Full Circle — An Author’s Confession

So, I have a confession. A couple, actually.

In elementary school, I told both our school librarian and my mother an untruth—that I had lost my Copy of DSC09709copy of Theodore Taylor’s The Cay. The librarian was clearly annoyed and my mother was a bit more than that, having received a bill for the “lost book.” After that, though, it was mine. At the age of ten, it was the first book that I’d ever owned.

I knew it was wrong and I felt bad. I really did. And, I worried I’d be found out. It also bugged me that the librarian and my mother thought I was irresponsible. I wanted to tell them both that I hadn’t actually lost it, but I also knew that the lie was the only way I could keep it.

One for the Murphys has done well—I can’t even express the depth of how happy that makes me—and it has nothing to do with royalty checks or anything like that. (Very few authors are rich–monetarily speaking.) It’s the personal connections.

I have received letters, and e-mails, Tweets, and invitations that have really moved this formerly-Carley-esque author. I’ve further learned about the personal connections people can make to texts. How fictitious people can reach from the pages and save readers. But there are two different e-mails that came in months ago that keep coming back to me—can’t shake them.

One letter was from a teacher, and the other a librarian, who both wrote to tell me that their copies of One for the Murphys had been stolen by students. I got the feeling from both ladies that they both had an idea of who may have taken them, but I also got a sense that they were both going to “let it go.”  The idea of kids stealing does not make me happy—how could I be happy to hear about a child stealing something?

However, I do confess to dropping into my childhood-reluctant-reader-self and being torn. Because I remember lying underneath that scratchy bedspread, holding The Cay and thinking that I just couldn’t give it up. That it was the very first time that I read a story that got under my skin and I didn’t understand why and I knew I had to keep reading it until I figured it out. Over those many readings, I learned a lot about myself. And I learned some things about other people in the world as well.

I shouldn’t have forced my mother to pay for that book. And I am not happy about stolen copies of Murphys. But I have to admit…my heart wonders about the two kids that took them (one 6th grader and one 7th grader). I wonder why. I wonder what it is about the Murphys that spoke to them. I wonder how they feel about what they’ve done. I wonder how they are doing.

But, mostly, I hope that those kids feel like I did in meeting The Cay’s Timothy and Phillip. That meeting Carley, Toni, and the Murphy family will help readers understand themselves, the people around them, their situations, develop compassion for themselves and others, and formulate their own questions about the world.

As an adult who understands those kid-longings, my hope is that these two children find their answers.

In order to attempt to make amends to the universe, I am offering a HERO pack—for teachers, librarians, principals, and school social workers ONLY. Why? Because they are HEROES!!!!  (You may enter on behalf of a teacher/librarian and the box will be mailed directly to the winner at their school 🙂

The winning Hero(ine) will receive all of the following:


1) A new copy of THE CAY by Theodore Taylor because his story helped me so, so much and helped foster my love of stories.

2) A hardcover copy of the 1972 version of TALES OF A FOURTH GRADE NOTHING—this is the same book my teacher, Mr. Christy, handed me one day—and changed everything. Read full story here on Nerdy Book Club Here.

3) A signed first printing (in third now) copy of One for the Murphys for you—the teacher or librarian.

4) A signed first printing copy of Murphys for your library/classroom.

5) A signed ARC (advance reader copy) of Murphys so that you may show your students what the “test run” looks like from a publisher—very cool to see if you haven’t seen one yet.

6) A bunch of bookmarks for your school

7) A One for the Murphys pen

8) Five “Be someone’s hero” wrist bands

9) ONE “Be someone’s hero/no cape required” T-shirt (teal, black, or red in size large now or other sizes can be forwarded later (Two are shown in picture to show front and back.)

10) A free 45-minute Skype visit with me. Because I love talking with kids and teachers. 🙂


To enter, please make a comment below. Would love to hear your confessions, thoughts about the post, your favorite part of One for the Murphys, or how much you’d like some free stuff for your school/students–I’m flexible 🙂 PLEASE remember to include your e-mail address. (I’m sorry–USA shipping only)

***You may also earn entries by posting this link on Twitter and including my tag — @lynmullalyhunt . You may also retweet my tweet. Thank you 🙂
GIVEAWAY ENDS ON Wednesday, January 23rd at 11:59 pm.

Thank you! 🙂

Categories: author, confession, writing | 109 Comments

The Green-eyed Monster Should Not Stay for Tea

Visit me over at Emus where I explore where jealousy comes from in writers, artists, musicians, and other creative types–and how we can deal with it.
Categories: confession, courage, journey, writing | Leave a comment

First Author Interview! YEAH!


Check out my first author interview (and the crowds cheered! Well, I did anyway…) done by the wildly talented, Jame Richards:

Categories: confession, interview, journey, Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin), One for the Murphys, SCBWI, writing | 3 Comments


Okay, this blogging/writing is a little like having a sliver. It’s painful, but if it’s there, you have to get it out. Oh, and it may require disinfectant.

Okay, I’m holding my nose and diving in. (No, you don’t need to visualize that.) Why not introduce a little scandal into my mix here?

Close the doors.
Pull the shades.
Take the phone off the hook.
I…**whisper**… have a confession….

It is something from my recent past that I really try not to advertise. You know, because the neighbors…They ask questions. If word gets out, things could get messy. I…ready???…have written a book. (sorry to disappoint any Jerry Springer fans.)

It’s a prepublished (no contract yet—but optimistic) YA (young adult) book entitled One for the Murphys. For those of you who’ve written something for the eyes of others (not for a teacher, but because you thought it would be…fun…you know, like bungee jumping with an extra long cord) it’s kind of like ripping your heart out, slapping it on the table and asking, “So, what do you think?”

It feels like the epitome of “vulnerable” because you always—even if you don’t intend to—crawl into your own basements to write it. And then you have to sit back and wonder what others think. Truly, if you’re brave and serious about seeing your book at the bookstore, (gulp–did I just say that???) you must get to this step of putting it out there. A thick skin (titanium), a sense of humor (how can I not laugh at myself???) and an open mind (but no holes) are all going to help.

Readers of One for the Murphys have given me good feedback on it—of course, good feedback has cost me a fortune in margaritas. :<) The better the feedback, the more margaritas…or is it, the more margaritas, the better the feedback??? Hmmmm…..

I laughed when I saw the above picture. It’s totally me.

Every morning I sit down. I scan my bookshelves with the likes of Laurie Halse Anderson, Ellen Wittlinger, Alan Gratz, Jerry Spinelli, Katherine Paterson…And, here I sit: room mother, juggler, lint collector. I don’t know. I have to tell you, seriously, that I think it’s pretty brave to write an emotionally authentic book at all; that’s what writers (or the people supporting them) will say when they consider the odds of “making it.” I say, don’t consider the odds—or anyone else besides your living, breathing characters—just put your butt in the chair (Hi, Anita). And, if you’re like me, the journeys you take with your characters, will change your own journey in ways you’d never have imagined…

Be brave. Grrrrroooooowl…

Categories: confession, journey, writing | 2 Comments

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