Chelsea Cain

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Chelsea Cain
Cain in 2015
Cain in 2015
Born (1972-02-05) February 5, 1972 (age 48)
Iowa City, Iowa, United States
OccupationNovelist, columnist
NationalityUnited States
Alma materUniversity of California at Irvine; University of Iowa
Notable worksSweetheart, Heartsick, Evil at Heart
Website Edit this at Wikidata

Chelsea Snow Cain (born 1972) is an American writer of novels and columns.


Cain was born February 5, 1972 in Iowa City, Iowa, to Mary Cain and Larry Schmidt.[1] Cain spent her early childhood on a hippie commune outside of Iowa City. Her father dodged the Vietnam draft and her parents lived "underground" for several years. In 1978, she moved with her mother to Bellingham, Washington, where she attended Lowell Elementary School, Fairhaven Middle School, and Sehome High School.[1] She spent the school year in Bellingham with her mother and the summers in Florida with her father and stepmother and stepbrother.

Cain left Bellingham after high school to study political science at the University of California, Irvine, where she wrote for the New University newspaper and became the opinion editor. After graduating in 1994, she attended the graduate school of journalism at the University of Iowa.

While at Iowa, she wrote a weekly column for The Daily Iowan.[2] Her master's thesis at the University of Iowa became Dharma Girl, a memoir about Cain's early childhood on the hippie commune. One of her professors presented it to several editors for review, and Seal Press picked it up as Cain's first published work. She was 24 years old.[3]

She traveled across the United States on book tour with Dharma Girl, living for a brief period in Portland, Oregon and then in New York City. After a year in New York, she returned to Portland, and edited an anthology for Seal Press titled Wild Child: Girlhoods in the Counterculture.

Cain is married to Marc Mohan, a video store owner and film reviewer for The Oregonian. They have one daughter, Eliza.

Cain and her family currently reside in Portland, Oregon.[4]


After working as a creative director at a public relations firm in Portland for several years, Cain began writing humor books in her spare time, including The Hippie Handbook: How to Tie-Dye a T-Shirt, Flash a Peace Sign, and Other Essential Skills for the Carefree Life (Chronicle Books, 2004), Confessions of a Teen Sleuth (Bloomsbury, 2005), and Does this Cape Make Me Look Fat? Pop-Psychology for Superheroes (Chronicle Books, 2006), which Cain co-wrote with her husband. Cain also composed a weekly column for Portland's alternative newspaper, The Portland Mercury and started contributing to Portland's major daily, The Oregonian in 2003. when she left marketing behind to focus on writing full-time. Her last column with The Oregonian was posted on December 28, 2008.

She wrote her first thriller Heartsick in 2004, while pregnant with her daughter. It was published on September 4, 2007, and was an instant New York Times bestseller.[citation needed] Sweetheart and Evil at Heart, the second and third in the series, respectively, are also New York Times bestsellers.[5][failed verification]

In March 2016, Cain started writing a new Marvel Comics series, Mockingbird, the first solo series about the character. The series ran for eight issues before cancellation.[6]

She is the writer of comic book series Man-Eaters for Image Comics with artists Kate Niemczyk and Lia Miternique,[7] which became available in shops in September 2018.[8]


  • Named 6th best book of the year (2008) by Stephen King in Entertainment Weekly for Heartsick and Sweetheart[9]
  • Amazon Mystery/Thriller of 2007 for Heartsick
  • Named one of Four Hot Authors for Fall 2007 by Entertainment Weekly
  • Heartsick optioned as a film in September 2007[citation needed]
  • Booksense 76 Pick for Heartsick
  • Barnes & Noble Developing Writer pick for Heartsick
  • New York Times Book Review editor's choice for Heartsick and Confessions of a Teen Sleuth: A Parody


  • Dharma Girl (1996)
  • Wild Child: Girlhoods in the Counterculture (1999)
  • The Hippie Handbook: How to Tie-Dye a T-Shirt, Flash a Peace Sign, and Other Essential Skills for the Carefree Life (2004)
  • Confessions of a Teen Sleuth: A Parody (2005)
  • Does This Cape Make Me Look Fat? Pop-Psychology for Super Heroes (2006)
  • Mockingbird – S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary #1 (2015)
  • Mockingbird #1–8 (2016)

Gretchen Lowell Series

  • Heartsick (2007)
  • Sweetheart (2008)
  • Evil At Heart (2009)
  • The Night Season (2011)
  • Kill You Twice (August 2012)
  • Let Me Go (August 2013)

Kick Lannigan Series

  • One Kick (August 2014)
  • Kick Back (unpublished)


  1. ^ a b Dharma Girl (1996)
  2. ^ "UI alumna Chelsea Cain reads Oct. 11 for 'Live at Prairie Lights'". University of Iowa. September 28, 2007. Archived from the original on February 6, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-22.
  3. ^ Miller, Laura (November 17, 1996). "Iowa Fields Forever". The New York Times Book Review. Retrieved 2008-10-22.
  4. ^ "Heartsick". Macmillan Publishers. Archived from the original on 2008-10-18. Retrieved 2008-10-22.
  5. ^ "Bestsellers". The New York Times. September 20, 2009.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Man-Eaters webpage at Image Comics website. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  8. ^ Diamond Comic Distributors shipping list for 2018 September 26 Archived 2019-06-24 at the Wayback Machine at a Diamond Comic Distributors website. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  9. ^ Entertainment Weekly.

External links[edit]