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Comparable Titles for Caela Carter’s ME, HIM, THEM, AND IT

Oh! How I fear the comp title question! Which published books are most like ME, HIM, THEM AND IT? Where will we find your book on the shelves?

I just can’t answer that question. I can’t compare my own work to the greats of YA lit—to the books that brought me to tears or had me jittering on the edge of my seat—without having a massive insecurity-freak-out.

So, instead, I’ll tell you what I wanted to write, what I tried to accomplish, to whom I’d love to be compared. And, when ME, HIM, THEM, AND IT hits the shelves on February 5th, you can tell me if I was successful.

I tried to employ Evelyn, my main character, with a unique, raw, honest and vulnerable voice like Coe Booth manages in TYRELL.

I aspired to a heartwarming and womanly tone like I found in Sara Zarr’s HOW TO SAVE A LIFE.

I wanted to create diverse and genuine cast of characters like Walter Dean Myers does in so many of his books for teenagers.

I hoped Evelyn’s countdown would barrel the story forward at a breakneck pace the way Mile’s narration did in John Green’s LOOKING FOR ALASKA.

And, I truly hope I treated an “issue” with a balanced and personal approach somewhat akin to Laurie Halse Anderson in SPEAK or WINTERGIRLS.

Meanwhile, I’m thrilled to be giving away a fabulous book from the Class of 2k12! Check out LETHALLY BLONDE by Patricia Lyle and enter our raffle this week to win a copy!

Caela Carter & the Inspiration for ME, HIM, THEM & IT

I still can’t believe that my first book, my debut novel, is a “pregnancy book”. I’m not even sure how to explain the inspiration behind it. I set out to write about a lot of things. I wanted to take a teenager out of her comfort zone and drop her in a place that would redefine all of her relationships. I wanted to write about a girl who is resistant to falling in love rather than desperate for it. I wanted to write about diversity, anger, unusual family dynamics, love versus commitment, and the ability to see the grey side of every opinion.

And, whoops! I ended up writing about pregnancy.

What happened was this: Fall of 2010 I was in my first semester of The Writing for Children Program MFA at The New School and my first submission deadline was coming up. I spent the weeks leading up to it poking and prodding and stretching and massaging the manuscript I had been writing for years and years. But as my submission deadline approached, I got more and more nervous. I realized that this project was my baby and I wasn’t ready to hear it get ripped apart. (I still might not be ready with that one…)

Meanwhile, there was this small voice in the back of my head, another character who had taken residence sometime in the weeks and months and years I spent fighting with that other manuscript. She was a good girl, but a very angry one. She wanted to be successful and also invisible. She isolated herself while longing for family.

So at the eleventh hour I sat down to start a new book so that I would have some pages to turn in for my first submission. And when I started listening to this new character I figured some things out. Her name was Evelyn. She was sixteen. And she was pregnant.

I fell in love with her and so instead of a brief school assignment, she became my debut novel.

I know that at the end of the day ME, HIM, THEM & IT is a pregnancy book but the pregnancy was not my inspiration. My inspiration was family.

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