Today we're excited to chat with Ally Carter,
author of Take The Key and Lock Her Up!
Below you'll find more about Ally, her book, plus a giveaway!
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the Embassy Row series?
Well, I know the answer is supposed to be "I love them all just the same", but at the end of the day, Grace might be my favorite character ever--at least she's the character who most badly needs a hug. Really, I'm a cruel, cruel person for putting Grace through all I've done to her, so I guess she has to be my favorite. I have a lot to make up for!
YABC: Which came first, the title for the series or the first novel?
The series title (and concept) came to me years ago--way back in January or February of 2008. I had just quit my day job and was getting ready to move, but, of course, I couldn't leave town without saying goodbye to my librarian! So I stopped by the library, and we got to talking. She told me that her son (who had just started college) was thinking about going into the foreign services, but she didn't know how she felt about that because "I don't like the idea of my grandchildren growing up in embassies all over the world."
From that moment on I became obsessed with what it would be like to grow up in embassies all over the world! The thought of living on a street where every house was technically a different country--where you could fall in love with the boy next door, but his country might be at war with your country... I knew then that "Embassy Row" was a series I simply had to write.
YABC: What scene in Embassy Row #3 are you most proud of, and why?
Ooh. Tough question! There are a few that I'm proud of. That's the thing with series-enders, there are usually three or four scenes that you have known were coming for a while, and when you finally get to write them it's like eating a cupcake that you've been staring at for ages. It's very satisfying. For this book, I'm going to have to go with the very final scene when we finally get to see where everyone ended up and what might possibly happen in their futures. It was a nice way to end things and a bittersweet goodbye to some of my favorite fictional people.
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to write?
Grace is such a strong but flawed character--my favorite type! And I knew pretty early on where there would be a point where she would fall on the (literal or metaphorical) sword to save her friends and her family. That was a tough one because I could feel how much it was hurting her to hurt the people she loved.
YABC: What project is up next for you?
I have something very exciting in the works! I'm afraid the details are still closely under wraps, but I can say that it's my very first stand-alone novel, and I'm really enjoying putting everything out there for this one. I never want to hold anything back with a book, but when you know there is no way a book will ever have a sequel then you can really go crazy, and I'm having a blast.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
I'm pretty good at sleeping on airplanes! Also, I make pretty phenomenal homemade candies. Since it's the holiday season, I'm calling on that one a lot right now, and all my friends and family either love--or hate--me for it!
YABC: What was your favorite book of 2016?
Well, as the author of Heist Society, I was of course amazed by Leigh Bardugo's SIX OF CROWS series. I simply cannot recommend it highly enough.
YABC: What’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer?
Oh, so many things! But maybe the best writing advice I ever got was the first writing advice I ever got, and it came from my mother when I was in middle school and just starting to write for the first time. She told me, "You should never compare your first draft to someone else's finished draft", and I call back on that advice almost every day.
Meet Ally Carter!
I was born and raised in Oklahoma. My mother was a teacher and my father a farmer and rancher. I have one older sister.
In high school, I was very active in a number of student organizations and graduated as co-valedictorian of my senior class. I then attended Oklahoma State University and Cornell University and worked for several years in the agricultural industry before writing full-time.
My first novel, Cheating at Solitaire (Berkley) was published in 2005. The following year I published the sequel to Solitaire, Learning to Play Gin. There are no more plans for future books in that series at this time.
My first novel for young adults, I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You was published by Disney-Hyperion in April 2006. Love You Kill You (as we call it) was followed by Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (October 2007), Don’t Judge a Girl By Her Cover (June 2009), Only the Good Spy Young (June 2010), Out of Sight, Out of Time (March 2012). United We Spy (September 2013) is the sixth–and final–Gallagher Girls novel.
I am also the author of Heist Society (February 2010) and its sequels Uncommon Criminals (June 2011), and Perfect Scoundrels (February 2013).
In January 2013 I published the cross-over novella Double-Crossed that features characters from both the Gallagher Girls and Heist Society. It is available for free at spiesandthieves.com and wherever ebooks are sold.
ALL FALL DOWN is the first book the Embassy Row series. It was published on January 20, 2015 and launched a new three-book series with Scholastic. SEE HOW THEY RUN was released December 22, 2015. The series will conclude in early 2017 with the third and final book, TAKE THE KEY AND LOCK HER UP.
My books have been published in more than twenty countries and have appeared on best-seller lists from the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, and Bookscan. They have sold over two million copies in the United States.
I am one of the luckiest people in the world, and today, I’m able to do the job I wanted to do when I was a kid, and I am back living in Oklahoma.
Meet Take The Key and Lock Her Up!
Ally Carter writes books about spies, thieves, and teenagers. She is the New York Times Best-selling author of the Gallagher Girls and Heist Society series. Her books have been published all over the world, in over twenty languages.
ALL FALL DOWN is the first book in her highly-anticipated new series, Embassy Row. Book 2, SEE HOW THEY RUN will be in stores Dec 22, 2015.
She encourages you to visit her online at allycarter.com and embassyrowbooks.com.
Take The Key and Lock Her Up
By: Ally Carter
Release Date: December 27th, 2016