Celebrating passion and empowerment, young adult novelist Carolyn Mackler (1973-) was born in New York City and has kept a journal since she was 13.
"I canít go twenty miles from home without it, even now," she said. "There have always been tales in me waiting to come out."
As a child, she told stories into a tape recorder, devoured Judy Blume novels, and read "obsessively, with one foot in real life and one foot in the world of books." She began writing for magazines and anthologies when she was 22.
Her delightful and critically-acclaimed first novel Love and Other Four-Letter Words (2000) was conceived on a solo cross-country road trip. "While I was out in the middle of nowhere, I started thinking about a character, a teen girl who is faced with enormous changes in her life. I wanted to show how at first she resists them, but then she begins to realize that change can actually be a positive thing."
Mackler creates "real characters with real bodies, real girls with a real sense of sexuality, of lust and passion, with real insecurities. That's how life is, the good and the bad, the funny and the sad, all rolled up in one not-so-neat package."
Honest, compassionate, and accessible, she genuinely cares about her readers and stays connected to them, answering hundreds of emails from her fans.
Jen K. in Michigan wrote after finishing Love and Other...: "I laughed, I cried, and ...I gasped because I felt like I was reading a book on myself. I understood what this character (Sammie) was going through, because I could really relate to her. I think the same things she thinks, I do the same things she does, and I say the same things she says...This book is now one of my very most prized possessions."
Mackler's novel, The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things (2003), featured the heavier-than-average heroine Viriginia Shreves. The book was selected by a committee of teenagers as a Teens' Top Ten book for 2003-2004.
About this story, Mackler says: "So many of us feel like we don't quite fit in, that we're inferior to others in some way. But things happen. Bad things happen. And many of us end up learning the difficult but important lesson that the people we idolize may not be all they're cracked up to be. And guess what? We're not so bad, after all."
Love life and grow!