Hey, Readers! With the market so saturated with great books, I often find it difficult to wade through and pick just one read. That’s why book groups are so great. I love reading and, whether I love the book or not, it’s always fun to be share that love with others (or rant and rave if the occasion calls for it) about the latest read of the month.
This month on Tyndale’s book club hub, we have a great suggestion for fiction lovers. Author Allison Pittman’s latest release, All for a Song, chronicles a young girl’s journey to adulthood and the temptations along the way. Set during the Roaring Twenties, I would bet the temptations were plenty. What I loved about this novel is how embedded in the culture of the twenties the characters are (there is even an appearance of real life evangelist of the time, Aimee Semple McPherson!).
Dorothy Lynn Dunbar has everything she ever wanted until a trip to St. Louis introduces her to a whole new way of life—movies, music, dancing; daring fashions and fancy cars. Can Dorothy Lynn embrace all the Roaring Twenties has to offer without losing herself in the process?
Let’s hear from author Allison Pittman on her writing, inspiration and process:
What was your inspiration for this book, All for a Song?
There were so many different pieces that came together with this book; it’s hard to name just one. First, I was introduced to and then became fascinated with Aimee Semple McPherson and while I wasn’t ready to take on her story, I knew I wanted to create my own characters to somehow come into her sphere. She was a woman who embraced both ministry and fame, and I wanted to create a character who had that same opportunity. With that, I am so inspired by the decade of the 1920’s— such sweeping social changes, shifts in moral centering, an explosion of choices and opportunities for women. It was a time to test one’s faith— to go against the new norms in pursuit of righteousness. Such a challenge!
As a writer, what did you particularly enjoy about crafting this story?
Oh, my goodness. As a historical writer, I loved the time period— that sort of new, innocent fumbling with innovations of the time. One of my favorite scenes was when the 107-year-old Dorothy Lynn experiences her first iPad. (By the way, I had to make her that old in order to make all the history ‘fit.’ I spent every day for a month watching the Willard Scott segment on the Today Show making sure that her age would be believable. Wouldn’t you know? Every week there’s somebody that tops the 105th birthday!)
How has this novel helped you to grow as a storyteller?
My tendency (a very purposeful one) is to leave my stories with a bit of an “unfinished” edge. I like my characters to leave the page on the cusp of fulfillment, so that my readers can have the pleasure of imagining those final, satisfying moments. A good friend (and, coincidentally a fan) of mine said, “I love your books. I hate your endings. I’m just going to have to accept that this is what an Allison Pittman story does.” So— how fun was this to write the most definitive ending, ever! To open a story on the last day of a character’s life— so totally new to me.
Thanks, Allison, for sharing some insights with us. If you love historical fiction and creative storytelling, All for a Song is an excellent choice. And now until Wednesday February 13th, enter to win a chance at 10 free copies! Click here to enter.
If you’d like to hear more about Allison’s writing, listen to Allison share her thoughts on the importance of fact checking (and the difficulties she has run into as a historical writer).
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