Writing of Tunnels

The Entrance to Carlsbad Caverns

When my characters descend into tunnels deep under the earth, I go along with them, craving sunlight the whole way. The silence and darkness under dense layers of stone, the cool, heavy air that sinks into my lungs, and the sense of endless, geological time all oppress and fascinate me.

Carlsbad Cavern National Park, New Mexico

I visited Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico last year, fulfilling a life-long dream, and now I recall those deep spaces whenever I send a character underground.

I relive… Continue reading

First Pass Pages for Keep of Ages

First Pass Pages for Keep of Ages

My first pass pages came this weekend, and now I’m going over the manuscript once more on paper to write in any last changes. It’s a good way to catch small, subtle things, like if I have too many descriptions of sunlight on one page, or if I use “grim” too frequently. I have to be careful, of course, because if I add a head dipping motion as someone crosses beneath a laundry line, I need to be sure it doesn’t double up… Continue reading

Happy Library Week!

We’re nearing the end of National Library Week, and this year’s theme is “Libraries Transform.” Indeed they do. Our local Mansfield Library Express has recently opened a reading room for patrons to enjoy, and readers can have any books in the system delivered there for easy pick up.

I love the luxury of a good library book and knowing I can give it back when I’m done. I could never house all the books I read, but with a library card, I can access anything I want.

If… Continue reading

Alice in France

Alice in France: The World War I Letters of Alice M. O’Brien, Edited by Nancy O’Brien Wagner

My grandaunt Alice M. O’Brien volunteered with the Red Cross during World War 1 and wrote letters home detailing her experiences building a car, serving in canteens, driving for supplies, and caring for wounded soldiers in the hospitals. She reports regularly of the bombs flying overhead and the courage of the allied troops in vivid, telling prose.

My sister, historian Nancy O’Brien Wagner, has edited Alice’s letters, annotated them with pertinent historical facts,… Continue reading

The Bits Add Up

Loop TrailWe worked out the final version of the jacket copy for The Keep of Ages this week, and I redrew the map to send along to the artist. The book is currently with the proofreader.  It feels like we’re getting closer and closer to finishing up this project, and I’m excited about it coming out in August. Four months! That’s not so long from now!

We also had an hour of sunshine here in Connecticut for the first time in weeks, and that’s worth celebrating!

Early Ideas

An old fashioned hand drill.I’ve spent the past few weeks testing out possible ideas for my next novel, and as of today, none of them is the right one. This doesn’t mean I have failed. I simply need to keep exploring.

I once had an art teacher who assigned 100 watercolor paintings of the same object to be done in a week. It seemed like a lot of paintings. I picked an old fashioned drill, the kind that works by spinning a crank. Accustomed to working slowly and deliberately, I started out that way,… Continue reading

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

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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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