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YA A to Z: Kristin Cashore

Photo credit: Laura Evans

Why I chose Kristin Cashore:
Full disclosure: Kristin is one of my best friends. We met at Simmons in 2001. My love for her books, though, is separate from my love for her. Kristin writes fiercely strong female characters that exist in magnificently detailed, complicated, and perilous fantasy worlds. Kristin’s characters buck convention, choosing their own path and making their own choices. What makes her characters special is also what makes them dangerous to others and in danger themselves. They are skilled, intelligent, and flawed. They are strong and broken and uncertain and real. They are gifted and burdened. Kristin deftly addresses subjects like rape, abuse, sexuality, gender expectations, contraception, disability, and more. The feminist messages, the subversions, and the challenges take place in books full of scheming, mystery, suspense, intrigue, and romance. Her work is thoughtful and complicated, and I can’t wait to see what she writes next (see below).


Brief (abridged) biography (from Cashore’s website):
So, here’s the short tale of me: I grew up in the countryside of northeastern Pennsylvania in a village with cows and barns and beautiful views from the top of the hill and all that good stuff. I lived in a rickety old house with my parents, three sisters, and a scattering of cats, and I READ READ READ READ READ. I read while brushing my teeth, I read while chopping parsley, the first thing I reached for when I woke up in the morning was my book; the only two places I didn’t read were in the car and in bed. What did I do then? The one thing I liked even more than reading: I daydreamed.

And so, without knowing it, I was planting the seeds. Reading and daydreaming = perfect preparation for writing.

At 18 I went off to Williams College and it almost killed me. College is hard, man, and the Berkshires are cloudy. A (phenomenal) year studying abroad in sunny Sydney revived me. After college I developed a compulsive moving problem: New York City, Boston, Cambridge, Austin, Pennsylvania, Italy, and even a short stint in London.

During my stint in Boston, I got an M.A. at the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College. Grad school almost killed me, but I felt a lot more alive than when I was almost being killed in college. The Simmons program is stupendous. It got me thinking and breathing YA books. It got me writing.

Since Simmons, I haven’t stopped writing, not once. I’ve developed a compulsive writing problem that makes my moving problem look like a charming personality quirk. I can’t stop! It’s a dream job, which is another way of saying that when I shop for work clothes, I go straight to the pajamas section.


Graceling (2008)
Fire (2009)
Bitterblue (2012)
Kristin has two books in revisions, one of which is realistic YA and one of which is “experimental,” and is writing a third.


Find Kristin Cashore online:
This is My Secret (website and blog)


If you like Kristin Cashore, check out these authors:
Rae Carson, Megan Whalen Turner, Robin LeFevers, Melina Marchetta, Garth Nix, Leigh Bardugo, Robin McKinley, Tamora Pierce


Join the conversation!  Share a post about your favorite author OR tweet us your favorite author with the tag #YAAtoZ. While we’re sharing our favorite authors, we would love to hear about yours. We all might find some new authors we haven’t heard of before. And the more authors we share, the more comprehensive and diverse the list becomes. On Twitter, we’re @TLT16 and I’m @CiteSomething

#YAAtoZ Schedule: Week 1 4: A ; 5: B ; 6: C ; 7: D  Week 2 10: E ; 11: F ; 12: G, H, I ; 13: J, K ; 14: L  Week 3 17: M ; 18: N, O ; 19: P, Q ; 20: R, S ; 21: T  Week 4 24: U ; 25: V, W ; 26: X ; 27: Y ; 28: Z