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An introduction to Ally Carter

American author Ally Carter, is a writer of young adult fiction who has been published in over 20 countries. Best known for her series of books about the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a boarding school for spies, she has enthralled teenage girls around the world with her tales of international terrorism, kidnapping and boys. A further series for teenagers, Heist Society, is set to become a major Hollywood film.

Background

Born Sarah Leigh Fogleman in Oklahoma, in January 1974, the daughter of a teacher and a farmer, Carter studied agricultural economics at Oklahoma State University and Cornell University. After graduating, she worked at Kansas State University, writing in her spare time before finally becoming a full-time author. In an interview with the Kansas Farmer newspaper, she said: "I always knew I would write in my spare time. But my mom and dad taught me to be practical. I had to make a living."

From agricultural economics to espionage

Popularity Ally Carter's first book, Cheating at Solitaire, a chick-lit novel about a single self-help guru, was published in 2005. The follow up, Learning to Play Gin, was published the following year. However, it was when she swapped agricultural economics for espionage that her writing career really took off. Encouraged by her agent to try writing for the young adult market, Carter penned I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You. Published in 2006, it tells the story of Cammie Morgan and her friends at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women – in reality a boarding school for spies. Recent works The Gallagher Girls series continued with Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (2007), Don’t Judge a Girl By Her Cover (2009), and Only The Good Spy Young (2010). The latest instalment Out of Sight, Out of Time will be published in 2012. Ally Carter launched a new series for the young adult market in 2010 with Heist Society, the story of Katrina Bishop - a young woman desperately trying to distance herself from her family of international cat burglars. The actress Drew Barrymore is set to produce and direct a film version of same. The follow up Uncommon Criminals hit the bookshelves in 2011. Note Carter’s books have appeared on best-seller lists from the New York Times and USA Today to the Wall Street Journal and Barnes and Noble. She lives and works in the Midwest, USA.

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