01 jan 1974
Ally Carter was born Sarah Leigh Fogleman in Oklahoma, and was raised there along with her older sister. She is the daughter of a teacher and ranch farmer, so spent much of her childhood and adolescence performing agricultural tasks and duties. Ally Carter went to Oklahoma State University and Cornell University, and it was only a few years after she graduated that she decided to become a full time writer.
Fogleman chose to adopt a penname for herself in order to distinguish between different writing endeavours. She chose the surname ‘Carter’ in order for her books to be shelved close to those of Jenny Cruise in bookshops and libraries. She is well known as an author of chick-lit novels for adults and for her series for young adult readers.
Ally Carter has spoken in interviews about the importance of Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird during her adolescence, although she confesses that she wasn’t a big reader as a teenager. She did, however, enjoy the Nancy Drew mysteries and this influence is easy to see in her Gallagher Girls novels for young adults. The first title in this series, I’d Tell You I’d Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You, is perhaps her most well-known. This series follows the pupils at a school for Exceptional Young Women in which they are taught advanced martial arts, computer hacking and chemical weapons technology rather than English, Maths and Science.
Her books have been hugely successful, having been publishing in 20 different countries worldwide and having appeared on bestseller lists in publications such as the New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal among others.