Summer Revising

Version 2Since it’s summer and I spent decades in school, the schedule in my bones tells me I ought to be on vacation. I’m not, of course. I have work like the other grownups, so my bones have to be quiet and let me concentrate.

Today, I’m working on draft 5 of Vault 3, and the current challenge has to do with taking my existing scenes deeper and finding a way to thread in one of my characters who has so far preferred to stay on the sidelines. It’s tricky work and… Continue reading

Kindred Spirits

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

I spent yesterday on my back porch rereading Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. My Uncle Harry gave me my copy ages ago, and tucked between the pages was a note regarding my sister Laura visiting the school nurse in 1980, so I can assume I loaned her my copy then. I appreciate this evidence that I was a generous sister, and it’s nice to have a book with some history to it.  

To be quite honest, I never thought the… Continue reading

Dressing Up

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta: The Retrospective, Exhibit at the de Young Museum, San Francisco, May 2016

Dressing up in real life is not something I find especially gratifying, but in my mind, I love it. I adore the idea of breezy blue dresses and guys in tuxedos. I can easily picture smooth, polished people swirling around a dance floor, confident and graceful, with a live band in the background and colored lights flitting over bare arms and white collars.

I can’t be alone. When I think of all the YA… Continue reading

Meeting Up in the City

Caragh O'Brien and Kate Jacobs,  Senior Editor, Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan.

Caragh O’Brien and Kate Jacobs, Senior Editor, Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan.

I met up with my editor Kate Jacobs for lunch last week, and it was lovely to have a chance to visit with her. We have many emails and phone calls, but our face-to-face meetings are rare treats. We chatted about families, books, readers, and bibliotherapy. We considered why Anne of Green Gables works on a deep level as a survival story. We admired the design work of Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows, which I had with me. It’s… Continue reading

Where to Turn Next

IMG_6631If you seek understanding, comfort, or inspiration, slip into someone else’s shoes as Scout did in To Kill a Mockingbird. Here’s a list of 10 recent books that take me deep into the human heart where we bank our love and hope like embers.

When I Was The Greatest by Jason Reynolds

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman

Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Out of my Mind… Continue reading

Writing Business Basics

DSCN1779.JPGNew writers often ask me about the business of writing, and they’re curious about what writers earn, which reminds me that the process can be rather opaque. This is partly because individual writers are reluctant to reveal publicly what they earn and partly because the range of earnings varies so much that it’s hard for a new writer to be able to predict what a project might be worth. Now with the potential for independent publishing (as opposed to traditional publishing with an established, royalty-paying publisher), writers have more publishing… Continue reading

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For a chance to win a signed, paperback copy of BIRTHMARKED, enter here! The Goodreads giveaway ends July 25th, 2016.

Upcoming Events

August 2, 2016: I'm joining the CT Authors Trail with a visit to the Saxton B. Little Free Library in Columbia, CT on Tuesday, August 2nd at 6:30 p.m.

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 »

Audio Books

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

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