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NORA INTERVIEWS ALLISON BOTTKE


#1.) You describe a Boomer Babe on your blog as, “Someone born between 1946 and 1964; women who are comfortable enough in our own skin to realize that the mid-life years can be some of the best and most exciting in our entire life; that the hubris of youth is behind us and the wisdom of the years has made us pretty darn attractive—both inside and out. We are Boomer Babes and we’re proud of it!” I love your excitement and your books. What do you hope to accomplish through your Boomer Babe VA VA VA Boom series?



ALLISON: The women featured in the VA VA VA Boom series believe the only way to capture the life of their dreams is to create it. They are all passionate women and powerful dreamers, boldly venturing into unknown territory while living out their dreams in unexpected ways. Leaning heavily on their faith during life journeys that are filled with triumph and tragedy, the over-arching theme in every book is personal responsibility and choice, followed by the powerful magnetic pull of love—love for God, self, family, friends, career, and life itself.

Each book in the VA VA VA Boom series will have a different take-away value based on the Description of Love as written in 1 Corinthian 13:4-8. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” As each story unfolds, we will clearly see how the different aspects of this Scripture personally minister to the women during their life journey. Additionally, the main characters will all have secrets from their past that will inevitably be disclosed—secrets many readers will be able to intimately understand.


#2.) Is there anything in this story that you can relate to that was personal? How much of you is in your book?

ALLISON: I would hazard to guess that every novelist imbues their characters with bits and pieces of themselves—both male and female. For me, because I’m a boomer woman writing for my boomer babe sisters, I would have to say that, yes, I often find myself in my characters—in some form or another. Sometimes my character has a trait or circumstance directly from my life, and other times I give them things totally foreign to my life…i.e. fictional.




















Sure there are some generalities that are similar. I’m about the same age as the main character, Susan. I was in New York and went to Studio 54 during the height of the disco era, and I’ve been to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, Ohio several times. I was raised in Cleveland and lived there for 24-years. Susan and I share a love of music, fashion, and the performing arts. Also, like Susan, I didn’t become a Christian until I was an adult. But that’s about where the similarities end. I guess if you really know me, you can pick up on things, places, names, and other characteristics that are composites of people I know or have met. So, I guess the only safe response to that is…not much and a great deal.

#3.) You have written many books, one of which is called God Allows U-Turns. What is that series about and why did you want to write it? How has God used it?





ALLISON: God Allows U-Turns was my first published book and the cornerstone of a global outreach ministry that eventually comprised 13 books in the U-Turns series. It began as a way to share my own life-changing U-Turn toward God. The critical mission of the organization is to change lives through a relationship with Jesus Christ, our Life Navigator. The purpose of the God Allows U-Turns® outreach is to challenge people around the world to make a difference for God as they focus on making bold, new direction choices, with God at the center of their life. Encouraging people to make U-Turns toward God, thus changing lives, changing families, is our ultimate purpose. We hope to encourage life-changing U-Turn choices through books for adults, children and youth and many additional methods of worldwide outreach as the organization grows.



God wants all of His children to make a difference. God never does something great through us until He does something significant in us. For years, I was without direction. Desperate, spiritually bankrupt and broken, I was self-directed, trend-directed, and time-directed. When I became God-directed – when I began to trust in God as my personal Navigator - my entire life changed. I was transformed. God has done something significant in my life, and as I step out in radical faith, He is empowering me to help change lives – one heart at a time.

For many, the road to walking a straight path cannot be traveled until they make a u-turn in their life. The God Allows U-Turns mission is to educate people around the world that making a u-turn toward God will involve looking at all areas of our life and living a well-balanced life with God at the center.

The bottom line is the choices you make change the story of your life™.

#4.) You have a new non-fiction series out called Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children: Six Steps to Hope and Healing for Struggling Parents. How did you get the idea for this book, and what do you hope happens when people read it?


ALLISON: Again, this was a story that I lived. It’s a story I never thought I’d write about. Yet, as I would speak across the country about God Allows U-Turns, (so much so that I was called the God Allows U-Turns poster girl,) I began sharing bits and pieces of my situation with my adult son, Christopher. I began to share what I was dealing with in parenting an adult child whose destructive choices were breaking my heart. Before long, women were lining up after I would speak to talk about similar situations with their adult children. I started noticing that everywhere I went a mom, grandparent, or other family member would begin telling me their story about the issues they faced with their dysfunctional adult child.

















For years I really thought I was helping my son. I wanted him to have the things I never had growing up. I love my son, and I didn’t want him to hurt—but sometimes pain is a natural result of the choices we make. For a long time I didn’t understand the part I was playing in the ongoing drama that had become my son’s life—I didn’t understand that I didn’t have to live in constant chaos and crisis because of his choices. When I chose to stop the insanity and start living a life of hope and healing, a life of SANITY, my life changed. It’s a feeling I want other struggling parents and grandparents to experience. I want other parents to know that change is possible when we choose to stop the destructive cycle of enabling. And we can stop it. I know, because I’ve done it.


This is not a book about how to “fix” dysfunctional adult children who are making life painful for their parents and grandparents. Yes, the adult children are often in their own kind of pain and anguish—many are suffering from multiple addictions and years of crippling enablement—but this book has not been written for them. Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children is primarily for struggling parents and grandparents—yet it will have a life-changing effect on adult children.


Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children empowers readers with a no holds barred six step SANITY format, stating in black and white the parental behaviors that must STOP, along with identifying new habits to implement if change is to occur. Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children identifies the false conceptions parents believe about themselves and their adult children and counters each lie of captivity with the truth that setting boundaries is not only a good thing—but a vital part of hope and healing.



While recognizing and identifying enabling issues must come before positive change can be made, it is the eventual peace and healing parents feel as they gain power in their own lives that is the goal of this book. A tough love book for coping with dysfunctional adult children, as well as getting our own lives back on track, Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children empowers families by offering hope and healing through six SANITY steps. This outreach has replaced the global ministry that was God Allows U-Turns and occupies the majority of my writing and speaking. There will be three more books in the Setting Boundaries outreach in the coming three years.

#5.) You are a woman that wears many different hats. You’re a public speaker, non-fiction writer, fiction writer, screenwriter, and Internet Marketer, just to name a few. What hat most fulfills you? Why?

ALLISON: Many of the hats that I wear actually overlap, and all of them have the common element of writing to them. I’ve been writing since I was old enough to hold a pencil back in the projects of Cleveland.

Back in my twenties I had a modicum of success being published in women’s magazines like Cosmopolitan, Shape, Women’s World and such with human interest stories that centered primarily on the topic of self-image and weight. I’ve battled with a weight problem all my adult life and back then I was one of the first Plus Size Models ever signed by the Wilhelmina Agency in Los Angeles. But when I began to lose weight as a result of a lifestyle entrenched in drugs, parties, alcohol, and fast-paced living, my agent told me to gain weight or be out of work. A catch-22 conundrum if ever there was one! So I began to write about it. I also wrote a great deal in my earlier career as a Development Director. I wrote press releases, grant proposals, brochures, strategic plans, and detailed development plans. Writing has always been my passion.


At 35 years old, I had a very personal faith-based epiphany in my life and as a result of that founded an outreach ministry called GOD ALLOWS U-TURNS. The foundation of that outreach was (and still is today) a series of anthology compilation books of true short stories from people all over the world.


As a writer, I’m able to create new worlds and lives. I’m able to dream big dreams. I can also share the lessons I’ve learned to empower people to make different choices, better choices, to change their lives – to empower and inspire boomer women to begin the journey to achieve SANITY in a world often spinning out of control.

#6.) Out of all the interviews you have done is there one question that you hoped someone would have asked you but didn’t? If so, what is that question and what is your answer?


ALLISON: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” :D I long to work in the world of entertainment, specifically in writing for the stage and screen. In a perfect world, I would write my boomer-lit novels and adapt each book into a romantic comedy screenplay. Writing for the stage is also a passion. In my late 20’s, I was the Playwright-in-Residence for a small theatre in Southern California and experienced the production of three of my original plays—I’d love to do this again.
















#7.) In You Make Me Feel Like Dancing you take us through the Disco era and give us a very close view of the seventies. You mention a charity event in 1979 when Gene Siskel outbid Jane Fonda in an auction for John Travolta’s white disco suit. He got it for two thousand bucks. How much of the things you talk about in the book that happened in the seventies is real? Was this event real?













ALLISON: The majority of the Disco-era historic facts mentioned in the book are real. I lived through the Disco era and I also did a lot of research as I tried to be historically accurate with events such as with the auction of John Travolta’s white disco suit, or people and places like Studio 54, Andy Warhol and others.


#8.) Susan was very passionate about the seventies, the clothes, music, dancing etc. What has drawn you to write about the seventies? Are you passionate about it like Susan? Why?












ALLISON: There are three decades of ages that baby boomer women can be, being born between 1946-1964. The three books in the VA VA VA Boom series have characters from each of those decades. The current age range (in 2009) for baby boomers is 45-63 years old. During the story, Susan turns 50 years old. As a young lady moving to New York City to pursue her dream as a dancer, she was right smack in the middle of the 70’s and Disco, with its clothes, style, dancing, and music. I enjoy all those things and relate to them from my life experiences, however, I’m not as passionate about the Disco-era, to the degree that Susan is. For Susan, the Disco embodied everything she did.











That said, I wanted to write fun, funky, fashionable, and faithful fiction for women my own age – boomer babes! I dream up the age of the character first, because so much of who we are comes from the era in which we were born and raised. Then, I think about the environment and circumstances in which I want to place my “boomer babe,” and voila! The character—and the story are born.

QUESTIONS I KNOW YOU WANTED TO ASK ALLISON BUT WERE AFRAID TO SO I DID!!

#1.) What movie impacted you as a child? Why?

ALLISON: The Sound of Music was my favorite film as a young girl. It combined true love, music, dance, and epic romance—I was hooked! Strangely enough, I also had a crush on Vincent Price and a fascination with the writing of Edgar Allen Poe, and I learned the power of language from the old classic horror films that combined both Price and Poe, like The Fall of the House of Usher, The Raven, and The Mask of the Red Death. Kind of weird, I know. :D

#2.) Your character Susan mentions live Theatre and seeing shows in New York, do you enjoy theatre? Seen any Broadway shows? If so, which ones had an impact on you?


I love live theatre! I’ve seen dozens of Broadway shows (and Off-Broadway shows) and they all impact me in some way, either by what I love or what I don’t.

#3.) If you had all the time in the world (and just as much money like Lily), what would you do and why?

ALLISON: I’ve dreamed for years of writing fiction, and I’m living my dream. I’ve also dreamed even longer of writing screenplays—and I won’t give up until they bury me. If we don’t pursue the dreams of our heart—who will?












Playing dress-up and pretending I was someone else occupied an enormous amount of my time growing up. I started dreaming of winning an Academy Award when I was a kid—first for the glamorous “Best Actress” category, and later for “Best Screenplay” when I began to understand that my gifts leaned more toward writing. I’m 53-years old and if God grants me the true desire of my heart from a career aspect, it would be to work in the film industry. I’ve been working on my Academy Award acceptance speech for the Best Screenplay award for about forty years now. I’d sure like to walk up those steps on my own volition—so I hope it happens soon!

#4.) What is a special quality, talent, or event you’ve experienced that would surprise people? Please explain.

ALLISON: Some people may know this…when I lived in Minnesota, I had an award winning lily garden and I love to grow Asiatic lilies and day lilies. I love to garden—playing in the dirt is something that brings me great joy and relaxation.

#5.) What shows did you watch as a kid that you just couldn’t miss each week?

ALLISON: I never missed the classics like Bewitched, I Dream of Jeanie, The Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, Lost in Space, and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. And I don’t think I’ve ever missed the Academy Awards.

#6.) You find yourself in a life-threatening situation and you need someone to save you? Who would you call on and why? (You can pick anyone from movies, books, TV etc. sky is the limit.)

ALLISON: Charlton Heston, in any number of his epic-roles as a Hero.

#7.) If you were given 48 hours to hang out with anyone alive or dead in the history of the world, whom would you pick and what would you do?

ALLISON: As a Christian, I’d have to say it would be amazing to have dinner with Jesus. To break bread together and discuss life—what an experience that would be.

#8.) Money isn’t an object here and you can pick anywhere to have breakfast? Where would you go and what would you eat? Same deal for dinner. Where would you go and what would you eat?




ALLISON: Man oh man, how I hate these food questions! Since I had gastric bypass weight loss surgery in 2000, and lost 120 pounds, food just doesn’t have the same appeal to me. Don’t get me wrong, I still love a great meal but I think it would be more about the place, so here goes…for breakfast a little bistro tucked away somewhere in France. For dinner, on the coast in Italy up on one of those cliffs overlooking the ocean.

#9.) What were your favorite books growing up?

ALLISON: The Diary of Anne Frank profoundly touched me as a young girl. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle was the first book I can remember reading a second time shortly after reading it for the first time. And reading anything by Edgar Allen Poe and Alfred Hitchcock thrilled me.

#10.) You have to be a superhero for 48 hours, who would you pick and why? (You are the author here you can be creative and mix and match powers and costumes).

ALLISON: Without a doubt it would be Wonder Woman! She had multiple powers, fabulous hair, a tiny waist, and great boots!

Thanks Allison for stopping by and letting my readers got to know you and your books better. Thanks for being so real, honest and open with your faith journey. Wow!! I'm really looking forward to reading the next book in the Va Va Va Boom series called It Don't Mean a Think If It Ain't Got The Bling!!

Remember Allison if you're ever in the Atlanta area we'll definate have you speak to my book clubs!!

Nora :D

4 comments:

  1. Thank you Allison and Nora for this interview. I really enjoyed it. I especially love the God Allows U-turns part. He allowed me to make a huge U-turn in my late twenties and I am very thankful for that. Again, thank you both for sharing. God bless!

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  2. Powerful interview. Loved the Setting Boundaries Series. Can't wait to read the fiction!

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  3. Loved the interview! Being a woman of this time period and friends with many women in this time period I know some who are having problems in the area of their adult children. So I believe the Setting Boundaries for Adult Children would be a wonderful resource.

    Thanks Nora for a job well done!

    Gail Mundy

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