RSF resident Allison Moores heads into 9th grade as a published author


Rancho Santa Fe resident Allison Moores is a typical kid — she dotes on her family’s four dogs, enjoys sports, plays the piano and loves learning about science. But when she starts 9th grade this fall, she’ll stand out in at least one major way — she’ll be a published author.

Author Allison Moores
Author Allison Moores
(Courtesy of Natalie Moores)

This month, Allison’s young adult novel, “Murderer’s Blade,” is available in print and e-book formats at, and will also soon be available at bookstores. Allison said she’s been writing short stories and poems for as long as she can remember, but this is her first attempt at a novel.

“I had so many ideas, I had to get them down on paper,” Allison said of her impetus to write the book. The story conjures a dystopian future where a corrupt government snatches orphans and trains them as elite assassins. The central character, a girl named Scarlet, must navigate this dangerous world while trying to determine her true friends.

Allison began by sketching an outline, then filled it in with dialogue and plot. Later, she worked with an editor who helped her refine the writing and find a publisher. New York-based Morgan James Publishing took on the project.

Although her goal was to see her book in print, she didn’t expect to land a publisher as quickly as she did. “It was incredible, I was so honored,” she said.

Murderer's Blade book cover
Murderer’s Blade book cover

The agent Allison worked at with the publisher, Cortney Donelson, said, “When I read Allison’s manuscript, I knew she and her story were something special. Allison is a go-getter, and her book, “Murderer’s Blade,” grabs readers’ attention and doesn’t let go. It’s the perfect adventure story written by an adventurous teen whose writing is as big as the places she’s going.”

In her acknowledgments for the book, Allison noted that she began writing the novel when she was 10 and finished at age 12. She thanked her parents for believing in her, and not injecting their own views in the book, even though at times they were horrified by “gory scenes and tough choices” faced by her characters.

“They brought me food while I was agonizing over my chapters and cleaned my hamster’s cage even though I promised it would be my job. They allowed me to skip social events at my school and sometimes miss my homework assignments. Without their support, this book would not have happened,” Allison wrote.

Along with writing, Allison said she loves to read, and among her favorite books are the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer and the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard. She’s also a big fan of “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas.

But her all-time favorite, she said, is “Viruses, Plagues and History” by Michael B. A. Oldstone. She said she re-reads the book because she’s fascinated by the science of pandemics, as well as the cultural and political effects plagues have had throughout history.

While she enjoys English classes at The Bishop’s School in La Jolla, where she has been a student since 7th grade, she doesn’t consider English as her favorite subject. Instead, she said, “I love all parts of it,” referring to her school courses.

And despite her early success in writing, she plans to study science as she moves forward in her education, whether that turns out to be epidemiology, microbiology or another subject.

Regarding her writing, Allison said that putting her ideas and thoughts on paper is a way of connecting with the outside world.

“A story doesn’t exist without people reading it,” she said.

She doesn’t need for the book to be a New York Times bestseller, she said, but she is hoping that people do get a chance to read her work.

She hasn’t decided yet if she’ll write a sequel to “Murderer’s Blade,” but she still enjoys writing poetry and short stories in her spare time.

Her writing time might be limited this summer, though, as her family embarks on a trip to Switzerland, where they will vacation and Allison will attend a science camp.