Ally Carter


I finally opened Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter last night, and was immediately thrilled to be back in Kat and Hale’s world and find out what Kat needs to steal next. This is book 2 in the Heist Society novels (book 1 is called Heist Society), and follows the teen children of professional thieves who are themselves thieves. Global travel, love interests, danger, and smart characters make these books fun and fast.

Ally’s other series is the Gallagher Girls books about a very private school for girls where they learn to spy. Cammie and her friends are great fun to follow. The first book is I’d Tell You I Love You, But then I’d Have to Kill You. Book 5 in the series comes out March 20, 2012.

Ally Carter’s website has loads of information about her books. Her blog is great fun to follow. If you’re a fan of the Heist Society or the Gallagher Girls, this is the place to find out what she’s working on and when the next book in the series comes out. I’ll have my copy of Out of Sight, Out of Time on order at my bookstore this March! 

What I Learned from NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) finishes on Wednesday. I participated for the first time this year along with my former teaching partner and a dozen students. We made goals and we tried to write every day and reach our goals. We met on Wednesday afternoons, and a few of us met on Saturday mornings at Panera to write. It looks like all but two of the fourteen who started will complete their goals.

I bet all of us learned different things about writing and about ourselves as writers this month, but I bet we learned many of the same things as well.

Here’s my list:

  • I can write 200 words a day every day no matter how busy the day is. It’s a small enough goal that it’s always possible. When I know I’m going to write 200 words, I keep my eye (and ear) out for inspiration.
  • 200 words add up. At 6000 words, I have discovered characters and problems and storylines. I have something to work with.
  • There are lots of blogs on the web that help when you’re stuck writing. The pep talks from different authors on the NaNoWriMo site were excellent. I really enjoyed reading Maureen Johnson’s blog. During the month of November she wrote a post answering questions about writing a novel so fast. They’re worth looking up!
  • It’s more fun to make goals with other people and check in on how everyone’s doing.

Congratulations to everyone who attempted NaNoWriMo!  No matter how far you got towards your goal, you’re amazing for trying.  I hope some of you will add more to my list.  Leave a comment!

Choosing a Book, Part 3

Friends are probably the most used resource when it comes to choosing books. If your friend tells you to read a particular book, you’re likely to do so—and to enjoy it. I keep a running list of books friends recommend to me.  Tell other people about books you particularly like!

Librarians and booksellers are great resources for finding books also. Most libraries and bookstores have staff recommendations in a newsletter or posted on the shelves. If you can tell them titles and authors of books you’ve enjoyed in the past, they can often suggest other books you might like.

I’m happy to come up with titles for you. Write a comment or send me an email. Be sure to tell me some books and authors you have enjoyed in the past or what type of book you are looking for.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving–and lots of reading time over the long weekend!