Cathy Castelli


I was selected for the Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program in 2013-2014. The wonderful Terri Farley was my mentor assisting me with my MG mystery Nicole Tinker's Semi-Secret Notebook.

That same book won honorable mention in the Florida SCBWI Rising Kite Contest in January of 2014.

My MG historical novel, Flying Blind, won first place in the Florida SCBWI Rising Kite Contest in January of 2015.

Three-Quarters Dead is 100% Fantastic

I was riveted to the story and how it ultimately played out. Of course, there aren’t many librarians who aren’t Richard Peck fans. Here Lies the Librarian and The Teacher’s Funeral are universally loved by those in education. I was fortunate to hear Peck speak at the SCBWI Miami conference two years ago. He was articulate and oh, so funny. He even sat down next to me in a plot workshop led by Alex Flinn. When Alex instructed us to each take out a sheet of paper, write down a plot point, and pass it to the person on our left, I wanted to feint. Richard Peck had chosen the seat to my left. I survived, and it gave me a great story to tell.
At the conference, Richard spoke about Three-Quarters Dead, his yet-to-be released novel. It’s the story of Kerry, a girl who starts high school with her best friend leaving to attend boarding school. She feels invisible, and thinks she just might be, until the three most popular girls in school take her in their circle. At first, she’s just included during lunch. Kerry lives for lunch. It’s the best part of the day for her. Finally on Halloween Kerry is invited to dessert and coffee with Natalie, Makenzie, and Tanya. Their friendship comes with a price in the form of a prank. Kerry doesn’t understand why they want her to do it, and even though she knows it’s wrong, she goes ahead. When Kerry is caught, the girls disappear leaving her to deal with the fallout.
Possible Spoiler Alert:  The three girls are killed in a car accident, and it just so happens that they were on the phone with Kerry at the moment their car hits the apple tree. Kerry thinks her life is over. Then months later Kerry gets a text from Tanya asking her to meet them in the city. She realizes she never saw the bodies. The funerals were private. The memorial services had no coffins. It’s all just been a bad dream, she thinks. Then Kerry finds them in the city. It’s then that the true roller coaster of this story gets running.

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