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|Born||Debora Lynn Caletti
June 16, 1963
San Rafael, California
|Genre||Young adult fiction, fiction|
Deb Caletti (born June 16, 1963) is an American writer of young adult and adult fiction. Caletti is a National Book Award finalist, as well as the recipient of other numerous awards including PEN USA finalist award, the Washington State Book Award, and SLJ Best Book award. Caletti's books feature the Pacific Northwest, and her young adult work is popular for tackling difficult issues typically reserved for adult fiction. Her first adult fiction novel, He's Gone, was published by Random House in 2013 and was followed by her second book for adults, The Secrets She Keeps in 2015.
Deb Caletti was born June 16, 1963 in San Rafael, California. When Caletti was eleven, her father's work relocated the family to Seattle, Washington. Caletti often cites her love for writing and reading stemming back to her early childhood. “My most memorable teacher was Rich Campe, my third-grade teacher at Fairlands Elementary in Pleasanton, California. Rich was a bona fide Bay Area hippie…We also did a lot of creative writing in his class. His remarks on my stories…were the sort of encouragement that could make you feel that maybe, possibly, you were on to something with the whole writing thing. Groovy! he'd scrawl at the top of the page. Far OUT! If anyone knows where Rich Campe is, please let me know so that I can heartily and sincerely thank him.” Caletti attended Lake Washington High School in Kirkland, Washington, graduating in 1981. She earned a BA in Journalism from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1985. Caletti was a longtime resident of Issaquah, Washington, where she set many of her books as the fictional town of "Nine Mile Falls." She currently resides in Seattle, Washington with her husband.
A passionate reader and writer from an early age, Caletti only started focusing seriously on her writing after her youngest child turned two. Though she had studied journalism at the University of Washington, receiving some recognition for playwriting, Caletti feared that a career in creative writing would be too difficult. However, Caletti says, “When my son was two, I got serious about writing. I didn’t want to be one of those people who talked about their dream but never did anything about it. That seemed sad. I worried I would end up at the counter at Denny’s eating pie and smoking cigarettes, and I’ve never even smoked. So I made a decision that I would do it until it happened. No giving up, no going back.”
After writing for some time, Caletti’s fifth book, “The Queen of Everything” was picked up by Simon and Schuster in 2002. Written originally for adults, “Queen” was published in the young adult market, and received positive reviews, including a starred review in Publishers Weekly (Nov. 2012). Her next novel, “Honey, Baby, Sweetheart” (2004) was a National Book Award finalist, California Young Reader medal finalist (2005/2006), PNBA Best Book of 2005 award, and made many of the year’s top lists including New York Public Library’s 2005 “Books for the Teen Age”.
Based on a van Gogh painting, Caletti’s next novel “Wild Roses” was published in 2005, and was a 2006 finalist for the Washington State Book Award. Following the success of her first three novels in three years, Caletti then went on to write “The Nature of Jade” (2007), “The Fortunes of Indigo Skye” (2008), “The Secret Life of Prince Charming” (2009), “The Six Rules of Maybe” (2010), “Stay” (2011), and “The Story of Us” in 2012. Caletti’s next venture was a much-anticipated adult fiction novel titled “He’s Gone”, released by Random House in 2013. Her next release will be a young adult novel titled "The Last Forever" (2014), and after that, a second adult work "The Divorce Ranch" (2015). Caletti’s books have been translated into Polish and Portuguese, and have been published in the United Kingdom.
A series of television films based on Caletti's novels was in production in 2007, though that project is now on hold. Caletti was also a judge for the 2013 National Book Awards, in the Young People's Literature category.
Caletti’s complex stories center around healthy and unhealthy relationship dynamics, family (including stepfamilies), change and resilience, and the connections between human nature and animal nature. “Self discovery, finding home, dealing with being a mostly good hearted but flawed person in a complicated world, those are all repeating themes in my work… Writing is always my therapy – the attempt to work out particular events and questions I’m trying to understand.”
All of Caletti's books are set in the Pacific Northwest, and she “thinks of setting as if it were a character, with its own quirks, temperaments and moods.” Characters and locations reappear in her books; main characters in one book may be briefly glimpsed in another. Caletti “loves this idea of interconnectedness… the thought that you might have once passed on the street the person you are now married to.”
Caletti has often been asked about her use of profanity or sexual scenes in young adult novels. Addressing this, she says, “My primary job is to create a realistic world with realistic characters. Some people swear. Some people don’t. Some do on occasion. So that is the reality in my books, too." Caletti describes this further, "Honesty is the most important thing to me in my work... It is not my aim to show an idealized world. It is my aim to show the world as it is in all of its beauty and messiness and variety and wackiness and rare moments of perfection.”
- “The Queen of Everything” (Simon & Schuster 2002)
- “Honey, Baby, Sweetheart” (Simon & Schuster 2004)
- “Wild Roses” (Simon & Schuster 2005)
- “The Nature of Jade” (Simon & Schuster 2007)
- “The Fortunes of Indigo Skye” (Simon & Schuster 2008)
- “The Secret Life of Prince Charming” (Simon & Schuster 2009)
- “The Six Rules of Maybe” (Simon & Schuster 2010)
- “Stay” (Simon & Schuster 2011)
- “The Story of Us” (Simon & Schuster 2012)
- “He's Gone” (Random House 2013)
- "The Last Forever" (Simon & Schuster 2014)
- "The Secrets She Keeps (Random House 2015)
- "Essential Maps for the Lost (Simon & Schuster 2016)
- “The World of the Golden Compass” (BenBella Books 2007)
- “First Kiss: A Collection of Lip-Locked Moments” (Bloomsbury 2008)
- “Through the Wardrobe: Your Favorite Authors on C.S. Lewis' ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’” (BenBella Books 2008)
- “Literary Feast: The Famous Authors Cookbook” (Classic Day Publishing 2009)
- “Nightlights: Stories and Essays from Northwest Authors” (Humanities Washington 2010)
- "Hotel Angeline: A novel in 36 Voices" (Open Road Media 2011)
- "Seattle City of Literature" (Sasquatch Books 2015)
Awards and Nominations
List includes official awards received and nominated for. In addition, Caletti has earned placement on numerous other lists, including ALA’s Best Books, New York Public Library’s Best Books, and IRA’s Best Books, among others.
- National Book Award Finalist (2005)
- PEN USA Literary Award Finalist (2005)
- PNBA Best Book Award (2005)
- Washington State Book Award Winner (2005)
- California Young Reader Medal Finalist (2005/2006)
- IRA Children's Book Award (2005)
- SSLI Book Award Honor Book (2005)
- Washington State Book Award Finalist (2006)
- South Carolina Young Adult Book Award Nominee (2007)
- Grand Canyon Reader Award Nominee (2008)
- Virginia Reader's Choice Award (2009/2010)
- CCBC Choices Award Winner 2010
- Deb Caletti. "PowellsBooks.Blog".
- "About the Author « Deb Caletti".
- "Book Reviews, Bestselling Books & Publishing Business News - Publishers Weekly". PublishersWeekly.com.
- "Paul Allen's next film projects are local". seattlepi.com.
- "2013 National Book Awards Judges Announced". PublishersWeekly.com.
- “Interview with Deb Caletti”, Dominique McCafferty, Public Libraries Magazine. March 2007.
- Kate Pavao (1 April 2010). "Q&A with Deb Caletti". PWxyz LLC. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- “Reviews”, www.debcaletti.com.