FAQ with Ally


Did you always want to be a writer?

When I was in middle school, I read THE OUTSIDERS by SE Hinton. It was the first time I’d read a book set near my home in Oklahoma. And when I learned that it was written by a girl from Oklahoma, that lit a fire inside of me. From that point forward, I knew I wanted to be a writer.


Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Yes! So much! Most of which you can find in DEAR ALLY, HOW DO YOU WRITE A BOOK? But the short version is this: read as much as you can, and write as much as you can. The only way to learn the craft is by using it.


Are any of your books going to be movies or TV shows?

Maybe someday, but I’m afraid that is entirely out of my hands.


Where do you get your ideas?

Mostly from asking myself what if

What if you got amnesia and everyone thought you were a spy—but you weren’t! You were spy’s identical twin sister?

What if you went to a school for spies? What if you grew up in a family of art thieves or on a street where every house is a different country? What if you were kidnapped in Alaska? What if you lived in the home of a dead billionaire, but you were the only one who knew he was really alive?

I get ideas like this all the time. Then it’s a matter of living with the idea for a while, fleshing out the characters and making sure there’s enough conflict to make an entire book.


Will you ever go on tour to [insert country/state/city here]?

Possibly. I actually don’t get to set my own tour schedules. My publishers do that. But I do love to travel, so I’d love to go to all the places! Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to write while on tour and the writing always has to take precedence.


Why did you decide to write an adult book after all this time?

Well, first of all, adult romance is what I like to read, and I think a big part of writing is reading.

But mostly, it was about the idea. The premise of The Blonde Identity came to me years ago, and I kept trying to make it a YA or Middle Grade novel, but I could never quite crack it. Something was always missing. Then one day I was talking with a friend who had transitioned from YA to adult, and I realized that if I made my “spy twins” characters adults the story would magically work. It was like finding the missing piece of a puzzle. After that, everything clicked and it became the most fun I’ve ever had writing.


I like your books because they’re so “clean”. Is The Blonde Identity the same way?

No. It’s an adult novel with adult content like violence (including guns), innuendo, situations, and (especially) language. Because, let’s face it, a guy who has been undercover with the Russian mob for five years isn’t going to say “Gosh darn it.”

If the lack of sex and swearing is what you like about an Ally book, then this one likely isn’t for you.


How spicy is it?

If you’re asking that question because you’re hoping it’s super spicy, you’re going to be disappointed. If you’re asking because you hope it will have the same spice level as the books I wrote for 12-year-olds, you will also be disappointed. If you want a good, closed-door romance with lots of tension and innuendo, then it may be just right.


Will you ever write another book for kids or teens?

Quite possibly! It just depends on what ideas I get.


Will you write another book in the _____ series?
Maybe. Maybe not. Again, I never really know what ideas I’ll get or when. I just have to let the books come as they will.


Would you ever write another movie like A Castle for Christmas?

I really love screenwriting, and will no doubt do more. Will any of those scripts ever be turned into actual movies? Well, that’s harder to say. I hope so, but there is absolutely no guarantee.