My sister and I are huge fans of both the Gallagher Girls and Heist Society series', so we'd been counting down the days until the book signing! And then you know what happened the day before? A huge snowstorm decides to come! I was so relieved to hear that Ally Carter's flight wasn't cancelled so she could still make it to the event!
I got to Indigo Yorkdale a couple hours early, and waited in line with blogger friends Wendy and Audrey (holes In My brain)! Shortly after 12 pm, Ally Carter was all smiles as she made her way to the stage and was greeted with enthusiastic applause from the audience. Instead of doing a book reading, she quickly launched into accepting questions from readers.
Perfect Scoundrels takes a closer look at the theme of the family you choose versus the family you're born into. We get to learn more about Hale and his world; he's a very lonely person and his family is a different kind of criminal compared to Kat's. We get to learn the nickname Hale's family calls him, but even though Ally knows what the "W" stands for in his name, we still don't get to learn it in this book. Ally Carter also mentioned that she loves writing about Uncle Eddie. He's the sort of sage, paternal figure who will help you, but he'll be grumpy to leave his house.
When asked about the little details in her books, like the fun names for the cons, Ally said the more specific it is, the more likely she made it all up. Most of the time, these names come to her as she writes, and she likes the idea of readers using their imagination and coming to their own conclusions of what they could entail. It's also hard for her to name the titles of her novels, and Perfect Scoundrels is the first book she needed help from someone for naming.
Ally Carter also talked a bit about the GG series. She always wanted the Gallagher Academy to be a school for training female spies, but the Blackthorne Institute wasn't planned initially. There was a passing remark in the first book, I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You, where a character speaks of a rumour about a secret boy school, and it inspired Ally to write more about it in the next books. The Blackthorne Institute is an anti-Gallagher Academy. She also talked about Zach (*cue more swooning*) being an anti-Josh, and someone who lives in the shadows. He's a very mysterious person, and even though Cammie knows a dozen languages, she still doesn't even know where he lives.
When someone asked why she decided to write contemporary books, rather than within the paranormal genre since they're very popular, Ally Carter said you have to write what you like to write, not because it's the trend. She shared that she and author friend Jennifer Lynn Barnes jokingly remark that if she wrote a supernatural book, it would probably be called something like I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You Because I'm A Vampire. YA seemed like a perfect fit to Ally once she began writing it, and she thinks teenage girls are underestimated in the world. She wanted to have empowered girls in her novels, and she tries to write a book that she would also want to read. One of the books which first inspired Ally Carter to begin writing her own stories was S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders.
Once the questions were finished, it was time for the book signing! My sister and I attended Ally Carter's book signing the last time she was in Toronto a few years ago, so we didn't have a huge stack of books to get signed, but it was still really exciting to meet her again. Ally Carter is truly Southern hospitality personified! She's really sweet and friendly, and even my sister, who normally doesn't really say too much to authors at book signings, easily chatted with her too.
Thanks so much to Ally Carter for visiting Toronto and meeting some of your Canadian fans! Also, tons of thanks to Hachette Book Group Canada, Indigo Yorkdale, and Chapters/Indigo for hosting such an awesome event!
** Thanks to Hachette Book Group Canada, I had a really cool opportunity to meet Ally in person before her book signing and ask some questions about both the Gallagher Girl and Heist Society series'. My author interview with Ally Carter will be posted on the blog tomorrow, so please be on the lookout for it! **