Pop Goes the Library

Using Pop Culture to Make Libraries Better.

by Sophie Brookover, Liz Burns, Melissa Rabey, Susan Quinn, John Klima, Carlie Webber, Karen Corday, and Eli Neiburger. We're librarians. We're pop culture mavens. We're Pop Culture Librarians.


Interview With Ally Carter

Ally Carter is the author of Cheating at Solitaire and I'd Tell You I'd Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You. Cheating at Solitaire is about self-help guru Julia James, who has written a book about not needing a man to be happy. So all the gossip linking her her to an actor isn't going to help book sales. I'd Tell You I'd Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You is a book for teens about a school for spies pretending to be a snooty boarding school, The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women. (My Tea Cozy review of the YA book is here.)

Liz B.: You write books for adults (Cheating at Solitaire) and teens (I'd Tell You I'd Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You.) What are some of the differences (or similarities) writing for two different types of audiences?

Ally: First and foremost I want to tell an interesting story about interesting people--no matter their age. Initially, I thought it would be different targeting younger readers, but the more I do it, the more I realize that good writing is just good writing. People respond to that and crave it, and that's what I try to do. I love YA fiction. I think it's one area where writers can't afford to be lazy. You've got to tell stories with great characters; stuff has to actually happen in the story; and you have to do it in fewer pages--no wasting words; what's the harm in doing that for older readers? The only difference I can see so far is that with YA you can go farther--push the envelope a little more--and I love that.

Liz B: Love You Kill You (which, I found out from your website, is the cool, in the know way to refer to the teen book) has been optioned by Disney. How cool! Can you tell us a little about that?

Ally: Absolutely! LYKY (the ultra-cool, in the know way to refer to the book) has been optioned by Disney and Debra Martin Chase who produced The Princess Diaries and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants--pretty cool company to be in if you ask me. They're working on the script right now, and everyone seems very excited about the project. Of course, anything can happen in Hollywood, so I'm not picking out a dress to wear to the Oscars just yet, but all the signs are good.

Liz B.: You're working on sequels for both your books. LYKK works as a stand alone book but it does end with some very interesting unanswered questions. Had you always planned on LYKK having a sequel? I don't want to give spoilers for those who haven't read the first book, but will all our questions be answered?

Ally: Yes. We sold it as a two-book deal with a planned sequel. In book two, some questions get answered, some more get asked. The Gallagher Girls are spies, so thier lives are always going to have a few unanswered questions. I just hope readers want to tag along to see where a few of those adventures take them.

Liz B: What are you working on now?

Ally: I'm (quite literally) working on the next book in the Gallagher Girls series. In fact, I should have a rough draft finished by the end of the day.

Liz B: And finally, Pop Goes the Library is all about pop culture. What is your pop culture area of expertise?

Ally: TV. Absolutely the answer to that question is TV. Some network should totally have me on retainer I'm such a junkie.

Liz B: What do you do for summer TV viewing? With all my shows over I tend to watch a lot of DVDs and wish more shows did summer eps. Remember how 90210 did summer shows?

Ally: In the summer I'm always very relieved for cable, because they are smart enough to do new original programming (why the big networks can't figure this out I'll never know!). I love The Closer with Kyra Sedgwick, and last year I really got into Rescue Me. Oh, and I'm a shameless Celebrity Poker junkie. Shameless. It's one of my goals to be a major enough minor celebrity to be on Celebrity Poker. And then I'll also pray that they start some of the really good shows over in reruns--like Veronica Mars--because so many people need to give it a shot, and maybe they will if they can catch reruns over the summer.

Liz B.: Thank you!


  • At 1:36 PM, Blogger melissa said…

    Great interview! I really liked Love You Kill You so I'm glad to hear that a sequel is in the works!

  • At 8:16 AM, Blogger Little Willow said…

    Fantastic interview. I plan to read the book this weekend. We seem to often be on the same page, Liz, literally!


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