Allie Larkin is the internationally bestselling author of the novels Stay, Why Can't I Be You, and Swimming for Sunlight. She has never ordered a dog off the internet or assumed a new identity to attend a high school reunion. When Allie writes, she wears an oversized circa 1980’s acrylic sweater that is a crime against fashion and good taste in general. She loves Boston. The band, not the city. But the city is great too. She hopes to be a mermaid someday.
Allie lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Jeremy, their German Shepherd, Stella. (an actual professional bio is here)
Allie appears. No one calls her Allie.
Allie reads every book she can get her hands on. Her favorites include The Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Blossom Culp series, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, The Young Aunts, The Ordinary Princess and antique store copies of The Bobbsey Twins. She lives in the home of the American Circus, tells secrets to frogs and has an enormous imaginary dog named Star, who is black and furry and has a white star on her forehead .
Allie reads every book she can get her hands on, as long as it’s not assigned reading for English class, (the exception being Of Mice and Men, because it’s Steinbeck and Steinbeck is awesome). Her favorites include anything by Willa Cather, the afore mentioned John Steinbeck, and Pat Conroy (especially The Lords of Discipline, which she reads so many times that the cover falls off and has to be glued back on more than once). Mrs. X, Allie's English teacher, is not a fan of her work. Allie wears a lot of flannel, listens to The Cure constantly, has weird and wonderful friends, and spends an inordinate amount of time in diners.
Allie attends Ithaca College as a drama major. She may be the quietest theatre major the world has ever seen. She meets Neil, her Ladies, and a jumbled cast of other creative beings. She learns amazing things about character development, and buys a Boston CD (these two things are not yet related). She has a part on the campus soap opera. No, you can’t see the tape. Allie is diagnosed with ADD and lots of things start to make sense. She drops out of college.
Allie moves to Rochester and returns to college. A professor tells her she’s kind of good at the whole writing thing. She starts a short story about a woman named Van, but clings to the idea of pursuing something sensible like Public Relations. Writing wins. Allie graduates.
Allie meets Jeremy Larkin at a picnic. Today if you ask if she believes in love at first sight, Allie will hem and haw, because as a theory it seems flawed, but in actuality, it happened to her.
Allie marries Jeremy. It’s the smartest thing she’s ever done. A five-month-old German Shepherd named Argo joins their family, which is also a very smart thing. Argo is enormous and although he doesn’t have a white spot on his forehead, reminds Allie of Star, the imaginary dog she had as a child. The cat loses a leg, but not even an ounce of meanness.
Allie has a series of oddly specific and soul crushing jobs, and is also in a writing group. She quits and resumes writing several times. The short story she’s been working on since 2002 is now 80,000 words long.
Allie finishes her short story about Van, a woman who loves Boston and accidentally buys an enormous Argo-esque German Shepherd off the internet from Slovakia. It is 308 pages and acts like a book. Allie calls it Savannah Leone and Her Trusty Dog, Joe. Smart people encourage her to change the title. Neil sends her hats.
Why Can’t I Be You hits shelves.
It is now the future, but Allie doesn’t have a flying car or a laundry-folding robot, still, she’s incredibly excited about her new book. Book tour! Cross-country road trip with Stella the wonder dog. Move to California!
Swimming for Sunlight is on shelves!