To some of you, the name Allie Giancarlo might be more familiar than ‘Allie Marie’, but they are the same person! Right now, Allie is publishing her stories under the second name and has possible plans to switch the others over at some stage. And if you’ve read Allie’s books, then you already know the kind of stories she tells and what she enjoys talking about.
While I don’t know Allie very well and I’m slowly making my way through her books and backlist, I have been following her on Instagram and have been loving her reels.
Her newest release, Apple of My Eye is out now (and available in Kindle Unlimited) and you bet your fine self that I’m going to be diving into it soon!
What inspired you to write—was it another author or books you read as you grew up?
I’ve been drawn to writing and telling stories since I was a kid! I’ve always loved reading and diving into new worlds, and that transferred into creating them. I’d say my bridge into fiction and romance writing came from watching TV shows and movies in high school that I wanted to change plots or endings to—I wrote Fanfiction for a while before my own characters and ideas started branching off. If you dig deep enough on FF.net, my (terrible) General Hospital fic is probably somewhere out there.
Why did you choose romance as the genre to write in?
I am a total hopeless romantic! I love watching people fall in love and get their happily ever afters. I also really enjoy watching broken people heal one another, and love to dive into ways that that can happen for two people.
Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?
Self-publishing gives me freedom. That is the bottom line. My “day job” is teaching, and I wouldn’t ever want to give that up, but writing is my other love. Publishing on my own allows me to create deadlines. It also allows me to change things if need be without having to “please” a publisher. I’m also not confined to rushing a story for a deadline’s sake. In my most recent book, I ended up needing to gut it after my first beta read, and I don’t think publishing traditionally would have allowed for that kind of overhaul. By being in charge of my own timeline, I can make sure that my characters are the absolute best on my own terms.
What’s the best and worst part about being an indie author?
The best part is definitely the community! I feel like indie authors love our characters and our stories on a different level. The fact that we are all going through something similar with doing this “on our own” gives us a connection. I’ve made some incredible friends through this community who understand the intricacies, struggles, and victories. They are great resources and humans to know.
The worst part is that I have to market on my own, which means constantly telling people to buy my book. Don’t get me wrong—I LOVE being creative with posts! It’s just an aspect I didn’t anticipate when I thought about writing books. Hyping myself up is not one of my strengths.
You first published three books as ‘Allie Giancarlo’, but now you’re publishing as ‘Allie Marie’. Was there a reason for the change? Will your older books also be published under the new name?
Yes! There is a reason. I wanted a professional name that my students couldn’t search for. My students know that I write, and due to the content of my new series, I don’t want them looking me up. I’m still toying with a rebranding of my first three books under Allie Marie, but I’m undecided! I’m working on that this summer, so I still have a bit of time to figure it out.
Other than writing, what is something you enjoy and are really good at?
Is “being good at watching sports” a thing? Ha! I played saxophone for over a decade and was pretty good at that, but I haven’t touched it since I graduated college! It’s definitely still sitting in my closet though.
If not romance/subgenres of romance, what genre would you like to write in?
I’d love to do a general fiction novel! I have a few ideas for non-romance fiction that I’d dabble in. I do not feel confident enough to create an entire world that something like fantasy or sci-fi would require of me—those writers are super-human!
What are some of your all time favourite books—ones that you recommend to people or can reread multiple times?
Fahrenheit 451 is an all-time favorite that isn’t in the romance genre, but I read it every year.
Some of my favorite romance books are:
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty (bring tissues)
Bohemian by Kathryn Nolan (prepare to have your soul awakened)
Into the Wild by Julie Olivia (I think I read it three times in a row the first time? We stan Harry in this household)
What are your top 5 tips or pieces of advice for aspiring authors?
Write what demands to be written.
Listen to your characters.
Cut the fat (thank you to Stephen King and Jenny Bunting for this advice).
Write what you want to write—the stories that inspire you. Readers will come.
Ask for help. Make friends. We’re all in this together, and we want to see everyone to succeed!
Can you briefly tell me about your books?
I love putting my characters through the wringer before they get their happy endings! My characters are complicated, but beneath it all, are seeking love. I love watching them find it in the hope of one another’s brokenness.
Of your books, who is your favourite character?
Oh boy. I have to pick just one?! I’d have to say that Charlotte’s journey in Too Much of a Good Thing is one of my favorites. Plus, she is my first book baby. We have a special bond.
What inspired your published stories? How and when did you come up with these stories and plots?
My very first book, Too Much of a Good Thing, came from a lot of watching love stories unfold on TV/movies mixed with a little bit of real-life inspiration (I liked a boy, he didn’t like me, and I wanted to write a story about the girl being a “strong, independent woman who could move on without a man.” She gets the guy in the end. Plot twist). I originally planned for it to be a screenplay (it was halfway written as a script), and then realized that there was too much inner dialogue and figurative language in my scene descriptions, so the rewrite began!
My other characters have branched out of every direction: some came as spin-offs from other books (Ginny from Too Much of a Good Thing demanded her own story); others came from real-life situations (The Pumpkin Theory was an accident that took 4 days to write after attending my cousin’s wedding shower). Inspiration strikes me at the weirdest times! I had a teacher professional development day the day I answered these questions, and spent half the meeting day-dreaming about a brand-new plot, LOL.
How much of yourself do you put into these characters?
It depends on the character! I’d like to say that there’s a little bit of me in each of my female leads. Some of the similarities are buried a little deeper than others. For the most part, these ladies have lives of their own.
When you write these stories, what are you hoping your readers will feel?
I want my readers to see hope, healing, and the possibility of love in any situation. I hope that they can make some connection to my characters. I also hope they laugh, cry, and enjoy the happily ever after.
What is a story/stories that you really want to tell?
Oh boy. That list is too long! So many tropes, so many situations…
What’s next on the bookshelf for you? Anything you can tell us about a future project?
There are currently 2 (possibly 3) other books planned for the rest of that series. After that, I have a few more series ideas up my sleeve, as well as a few stand-alones. One of those may or may not be related to the teacher PD that I just sat through…
What are your most and least favourite tropes?
LOVE: Friends to lovers and enemies to lovers! I love watching people secretly pine. Hellooooo Jim from The Office!
NO THANKS: Surprise pregnancy. Not my thing! Also, I’m all for a good age gap, but not below 21.
What are some tropes you want to write in the future?
I want to do a meet cute! But I keep making characters meet-traumatically instead. Oops.
What are some topics (sensitive and otherwise) that you think should exist more in romance?
In general, I just really love seeing characters who are broken encourage one another to talk about their issues and seek help when needed. I feel like there’s such a stigma of holding our issues and our trauma in, instead of talking about it. Seeing so many characters encourage healing has been really amazing.
What is your favourite thing about the romance genre?
Oh. The love. The happily ever after. The fact that love is possible in so many different ways. It gives me the warm fuzzies.
THIS OR THAT
Ebooks or audiobooks
Historical romance or romantic suspense
Single or Dual POV
Standalones or series (either!)
Music or silence while writing (I am a squirrel; I will start typing Taylor Swift lyrics into my book instead of actual plot)
Plotter, pantser or plantser
Tea or coffee (Dunkin should sponsor me at this point)
Cold or warm weather
Morning person or night owl
Illustrated cover or photo cover (either!)