Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Deb Caletti Charms the Members of Bookmarked

Deb Caletti on the big screen
In the summer of 2012, I went to the American Library Association conference in Anaheim, CA. I love ALA Annual because I am such an author groupie, and I get the opportunity to meet so many of the authors that I have been reading myself and sharing with my students. One of the authors I met that summer was Deb Caletti. I have not had a chance to read every book that she has written for young adults, but I have loved every one that I have read. We made a connection that summer, and when I asked Deb if she would talk to my high school book group, she readily agreed. She lives in Seattle, and we live in the New Orleans area so visiting by Skype was our visiting method of choice.


Deb began by telling us about herself and her journey to become a writer. She always has loved to read and has fond memories of having stories read to her when she was young. Her love of the written word fueled her dream of becoming a writer, but she never took any creative writing courses in school. Finally, she just set a goal for herself to write. She went to the most logical place she knew to learn how to write, the library. 


She wrote four novels before becoming a published author, but she was determined to figure out how to make herself a writer, so she did not get discouraged. She explained her writing process and how she does not fully map out her story before writing. She also keeps her writing a secret. She doesn't tell anyone what the story is about or let anyone read what she has been writing until it is finished. She wants the story to feel like real life, and in life, things just happen sometimes. She also explained that people have questioned her depiction of parents in her books. She believes that humans are flawed which means parents are flawed. By presenting parents in this way, she is depicting real life. One of her biggest joys is receiving letters from her teen readers who say that she really understands them and what they are going through. When that happens, she knows that she did her job right. 

Bookmarked poses with Deb Caletti
Though writing is her job, and she needs to write a book a year to pay the bills, Deb loves what she does and couldn't imagine doing anything else. The members of Bookmarked could feel her excitement and energy even through the computer, and Deb won some new fans after today's visit. Thank you Deb for taking the time out of your writing schedule to spend some time with us. We had a blast!

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