Literary Birthday – 16 June – Deb Caletti

Happy Birthday, Deb Caletti, born 16 June 1963.


  1. I became a writer because I love books, and I believe in their power. Even more, I love images and sentences and particular words and their beauty and humour and the way they look on the page.
  2. I wrote four books before my fifth, The Queen of Everything, finally sold.
  3. A passage in a book can make you cry, it can make you think differently, it can make you remember something from long ago.
  4. To be a writer is to connect and to play and to attempt to see clearly and understand. It astounds me regularly that feeling things deeply and writing them down is basically my job description.
  5. I’ve always considered my teachers and mentors to be every writer I’ve read over the years.
  6. Writing is not something you do, but who you are. It’s the way I came.
  7. I always say that, for me, writing a book is like a wacky Greyhound bus trip—I know where I’m starting and where I’ll end up, but I have no idea what will happen along the way.
  8. Setting has always played a huge part in my books, and I have no doubt that’s because I live in such an evocative place. I like to approach setting as if it were character, with a character’s traits and quirks and moods. Seattle—and the San Juan Islands, and the towns of the mountain foothills that I’ve previously written about—all have so much character, it’s hard to cross a street without seeing something to include in a book.
  9. We are all unreliable narrators, not just in the way we tell our stories to others, but how we tell them to ourselves. Maybe especially how we tell them to ourselves. All of us create our own versions of an event, of our lives, even, not because we’re liars, necessarily, but because we can only see and understand the truth from our own viewpoint, and a shifting viewpoint at that. Facing the truth is a messy business.
  10. We are all a volume on a shelf of a library, a story unto ourselves, never possibly described with one word or even very accurately with thousands.

Deb Caletti is an American writer of young adult and adult fiction. She is a National Book Award finalist, and her novels include StayThe Queen of Everything, He’s Gone, and The Nature of Jade. Visit her website: and follow her on Twitter: @debcaletti

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 16th June 2014