Home Book news Caragh O'Brien for Lost in Young Adults

Caragh O'Brien for Lost in Young Adults

by Louisa Klein

1) Why young adult? Did you choose this genre or were you
‘chosen’ by it?
It helped that I was around teenagers a lot as a teacher
and my students were always recommending good YA books for me to read. For
Birthmarked, I wrote the best book I could, without deliberately
choosing a genre. Because the
protagonist is a 16-year-old midwife, the novel naturally fell within the young
adult realm.
 
2) Is there an author, living or dead, who inspired you
particularly?
I’ve been inspired by Jack London, both by his intense
work ethic and the way his stories are gripping.
 
3) Please, tell us about your last book and, if you can,
about your future projects.
My most recent book, Prized, is the second in the Birthmarked trilogy, which is set
in a dystopian future. It involves Gaia, the young midwife, encountering a society
where the men outnumber the women nine to one, but the women rule. It has very
strict laws, and a kiss is a crime. Gaia’s sense of justice
leads her into some serious trouble.
The third novel, Promised, is due out in October in the US, and it follows what happens
when Gaia returns to the dystopian society of the first novel.
 
4) How was your writing journey? Was it difficult to find
an agent and get
published?
My writing journey has simply been part of my life, which
has been, for the most part, incredibly fortunate. It took me about twenty-five
years of writing to reach the
point where I could write Birthmarked,
and then finding an agent and a publisher took a matter of months, so no, it
wasn’t hard.
 
5) What’s your opinion about this E-book revolution? Would
you consider the indie route?
E-books make sense to me. Save those poor trees.
Bring e-libraries to old folks’ homes, hospitals, prisons and remote
schools. That said, I think it’s
important we uphold the agency model of setting prices for e-books so that a
single player like Amazon can’t run the print publishers and bookstores out of
business.
I would consider the indie, self-publishing route if I had
no other options, but I prefer traditional publishing.
 
6) Nowadays many publishers expect their authors to use
social media a lot to promote their books. Many authors, on the other hand,
would prefer to write only, without being distracted by digital trivialities:
what are your thoughts?
While my own publisher has been great about arranging
interviews and such with bloggers, especially around the release dates of my
novels, my publicist has never expressly requested that I engage in social
media. Naturally, I focus first on
my writing, but I’ve also been happy to learn about interacting with readers
and fellow writers online. Book
people tend to be very nice.
 
Info about the author (from her website):
A couple of years ago, as I drove across the country with my family from Connecticut to California, the drought in the southern states started me thinking about what’s going to happen to America when climate change really hits.  I figured we’d annex Canada and all move north.  It wasn’t the nicest idea, and it sparked deeper concerns about how power and politics might evolve in a crisis.  Once I threw in babies, too, I had the start of Gaia’s story.
People ask me how I became a writer, and the answer’s slow and simple.  Take my book-laced girlhood, and my friendship with my best pal neighbor, and my six wild, musical siblings, and my love for my husband and our goofy kids, and certain losses and fears, and my years of writing and teaching, and then put me on a couch with a computer. I try to write the best thing I can.
I wrote the first draft of Gaia’s story while on sabbatical in Tiburon, CA, and when I was stumped, I’d walk in the hills. I walked pretty much every day.
 
To know more, please visit her website: http://www.caraghobrien.com/
 
To buy her latest book, simply click on the cover below:
 

 
 

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