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Detention: Leon at Twelve

The following is a bit story about a character from the world of Birthmarked.

Rita tapped on the schoolroom window and Leon looked up.  She waved to beckon him out, frowning.  “Come on,” she was saying clearly.

He shook his head, but a moment later she poked her head in the doorway.  Leon was alone at his desk in the back, rewriting the words he’d spelled wrong that morning: Attached, barrel, embarrass, necessary, thorough, tomorrow, wrong.

“You’ll miss the race,” Rita said.

“I can’t come. Not until… Continue reading

Solstice Solace

You Are Here

Some days, when the sun hovers over the horizon for barely nine hours, I can feel our planet swinging through its black orbit. The sunlight is a sparse, white, cloudy force coming from the south, replacing all that was once green with motionless gray and white, and I can feel the slow, huge, roll of the Earth.

I love the solstice. It’s one of the things I’ve been sure of since fourth grade, when I first learned the importance of December 21st, March 21st… Continue reading

New Cover for Birthmarked

Birthmarked will have a different cover when Simon & Schuster Children’s Books UK releases the novel in the United Kingdom next May. I love how the profile is a visual game that draws me in, and how the words turn different colors as the meaning comes clear.  I find it delicate and strong, lovely and ominous all at once. Yes!

The Art of Neglecting

I’m here as a member of the club for anonymous people who neglect day-to-day things in favor of long-term projects like novels. As long as basic hygiene is covered, the rest is optional.

Take dishes, for example. Getting the kitchen completely clean once at the end of the day is good enough, quite frankly. For the third child, I learned it was actually an advantage to leave those dropped Cheerios under the high chair for a snack later. I do wrap up the garbage to make it harder for the… Continue reading

Favorite YA Reads of 2010

The Pile of 2010

I haven’t been reading much lately because it makes me want to write instead, which I do. I’m an aunt, though, and my husband and I staked out books as our gift-giving territory long ago. When I consider what to send our 23 nieces and nephews for Christmas, I start with the books I enjoyed myself. It’s especially fun this year because several other writers who debuted with me in 2010 (Ness and Collins are not debuts, of course) have become my friends.

Here are ten… Continue reading

Behind the Scenes: Copyedits

I received my copyedits for Prized two weeks ago, along with marginalia from my editor.

A.Copyedits and Marginalia

We work with the Track Changes feature of Word at this point, and when I first received the manuscript, I shrank down the pages to get a general idea of how many comments I’d be dealing with (see Photo A).  The purple comments from Jill Freshney, the managing editor, have to do with formatting, so I largely ignore those. The green ones are from Suzette Costello, the copyeditor who, incidentally, also… 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 Audible.com.
Book Trailer for Promised