Next from Caragh

I'm currently working on a new YA sci fi series with the first book,The Vault of Dreamers, due out September 16, 2014 from Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press.

The Eye Behind the Cover

Elizabeth Clark, Caragh O'Brien, and Kate Jacobs in Beth's office, July 8, 2014

Elizabeth Clark, Caragh O’Brien, and Kate Jacobs in Beth’s office, July 8, 2014

Covers matter, obviously. A good one catches people’s attention, intrigues them enough to take a closer look, and then lures them inside. Getting it right takes knowing the novel, of course, but it also involves a bit of mind reading. Who are the likely readers for this book? Maybe they’re drawn to covers featuring a girl in a flowing dress, or a simple, iconic image. Maybe they… Continue reading

Writing for a Deadline vs. Not

A sunny bay through the trees.

The view from my window for the next week.

I met Kate Jacobs twice in passing before she became my editor, but I only met her for real as my editor a week ago when I was out in Las Vegas for ALA. She’s a warm, fabulous person, and we had a lovely long talk together face to face. She asked at one point if she could do anything to help me with the first draft I’m writing for Vault… Continue reading

The Librarians and One Reader

1. My first public library librarian in St. Paul, Minnesota handed me A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and whenever I went back to the library, I would start by finding that book on the shelf, my familiar cornerstone.

Two people study near windows at the Uconn Library.

The UConn Library

2. When my middle school librarian urged me to browse, I discovered two things: George MacDonald’s The Light Princess and that I could find good books myself.

3. My high school librarian showed me how… Continue reading

On the Tender Care of Early Ideas

TurtleHow’s your writing coming?

Oh, just fine, more or less, in a savage kind of way.

I know it doesn’t make much sense to talk about writing the sequel to The Vault of Dreamers when the first book isn’t even published yet, but such is the timetable of publishing that I am now writing the first draft of Book 2, and it reminds me so much of the first draft of Book 1 that I’ll use that as my excuse… Continue reading

Agog, Bogus, Cusp

Let’s hear it for the little words.  

I relish finding the perfect word for each idea, and I love reading books that tickle my delight in rich vocabulary. I find special pleasure in the little words, the gems of five letters or fewer that pack a wallop, and so, in honor of our common verve for language, I highlight 26 choice little words:

climb high, climb far, your goal the sky, your aim the star

Hopkins gate at Williams College: little words, big ideas.








hovel… Continue reading

The Brave People

A young female Washington Grey cadet prepares to rappel down a cliff

Washington GREYS on Breakneck Ridge Trail, Memorial Day 2014

A group of Washington GREYS military cadets was preparing to rappel down the face of a cliff at Breakneck Ridge in the Hudson Highlands State Park on Memorial Day. I cringed with vicarious fear and watched to be inspired. Then I remembered the military men and women of my family who have trained and served.

Why are some people brave? How can I be more like them?

When I write about… Continue reading

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Upcoming Events

September 14, 2014: We'll have a launch for The Vault of Dreamers at the UConn Coop Bookstore, Royce Circle, Storrs, CT on Sunday, September 14th. Time TBD.

October 3, 2014: Tui Sutherland, Dayna Lorentz, Kristin Cashore, and I will appear jointly at Northshire Books in Manchester, VT on Friday, October 3rd at 4:00 pm.

Book Trailer for Promised

Caragh's Latest Favorite Reads

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Every Day
The Dog Stars
The Reinvention of Edison Thomas
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
The Fault in Our Stars
Two of a Kind
Until It Hurts to Stop

Caragh's books »


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Audio Books

The audio books of BIRTHMARKED, PRIZED, and PROMISED have been released by Tantor Audio. They're available through Tantor, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and