The Journey and Creation of a Spy Named Cammie Morgan
Interview with the Creator of a Spy
Cammie Morgan is a spy in The Gallagher Academy. But no one outside of her school's walls knows that. Cammie is a character in a book by Ally Carter, titled I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have To Kill You.' When I finished reading this book, many questions were raised in my head about the process of her writing and how she came up with the idea for the storyline and characters for the book. The following text is a fictional interview that I'd have with Ally Carter about the first book in her spy series.
How long did it take you to write "I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You?"
It took me approximately six months to write Love You, Kill You. It was quite challenging writing a book about spies, when I had no idea how to start with describing the secret job! When I came up with the idea I told my agent, Kristin Nelson, and she absolutely loved the thought of a spy school! Then I realized I had still to write the book...
How did you come up with the idea of a book about female spies?
I was actually at home, eating popcorn, trying to come up with ideas for a new book. The TV was muted, but on, and Alias was on the screen. When I looked to the screen, knowing that the rest of the ideas I wrote down weren't good enough, I saw a scene where there were a bunch of female spies running through hallways. I asked my self, 'Did they go to spy school to train for this?' And that's when I thought of a secret spy school where girls secretly train to take on the world. *
Who was your inspiration when creating Cammie, your main character?
When I was thinking of ideas for my new book, I asked my favorite question: 'What's the worst that could happen?' Immediately, I thought of an all-girls spy school where one of their students would fall in love with a "normal" boy and have to cover her real life.
Was it hard to get into character when writing about Cammie's feelings?
It took a while to make sure Cammie was perfect for the story line. I had to make sure that Cammie was portrayed as a great spy that hasn't been outside the Gallagher Academy's walls many times. She had to be portrayed as a girl that was far from normal. It was pretty hard doing this because I had absolutely no idea what it felt like being a genius spy at a genius school. I just had to get really creative.
In the book, you wrote about Mr. Solomon: a new teacher for Covert Operations. How did you come to adding a young, male teacher to the school?
I knew I had to spice up Cammie's life in school. The real conflict would be her falling in love with a boy outside of her school's walls, but I thought 'Why not make the book more interesting by adding just a bit more problems?' Plus, who ever said only the teenage child could have secret meetings with a guy? I think adding a love interest for Cammie's mother helped Cammie realize that you really have to separate spy life and love life.
If you were to add Josh Abrams' thoughts and feelings, how did he feel about seeing Cammie for the first time?
Well, I would say that the only reason Josh approached Cammie was because she seemed interesting and new to the town. Cammie was beautiful though she always compared herself to her diverse classmates. Josh had seen a pretty girl suspiciously picking out of a garbage can. I made Josh seem interested in this weird fifteen year old girl.
What was your inspiration for Josh's way of life in the seemingly perfect town of Roseville?
Josh's life and family had to be as normal and TV-perfect as possible. I knew it was the perfect opposite for Cammie, who clearly didn't have a normal life. This would make it that much harder for Cammie to be herself in front of Josh.
It seems as if The Gallagher Academy is extremely fun and interesting. If it were a real school, would you ever apply for it?
Hmm.. no. The Gallagher Academy for girl spies is definitely interesting and fun, but I think I'll leave the challenging and dangerous spy techniques for the spies. -smiles-
Do you plan on writing anymore Gallagher Academy books?
Yes, I do.. I'm actually in the middle of writing the second book now.