PERSONAL: Female. Education: Graduate of Oklahoma State University and Cornell University.
ADDRESSES: Agent—Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency, LLC, 1020 15th St., Ste. 26L, Denver, CO 80202-2312. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Writer and novelist.
Cheating at Solitaire (novel), Berkley Books (New York, NY), 2005.
I'd Tell You I Love You, but Then I'd Have to Kill You (young adult novel), Hyperion Books for Children (New York, NY), 2006.
Learning to Play Gin (novel), Berkley Books (New York, NY), 2006.
SIDELIGHTS: Novelist Ally Carter is the author of Cheating at Solitaire, her debut novel published in 2005. "Wickedly funny, Cheating at Solitaire goes where few chick lits dare: It's an appreciation of the art of being single," observed reviewer Lauren Spielberg on the Romantic Times Book Club Web site. Protagonist Julia James is a self-help author with a large and appreciative audience in the unmarried, unattached singles crowd. The author of such well-received advice books as Table for One and Spaghetti and Meatball, Julia is herself a single woman who enjoys the same type of lifestyle she recommends to her many fans. Julia's reign as diva of the single life is endangered, however, when she is spotted at a restaurant with handsome rogue Lance Collins, an actor and writer looking for his break. Julia is incensed, because she was in the restaurant to meet her editor, not Lance, and she learns that the whole situation was an exploitative setup arranged by Lance's agent. Still, Lance and Julia somehow manage to keep running into each other, and the agent ups the stakes by fabricating a story of a romance between the two. Skillfully shot paparazzi pictures suggest that the two are intimately involved. As the stress of public scrutiny draws the two closer together, they sense that a genuine connection between them is indeed beginning to form. Becoming attached, however, would spell doom for Julia's self-help career, for how could her readers trust her if she abandons the single life that has been the core of her success? In the end, she has to decide which means more to her: her career or her relationship.
Main characters Julia and Lance are "both truly decent, likable characters with more than a spark of chemistry between them," observed Library Journal contributor Lisa Davis-Craig. Diana Risso, reviewing the book on the Romance Reviews Today Web site, called it an "original, hilarious, and heartwarming love story."
For aspiring writers, Carter offers some sage advice. "Write first because you love it," she said in an interview with Yolanda Shoshana on New York Cool.com. "If you don't, then you'll be dealing with all the rejection and the criticism for what? Something you're only moderately enthused about? Life's too short for that."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2005, review of Cheating at Solitaire, p. 991.
Library Journal, November 15, 2005, Lisa Davis-Craig, review of Cheating at Solitaire, p. 60.
Ally Carter Home Page, http://www.allycarter.com (March 11, 2006).
Best Reviews, http://thebestreviews.com/ (March 11, 2006), Harriet Klausner, review of Cheating at Solitaire.
New York Cool.com, http://www.newyorkcool.com/ (March 11, 2006), Yolanda Shoshana, interview with Ally Carter.
Romance Reviews Today, http://www.romrevtoday.com/ (March 11, 2006), Diana Risso, review of Cheating at Solitaire.
Romantic Times Book Club Online, http://www.romantictimes.com/ (March 11, 2006), Lauren Spielberg, "Ally Carter: She's Holding with a Full House," review of Cheating at Solitaire.