Ask CaraWhen I decided to become a writer, I didn’t think I’d write for teenagers. But what happened was that all my stories were about them, and after a while I realized it was because I still felt like a teenager myself.

I think a life on the edge is what teenagers seek. I write about young characters that push at the world that surrounds them, trying to move past or around boundaries, any which way they can. Often my characters are surprised to discover their true selves in the most foreign of circumstances, and where the unwritten laws of the natural world change their way of thinking.

Whether it’s a young shoplifter who discovers life has meaning while working in a lab breeding flies (Living on Impulse), or a bookworm of a girl who is opened to mystical possibilities on a remote and primitive island (Red Palms), or a white boy who confronts his racial prejudice on a vacation in the Bahamas (now being written).

No one would disagree it’s hard to be a teenager; it’s true now and always was true. But it’s also totally great. There’s much to be learned and you have the endless energy to do it. It’s more than an age: it’s a state of mind.



YA Author’s Café: Read Cara’s interview about her new book, Living on Impulse.

Author photo © Mikel Healy


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