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July 17, 2009

Meeting Ally Carter

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Today's guest blogger is 15-year-old Mary Sturgis, from Chicago, Il. Below, she shares her experiences meeting Ally Carter, author of the Gallagher Girls series, at a book signing for her latest release, DON'T JUDGE A GIRL BY HER COVER. Mary also runs her own YA literature blog, where you can find this piece and much more, at http://officiallymrs.blogspot.com.


Ally Carter is the New York Times bestselling author of the Gallagher Girls series: I'D TELL YOU I'D LOVE YOU, BUT THEN I'D HAVE TO KILL YOU, CROSS MY HEART AND HOPE TO SPY, and her most recent book, DON'T JUDGE A GIRL BY HER COVER. All of these books are great, and I strongly recommend them. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Ally Carter at a signing in Anderson's Bookstore in Naperville, where Ally had a tour stop for her latest release. (I just realized while reading the book today that "cover" not only means her appearance, but also the false identities that spies assume.)

In total, I traveled three hundred miles and about six hours in one day to go see Ally. Although this is a bit dramatic, author signings are a lot of fun and this one was definitely worth it! Ally really gets that teenagers are smart. Her stories --- not only her books, but her personal stories on how the books came to be --- are incredible. Although there is much, much more to her story, Ally told us about how we should always have someone in our lives who gives us the honest answer, even and most especially when that answer is not the one we want to hear. This is what Ally's publisher did for her.

There were a lot of different questions answered by Ally during the Q&A portion of the signing. I was lucky enough to get called on, so I asked, "If the characters in her books (Zack and Josh) were real, which one would you choose for yourself?" This got quite a big laugh, followed by an unexpected answer:

"Joe Soloman. He's my man," as well as something along the lines of, "He is a hottie." This made me smile and laugh, along with all of the other girls at the signing.

Ally then went on to talk about a character in her new book about teenage thieves that is coming out in February. I believe his name was Hale, and even though we have not met him yet, I have been assured that he is a babe and we will love him, so that is something to look forward to for all of you Ally Carter fans out there.



The photo above is of Ally and me after she signed my books. She is really, really nice, and the way she talks about being a young adult writer gives you no doubt that she really loves her job. She says that the three things that writers do for a living is: 1) Work in their pajamas, 2) Lie, and 3) Screw with people's lives (in this case, her characters').

Ally is the first author I have ever met personally, although I know many, many through twitter and facebook (oh the wonders of technology!). You can find Ally on twitter and myspace, as well her personal page. If you have not read the Gallagher Girls series, I would highly recommend it! These stories are well written, well thought out, and really great, fun reads!

If you have never been to "Meet the Author" event or a book signing, keep your eyes open --- it is a great opportunity to really connect with authors and the books that they write. Check author websites and call your local bookstores to see if any authors are headed your way. Thank you so much to Anderson's bookshop for hosting the event! We had an amazing time. Also, thank you, Ally! You are so talented and an all around really nice, fun person. It was awesome meeting you!

-- Mary Sturgis