Katie MacAlister Biography
Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights
Hobbies and other interests: Reading, needlework, playing with her dogs, playing The Sims.
Agent—Michelle Grajkowski, Three Seas Literary Agency, P.O. Box 8571, Madison, WI 53708.
Writer. Worked variously as a bird skeleton cleaner, computer programmer, and a sales assistant for Harrods department store.
Romance Writers of America, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Authors Guild.
Booksellers Best Award for best short historical, 2002, for Noble Intentions; RIO Award of Excellence for Best paranormal, 2004, for Sex and the Single Vampire.
FOR ADULTS; ROMANCE NOVELS
Noble Intentions, Dorchester (New York, NY), 2002.
Improper English, Dorchester/Love Spell (New York, NY), 2003.
Noble Destiny, Dorchester/Leisure (New York, NY), 2003.
Men in Kilts, New American Library (New York, NY), 2003.
A Girl's Guide to Vampires, Dorchester/Love Spell (New York, NY), 2003.
Sex and the Single Vampire, Dorchester/Love Spell (New York, NY), 2004.
The Corset Diaries, New American Library (New York, NY), 2004.
The Trouble with Harry (sequel to Noble Destiny), Dorchester/Leisure (New York, NY), 2004.
You Slay Me, New American Library (New York, NY), 2004.
Hard Day's Knight, New American Library (New York, NY), 2005.
Fire Me Up, New American Library (New York, NY), 2005.
Blow Me Down, New American Library (New York, NY), 2005.
Sex, Lies, and Vampires, Dorchester/Love Spell, 2005.
Contributor to Heat Wave (anthology; includes novella Bird of Paradise), Dorchester/Love Spell (New York, NY), 2003.
YOUNG ADULT NOVELS; UNDER PSEUDONYM KATIE MAXWELL
The Year My Life Went down the Loo, Dorchester/Smooch (New York, NY), 2003.
They Wear What under Their Kilts?, Dorchester/Smooch (New York, NY), 2004.
What's French for "Ew"?, Dorchester/Smooch (New York, NY), 2004.
The Taming of the Dru, Dorchester/Smooch (New York, NY), 2004.
Eyeliner of the Gods, Dorchester/Smooch (New York, NY), 2004.
Got Fangs, Dorchester/Smooch (New York, NY), 2005.
Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Hotties, Dorchester/Smooch (New York, NY), 2005.
Work in Progress
The novel Circus of the Darned, a sequel to Got Fangs, published under the name Katie Maxwell; an as-yet-unnamed adult vampire book.
In addition to gaining an large following for her adult contemporary romance novels, Katie MacAlister found a new legion of fans who know her as Katie Maxwell, author of such quirkily titled teen novels as They Wear What under Their Kilts?, What's French for "Ew"?, and Eyeliner of the Gods. MacAlister has also honed a niche with her contemporary romance novels featuring spunky heroines who often happen to be Americans abroad; in Men in Kilts an American mystery writer sojourns to Scotland for a conference and ends up smitten with a mystery-loving a sheep farmer, while Improper English finds British-bound American Alix Freemar attempting to escape a dismal existence by becoming a romance novelist until she is sidetracked by straight-laced Scotland Yard detective Alexander Black. As MacAlister explained in an interview with Jennifer Hill-Russell for Roundtable Reviews Online, many of Alix's misadventures are based on the author's own experiences in England, where she lived and worked as a young woman. "I even set my hair on fire on a date," MacAlister admitted, adding: "My life is that of a klutzy romantic comedy heroine's."
In addition to contemporary romances, MacAlister also delves into the past in search of interesting characters. Her search proves successful in Noble Intentions, which features the hero Noble Britton, a moody widower known as "the Black Earl." The once-bitten Noble chooses soft-spoken Gillian Leigh to be his second wife, assuming she will steer clear of the same sort of scandals and allegations that plagued his first marriage, even though she inadvertently set fire to the curtains at the party where they met. However, the half-American Gillian proves to be infectiously romantic, even if she is a bit klutzy, and Noble's plans backfire, albeit in a positive way.
In the sequel, Noble Destiny, the recently widowed Charlotte Collins finds herself on the outside of the English upper crust looking in, having previously shocked polite society by eloping with an Italian count. Her plan to regain her former standing is to find a single, wealthy, and handsome man who also happens to be a member of the nobility. Her chosen target is Alasdair McGregor, but unfortunately he has plans of his own: marrying for love rather than being a pawn in Charlotte's game. Gabrielle Pantera, writing in RomanticTimes.com, called the book a "wonderful Regency romp." MacAlister continues her series with The Trouble with Harry, which also takes place in the past.
With the publication of The Year My Life Went down the Loo MacAlister adopted the Maxwell pseudonym and began her career in YA fiction. The novel finds sixteen-year-old Seattle native Emily Marie Williams forced to move to England with her family, where she suffers the slings and arrows of adolescent trauma, British-style. Told entirely through Emily's e-mails to her friend Dru, The Year My Life Went down the Loo recounts the American teen's obsession with handsome British boys, seemingly weird local customs—like a nationwide lack of shopping malls and bizarre rules regarding school uniforms and prohibitions against make-up—in a fish-out-of-water tale designed to appeal to teenagers. Kliatt writer Lynne Remick called the book "a brilliant debut," while in Booklist Jennifer Mattson described Emily's e-mail correspondence as "wickedly funny" and "spiced with British slang and her own idiosyncratic coinages."
Emily's year-long stay in England continues with They Wear What under Their Kilts?, which finds the sixteen year old spending a month on a sheep farm in Scotland. Noting the humorous storyline, Mattson wrote that the greatest source of laughter is following Emily as she stumbles around the Scottish countryside "in her cloud of hairspray, perfume, and blithe self-absorption." What's French for "Ew"? finds the American teen transplant fleeing her temporary home in Piddlington-on-the-Weld and plotting a love connection in Paris over spring break, and The Taming of the Dru reunites her with her best friend, who is visiting England for a month as Emily prepares to return to Seattle and leave her British beau behind. "Once again, snarky Katie Maxwell delivers a lighthearted but tender tale," wrote Lynne Remick Pisano in Kliatt, praising Emily as a "zesty" individualist whose story "makes for a fun and insightful ride."
Putting a twist on the contemporary romance genre, A Girls' Guide to Vampires was the first of MacAlister's novels to combine elements of romance and the paranormal. In this book Joy Randall falls in love with mysterious Raphael Griffin St. John during her trip to the annual GothFaire in the Czech Republic. The novel has inspired a new focus in MacAlister's work; she has produced several sequels, including Sex and the Single Vampire and Sex, Lies, and Vampires, and has also adopted the setting for a series of YA novels beginning with Got Fangs. Published under the Maxwell pseudonym, Got Fangs finds an Oregon teen named Francesca attempting to confront her unique but annoying ability to read minds. Forced to accompany her mother—a self-styled witch—to the GothFaire, she falls in love with a 300-year-old vampire who doesn't look a day over twenty, and soon finds herself in a battle with dark and ancient forces. Dubbing the novel "delightful," Harriet Klausner wrote in Midwest Book Review Bookwatch that fans of Maxwell's books "will appreciate this fine, amusing yet suspenseful tale of vampire, witches, and demons."
While MacAlister continues to write novels for the adult market, teen fans need not worry that Katie Maxwell books will be in short supply any time soon. As the author told Hill-Russell, "once I wrote the first YA book, I knew I was hooked. I had way too much fun writing it to stop at four books." MacAlister remains tight-lipped about her personal life, except for the fact that she is married, enjoys the companionship of several dogs, and is a fan of reading everything from Nancy Drew mysteries to old etiquette books. As she noted on her Web site, her books are informed by her "passion for mystery, a fascination with alpha males, and a deep love of history."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, March 1, 2003, John Charles, review of Improper English, p. 1151; June 1, 2003, John Charles, review of Noble Destiny, p. 1753; October 1, 2003, John Charles, review of Men in Kilts, p. 306; November 1, 2003, Jennifer Mattson, review of The Year My Life Went down the Loo, p. 491; January 1, 2004, Jennifer Mattson, review of They Wear What under Their Kilts?, p. 846.
Kliatt, September, 2003, Lynne Remick, review of The Year My Life Went down the Loo, p. 18; March, 2004, Lynne Marie Pisano, review of They Wear What under Their Kilts?, p. 21l; January, 2005, Lynne Remick Pisano, What's French for "Ew"?, p. 15.
Midwestern Book Review Bookwatch, February, 2005, Harriet Klausner, review of Got Fangs.
Publishers Weekly, February 10, 2003, review of Improper English, p. 168; August 16, 2004, review of Chloe, Queen of Denial, p. 64.
School Library Journal, September, 2004, Elaine Baran Black, review of Eyeliner of the Gods, p. 212.
Katie MacAlister Web site, http://www.katiemacalister.com (April 5, 2005).
Katie Maxwell Web site, http://www.katiemaxwell.com (April 2, 2005).
RomanticTimes.com, http://www.romantictimes.com/ (November 16, 2003), Samantha J. Gust, review of Improper English; Susan Mobley, review of Men in Kilts; Gabrielle Pantera, review of Noble Destiny.
Roundtable Reviews Online, http://www.roundtablereviews.com/ (November 12, 2003), Jennifer Hill-Russell, interview with MacAlister.
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