Writer of Tween Novels Spreads Love of Reading

By Yorio, Kara | The Record (Bergen County, NJ), January 19, 2014 | Go to article overview

Writer of Tween Novels Spreads Love of Reading


Yorio, Kara, The Record (Bergen County, NJ)


Growing up in Oakland and Franklin Lakes, tween novelist Cindy Callaghan wasn't a big reader. She read books for school assignments, and only for assignments, straight through her English degree in college.

Then one day after graduating, she used some waitressing money to buy a mystery.

"I loved it and I read everything by that author," said Callaghan, who now lives in Delaware. "Then I went to the next author and then I started reading young adult and middle grade. I don't just read. I also listen. I always have an audio book going in my car. I always have an e-book on my iPod when I'm walking or running. I go to the movies to consume stories. I just love it."

Callaghan came late to her writing career, but has found success with middle-grade novels over the last few years. Her debut book, "Just Add Magic," which was released in 2010, has recently been optioned by Amazon Studios for a live-action pilot.

"These characters that have lived in my head for all of these years, now will be potentially brought to life," she said. "That's just a thrill."

In October, Callaghan's first "destination book," "Lost in London," came out. It will be followed by "Lucky Me," which takes place in Ireland and will be released in July. Recently publisher Simon and Schuster gave her a contract for two more books that take the characters to different countries.

Last week, Callaghan's destination was Bergen County. She visited schools in Oakland, Allendale and Westwood, trying to spread that love and maybe convince some reluctant readers to give books another try.

"One of the things I tell them, particularly the reluctant readers, is to keep trying different stuff," said Callaghan, who now enjoys many different genres of books. "The other thing I tell them is if they find a book and they don't like it, it's OK not to finish it and try something else. …

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