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Author writes because she loves to read

Mukilteo Beacon of Mukilteo, Washington

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A love of reading books has led Deb Caletti to write 13 of her own — and counting. Caletti, author of "The Secret She Keeps," is the keynote speaker at the 23rd annual Mukilteo Schools Foundation fundraising breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11, at the Future of Flight Aviation Center.

An award-winning author of young adult and adult fiction, Caletti will share how she became an author and about "The Secret She Keeps," her latest book and second adult novel.

"I became an author because of teachers who helped me fall in love with books," she said. "My own love of books led me to a desire to write."

"The Secret She Keeps" is about two sisters who reflect on love and marriage while staying at their aunt's former "divorce ranch" in Nevada. The story is told in both the past and the present.

"It was nearly impossible for women to get a divorce in the 1930s to 1950s, so they would go to these ranches for six weeks in Nevada in order to obtain a divorce," Caletti said. "The women would have really transformative experiences while at these ranches, in sort of a sisterhood way"

Caletti, of Seattle, has also written "Honey Baby Sweetheart," "The Queen of Everything," "Wild Roses," "The Six Rules of Maybe" and "The Story of Us" for young adults, and the adult novel "He's Gone," among others. All of her books are set in the Pacific Northwest.

"Honey, Baby Sweetheart," was winner of the Washington State Book Award and the PNBA Best Book Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award, California Young Reader Medal and the PEN USA Award.

Caletti, 52, graduated from the Bellevue Community College with an associate degree and from the University of Washington with a bachelor's degrete in journalism.

But she's not a journalist — she's a novelist.

"I wasn't courageous enough to study creative writing when I went to the UW" she said. "I felt like that it was too scary, the odds were too huge for me to become a professional writer. When I got my degree, I realized I wasn't a journalist and that I still wanted to write books."

Caletti joins a long list of well-known local authors to speak at the breakfast. Carol Cassella, author of "Gemini," spoke last year.

The Mukilteo Schools Foundation promotes community involvement and commitment to education in the Mukilteo schools. Its fundraisers support excellence, innovation and creativity in the classroom.

Proceeds from the breakfast will go to the foundation's grants, scholarships and STEM field trips.

The field trips send students to local businesses and organizations to create an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.

"We want to continue to promote literacy and STEM," said Jan Edmondson, who picked the keynote speaker. "It's already a great school district, and what we do is the cherry on top."

Caletti said she jumped at the opportunity to help raise funds for the Mukilteo School District.

"If get a chance to support schools or libraries, I am in," she said. "When I think about how powerful it's been for me to have teachers and librarians support [me] in ways small and large, it's such a powerful thing for a young person, so I'll always support schools and libraries."

Last year's breakfast raised $60,800, which funded 15 college scholarships and grants to 57 teachers in each of the district's 18 schools. This year's goal is to raise $75,000.

This year's emcee for the breakfast is Todd Bishop, co-founder and editor of the e-magazine GeekWire.

Bishop is a technology journalist who covers subjects such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, video games, and tech giants such as Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Google.

The breakfast is scheduled for 7:30-9 a.m. at Future of Flight Aviation Center, at 8415 Paine Field Blvd. in Mukilteo.

Tickets are $50 per person or $375 for a group of eight, and are available online or at the door.

For more information, or to buy tickets, go to

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Original Publication Date: November 4, 2015

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