Ally Carter burst onto the YA scene in 2006 with her first Gallagher Girls novel I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You. Since they she has launched two more popular series: Heist Society and Embassy Row.
Released in April, Not if I Save You First, a standalone book that takes place in the wilds of Alaska, features characters with the same determination and resourcefulness her readers have come to love.
When did you first realize you were a storyteller?
Honestly, that's something I still question every day. I first realized I WANTED to be a storyteller when I was in middle school and read The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. I was growing up in Oklahoma and reading this amazing book written by a teenage girl from Oklahoma made me obsessed with doing it too!
What do you love about the writing process?
I like to say that writing a book is like going on a really long international flight. When you start, you're super excited and can't wait to get going. Then you'll start to get tired or bored or your back will start hurting. About hour 10, you'll start to think this is the worst idea ever. But you're stuck. You can't get off the plane. Then, eventually, you'll look out the window and see the Great Wall of China or Eiffel Tower or whatever made you get on the plane to begin with and it will all be fun again.
What is the hardest part of being a writer?
Probably the writing? But there are other challenges that come and go. It's a tough business with no real support system. If I'm on deadline and my computer is acting weird I have to waste two days dealing with it instead of calling the IT department. I don't have health insurance through my job. I literally don't know where my next check is coming from. Now, I thankfully know some are coming! But when? I couldn't begin to guess. But all if it is worth it when you hear from someone whose life has been made better by something you've written.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Everywhere! For my newest book, Not if I Save You First, I was on an Alaskan cruise when I looked out over about a million acres of wilderness one night and saw one lone light burning in the distance. "If something happens here, you can't call 911" I thought to myself and that's how the idea of a story about a Secret Service agent's daughter who has to save the president's son when he's kidnapped in Alaska came to be!
What are you working on right now?
Right now, I'm finishing up my first nonfiction project! Dear Ally, How Do You Write a Book is my effort at answering some of the questions that writers hear all the time from teens who want to write themselves. It was so much fun to work on! I was able to draw on some of my favorite authors to tell us a little about their writing processes, and we cover everything from idea to publication. I'm extremely pleased with how it turned out!
If you can’t get enough of Ally Carter’s tales of “teen spies, thieves, and diplomats” as she puts it, be sure to visit her website.
I've been writing stories and taking photos since I was old enough to hold a pencil and stand behind a tripod.