the class on Branding just this past month. You can find out more about it here: http://www.boomerbabesrock.com/eventsteleseminars.html

Mindy Obenhaus: You are quite a prolific writer and marketer. How do you do it all?

Allison: I don’t sleep. (ha-ha) Seriously, as I mentioned earlier, I truly am blessed at this stage in my life that we are empty nesters and my husband works a great deal. I have the time. But mostly, I know I get as much accomplished as I do because I have a Strategic Business Plan and I’m organized. Really. We must set-up systems of organization and follow-up and goal setting that will help us to stay focused.

Mindy: On your site, http://www.boomerbabesrock.com you mention fun. Tell us what something fun you like to do is. Do you have your characters live out the fun things you dream of too?

Allison: For me, “fun” is going to the movies for a double-feature. Just vegging out all day in the Cineplex. Reading all day is a luxurious thing for me to do, and I consider that great fun as well. Going out to dinner with my hubby is fun. As for having my characters live out fun things – ABSOULUTELY! I would love to win an Oscar for Best Screenplay one day, that’s why I gave Ursula her Grammy experience.

Mindy: What kind of a schedule do you need to focus on your dreams? What do you say "no" to?

Allison: When I’m on a deadline, I have a daily word count I must keep, and I’m relentless about doing so. I’ve been saying “no” more and more these days to email. I think I’m going to write a non-fiction book one day called: EMAIL DETOX (or something like that.) Email is the single most time draining thing I do. Once I get started I’ve spent hours online answering emails or sending notes. It’s an addiction. I’m trying very hard to limit my online email time.

My turn:-) Angie:
I love that you dedicated One Little Secret to "every woman who had ever had a dream. With God all things are possible." Why did you do that?

Allison: Because I truly have a passion for my boomer babe sisters. I have been so blessed to see many of my dreams come true, and I know how hard it’s been. Yet God has been faithful. What an amazing feeling to encourage and empower other women to achieve their dreams. If each one of us reached out to help a sister make her dream come true, can you imagine what the world would be like? Wow.

Angie: Recently, we've done an impromptu series on creating our creative spaces. What is your writing/creative space like?

Allison: A mess. I’m moving. It’s so disconcerting I can barely function. I keep telling myself, “This too shall pass.” :-) I’m dyslexic and I have A.D.D., so it’s vital for me to keep systems in place so I remember things, so I can stay on task. Normally, I am very organized – with everything in its place.

Angie: Our characters come alive for us sometimes. Sitting at the computer, we might "hear" our hero and heroine talking to us. Tell us how Ursula from One Little Secret came to life for you.

Allison: Ursula was “born” in my debut novel, A Stitch in Time. I loved her character, although she had a very minor role in “Stitch.” I wanted to know more about her, to develop her more fully. Making her the lead character in One Little Secret was so much fun!

Angie: So One Little Secret is about one woman's dream. What is the dream you haven't attained yet?

Allison: Wow, that’s an easy one! Ever since I was a very little girl, I have wanted to work in the film industry. I started writing scripts when I could barely hold a pencil—little plays where I got to be the damsel in distress, rescued by prince charming. My goal when I grow up is to write for the silver screen. In fact, I’d love to adapt One Little Secret for the screen—don’t you think it would make a great movie? To that end, we’ve developed a Hollywood Casting Call Contest on our web site for readers to vote for the actors and actresses they feel would best portray the lead characters in One Little Secret. We’re offering an all expensive paid trip to Hollywood for the person who selects the dream cast that is actually cast in the event the book does get optioned as a screenplay. Please visit here to cast your ballot: http://www.boomerbabesrock.com/bookcontests.html

Angie: What kind of research did you have to do to write One Little Secret? ;-0) I envision you sitting in Jose's chair. Did you?

Allison: I never sat in Jose’s chair, but I did window shop on Rodeo Drive quite a bit when I lived in California. Researching One Little Secret was a whole lot of fun! I spent almost two decades living in southern California, so I had a pretty good feel for the location. During my years on the west coast, I worked as a professional fundraiser for several non-profit organizations and I had the opportunity to spend a great deal of time around women who had a great deal of money. Talk about a wild ride! It amazed me how some of them had it all and yet they were so very unhappy. On the other hand, there were a few philanthropists I admired—and I took bits and pieces of them to develop Ursula.

I’d have to say the music aspect of writing this book was the most fun. I listened to countless CD’s of the classic standard love songs to select the tunes I wanted Ursula and Nick to record. That, and dressing Ursula, oh…and furnishing Nick’s Malibu estate, oh and, maybe deciding on the luxury cars…oh shucks – it was all a blast!

Angie: We like food over here at the F.A.I.T.H. girls blog too. Could you share a recipe with us that Nik made on p. 161/chapter 29? It sounded good. mmm. Or any other you'd like ;-)

Allison: I wish I knew exactly what it was Nick made, I envisioned it as some sort of fancy schmansy scrambled egg dish. But I will share a top secret recipe. Does anyone else covet the cheese biscuits at Red Lobster like I do? Alas, I don’t eat much bread these days, after having gastric bypass surgery in 2000 and losing 120 pounds. I’m afraid bread is not at the top of my list of things I can “comfortably eat.” But I still overdo it on the Red Lobster cheese biscuits.
Here’s the recipe.

Dough:
1 ¼ lbs. Bisquick mix
3 oz. Freshly shredded cheddar cheese
11 oz cold water

Garlic Spread:
½ Cup melted butter
1 teasp. Garlic powder
¼ teasp. Salt
1/8 teasp. Onion powder
1/8 teasp. Dried parsley

To cold water, add Bisquick and cheese, blending in a mixing bowl. Mix until dough is firm, but don’t overmix.

Using a small scoop, place dough on a baking pan lined with baking paper. Bake in 375 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. While biscuits bake, combine the spread ingredients.

Brush baked biscuits with the garlic topping.

Voila! Red Lobster cheese biscuits. YUMMY!


Angie: Um, I'm drooling! I love those cheese biscuits! You have a blog with six co-writers just like F.A.I.T.H. Girls. Tell us about that.

Allison: Our blog is an outreach of the BOOMER BABES ROCK web site and it’s called; Boomer Babes with Brilliant Dreams. Our co-authors are some of the best selling CBA authors today, as well as the founder of the NABBW (National Association of Baby Boomer Women.) Each boomer babe has an assigned day and our posts range from profound to personal and everything in between!

Here’s our Mission Statement: “Boomer Babes Rock, where fun, fashion, food, family, and faith merge to empower and inspire boomer women around the world!”
Here’s the location: http://www.boomerbabesrock.com/blog/

Here’s our roster:
Monday: Dotsie Bregel
Tuesday: Eva Marie Everson
Wednesday: Connie Pombo
Thursday: Keri Wyatt Kent
Friday: T. Suzanne Eller
Saturday: Allison Bottke
Sunday: Day of Rest
Pinch Hitter: Cheryll Hutchings


Angie: Is there anything you’d like to share with our readers that I haven’t asked you about?

Allison: I guess one of the main things I’d like to ask is that your readers please pick up a copy of One Little Secret and read it—and then let me know what they thought of it. I really want to grow as a writer and obtaining reader feedback is vital for that to happen. Also vital is the word-of-mouth recommendations readers can make about books they enjoy. If your readers like One Little Secret, I pray they will share it with others—and encourage their local bookstores to carry my work. I’d also like to invite your readers to visit my web sites where they can sign up for our free monthly Dream-zine, see my Blog Tour schedule, and read the Writer’s Guidelines for the next volumes in the God Allows U-Turns series. Here are the web site URL’s: www.AllisonBottke.com , www.GodAllowsUTurns.com and www.BoomerBabesRock.com

However, more important than that is my final word of the day…and that is for your readers to take the risk and reach for their dreams! God has placed a desire in your heart—He has given you special gifts—and he wants you to use them. No matter how old we are—there is still time to discover God’s purpose for our life—and to make the choices that will change the story of our life.

Thanks so much for having me here! It’s been a joy. I’ll be back!

Angie: Thank you Allison! You've spent so much of your time with us and we are truly honored. We look forward to you visiting again soon.


Enjoy getting to know Allison Bottke even more by visiting Angie's blog on Aug 13th. We'll have a continuing interview, a contest to win a book, and a recipe from Ursula (via Allison) :-D

Thank you frieds for visiting the FAITH girls,

Angie

8 comments:

  1. Allison,
    What a joy this interview is. Thank you for doing this and letting us learn from you and about you.
    And yes, DSW is an awesome place to buy shoes!
    Thank you so much for your insights, and I"m anxious to read the book. (There's a story behind that, but won't go into it here).
    I hope you come back and visit after you get settled into your new home.

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  2. Allison, thank you for answering all our questions! We've really enjoyed having you.

    I also wanted to tell everyone how much I enjoyed Allison's two teleseminars I've taken! They are so helpful, and the to-do lists are a huge help! Thanks, Allsion, for sharing all you've learned.

    Missy

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  3. Hello ladies! It's me...are you tired of me yet? :-) Thanks for having me as a guest here at F.A.I.T.H. Girls, it's been fun. Loved the varied questions, you are all rockin' boomer babes in my mind! (Even the babies in the group - ha-ha) I sure hope you'll let me know what you think of ONE LITTLE SECRET, I really appreciate reader feedback. Have a blessed day and I'll stop back again, this is a fabulous blog! Really. Good job! - Allison Bottke

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  4. Thanks Allison:-)
    We are highly honored by that compliment:-)

    Angie

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  5. Thanks for spending some time with us, Allison. I'm a Texas gal myself. Where abouts are you moving in the Lone Star State?

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  6. Allison,

    Thanks for the wonderful insight to so many things! Blessings to you.

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  7. Allison,
    Looking forward to your book! Thanks for the wealth of info in this interview.

    And PS... your picture is beautiful~ Are you sure you're a boomer babe? I'm thinking you're younger than me (I'm 32...:)

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  8. Oh I'm a boomer all right! 52 and counting! I can tell it the most in my sleep patterns and eyesight...I wake up before the crack of dawn and go to sleep nigh on sunset. Very scary. And cheater magnifying eyeglasses are popping up all over my house! When did print ever get so tiny? Mindy, I'm moving to a suburb outside of Dallas later this month. Going crazy trying to get packed. Missy, I like your index card plot system. I use index cards much the same way, writing down scenes and then moving the scenes around into the three act structure. I even took it one step further and bought neon colored index cards and wrote scenes with dialogue for specific characters. Pink cards for Ursula, Green for Nick, yellow for Isabella and blue for Cristoff. I had them all over the floor - then began pinning them to a big bulletin board. Hey, whatever works, right? Keep on writing and reading! Still waiting to hear comments on One Little Secret...:-)

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