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The Terror and the Trust of Not Outlining

I’m a seat-of-the-pantser.  I’ve done books using an outline before when I plotted out romances in ten chapters (major intimacy in Chapter 7) so I know it’s possible, but that is not how I wrote Birthmarked, and it is not working for the sequels.  The main problem is that I have to be in the scene, imagining it, in order to live where it’s going with Gaia.  Since she can’t see into the future, neither can I.  If the reader is to be surprised, I… Continue reading

Twins of the Dead Forest (Continued)

(This is a continuation of the fairy tale started here on November 1st.)

Years passed, and the farmer, who had learned a cruel lesson, made a point of reaching out to her neighbors and fellow farmers.  She begged them all not to tell Artemis about her lost twin, and in time, many of them even forgot Salma had ever been born.  All learned to love and care for young Artemis, who grew into a strong, smart, peaceful girl with flowing blond hair and sharp aim with her bow.… Continue reading

Twins of the Dead Forest

Here’s one of the fairy tales from Wharfton and the Enclave.

Once upon a time, at the edge of the dead forest, a pig farmer gave birth to twin girls.  Her husband was ecstatic, and sent word around to all their friends and relatives that soon they’d have a christening.

“It can only be a simple celebration,” the farmer said.  “We’re very poor.”

“I know,” her husband said, but while his wife nursed the babies, he decided to slaughter one of the pigs for a roast.

“Big mistake,”… Continue reading

Q. Do You Read Reviews of Your Book?

A. Not normally.  I notice they’re out there.  If I see a review has 5 stars or a raving first line, I might read it.  Anything less, and I look away.

I learned this the hard way.  I wish it weren’t the case that strangers’ opinions have any power over me, but they do, so back when Birthmarked first came out, when I read a few bad reviews, they stung.  For days.  Even an otherwise very nice review could include a zinger about the… Continue reading

Gaia’s Voice

Nan Mercado, my editor, asked me the other day how I came up with Gaia’s voice and how I developed it, and I had no idea how to answer her.  What’s strange is that I know Gaia inside and out.  I know her personality, and how she talks, acts, and thinks.  Her belongings have history.  How she perceives her world and how that changes are all part of her, too.  I know her so completely that when I wrote a little story about Gaia at… Continue reading

The Genetic Freedom Act

The law isn’t really called that, but since I’m already playing with fiction twists, changing the name is a satisfying place to start.  The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 says about what you might expect it would: that insurance companies and employers can’t discriminate against anyone because of his or her genes.  They can’t demand genetic info about people, or their families, when they’re deciding whom not to cover in policies or whom to employ.  That’s the real law here in the U.S.

It’s just too… 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