Posted in Australian fiction, awards, beautiful monster, Crashing Down, cyber bullying, Destroying Avalon, Fremantle Press, Getting published, In Ecstasy, Kate McCaffrey, literary appearances, Saving Jazz, The Australian Therapists' Award, WritingWA

Book Talks 2019: An Open Invitation

Dear Schools and Libraries,

It’s now time to start thinking about booking your guest speakers for 2019.

I am available for classroom talks, seminars and workshops.

I can discuss the issues in my novels: cyberbullying, drugs, eating disorders, mental health, teenage issues, as well as the road to publication and the life of an author. I can deliver Professional Development in Creative Writing to English teachers, as well as Creative Writing workshops for students.

Don’t delay! Book now for 2019.



Posted in Australian fiction, beautiful monster, Crashing Down, Destroying Avalon, In Ecstasy, Kate McCaffrey, Uncategorized, writing

Crashing Down


My apologies for the wait between publications, but since Beautiful Monster was released in 2010, a lot of things got in the way- namely life! My dad died and that changed all the dynamics! Since then my family has made huge adjustments- moving houses, changing jobs, and all that fun stuff- but even though I wasn’t publishing- I was still writing. Now, the final proofs are in, the novel is at the printers- review copies are out. And so I’d like to announce to the world the birth of my fourth paperback baby… Crashing Down!


Lucy is in Year 12 and under pressure to succeed. The last thing she needs now is an intense boyfriend. Breaking up with Carl feels like the only way to keep her dreams on track.

 But good decisions can have bad consequences. 

 And leaving Carl is going to be a whole lot harder than Lucy could ever have imagined.


Posted in Australian fiction, awards, beautiful monster, cyber bullying, Destroying Avalon, eating disorders, The White Ravens, Uncategorized

A Rather Long Hiatus

I’ve been relatively quiet of late, so many things have been going on that attending to my blog has been pushed to the back of my To Do list. So here I am to make amends.

What’s been happening?

Firstly, my lovely father Michael McCaffrey died in November and it threw life as we knew it well and truly off the rails. In that head space writing , living and just existing becomes challenging. Six months on and things have straightened out somewhat- big adjustments on a daily basis still being made.

In this time I have managed to write a novel– but it has undergone two major transformations and is now heading for a third! I have been having a problem deciding on the target audience, as it’s quite different from anything I’ve previously had published. But now, after meeting with my publisher, I have a relatively clear idea of where it’s meant to go and who it is for. Stay tuned!

In other news: beautiful monster was acknowledged as a White Raven 2011. This is taken from their website and explains what the acknowledgement means:

Throughout each year, the language specialists (Lektoren) at the Internationale Jugendbibliothek (International Youth Library / IYL) select recently published books that they consider especially noteworthy. This »premium label« is given to books of international interest that deserve a wider reception on account of their universal theme and/or their exceptional and often innovative artistic and literary style and design.

That’s pretty cool huh?

And then there’s more- this amazing kid has created a book trailer for Destroying Avalon and posted it on You Tube. I think she deserves an

Check it out


Posted in beautiful monster, Book Griffyn, depression, eating disorders, grief, The Tales Compendium

Beautiful Monster


Beautiful Monster was released in May this year. It was picked up by Australian Standing Order- so that means the first print run is almost sold out! Very happy to attract their attention, although they did say that beautiful monster should win This Year’s Ugliest Cover Award!!!


I think it is a beautiful cover- what do you think?

Here are some reviews of it so far:

“Tess hears screeching brakes.

A bang.

The soft whump Brodies body makes as it hits the ground.”

How often does a death in the family result in the death of a family?

Beautiful Monster-Kate McCaffrey is an unflinching and heartbreaking portrait of a teenage girl left to cope alone with her grief and guilt over the death of her little brother. As her mother drowns in her bereavement and her father struggles to maintain a sense of equilibrium for them all, Tess stands bewildered, lost and alone.

Tess has no choice but to turn to the one person who loves her, the one person who tells her like it is, the only person she can trust. Ned. Except Ned is the insidious voice of her guilt and self loathing. Ned is the sly whisper in the dark that she needs to do better, be better, try harder. Ned is the silky voice leading Tess into a personal hell where her desperate grasping at perfection soon sees her trapped in a downward spiral resulting in an eating disorder and a near brush with death herself. Far from glamorising anorexia, Beautiful Monster illustrates just how seductive a cycle an eating disorder can become.

Beautiful Monster also begged a painful question for me as a parent. In the face of the enormous and (I hope to only imagine) unbearable, anguish that comes with the loss of a child, where does the parent end and the person begin? Tess so desperately needs her mother, yet her mother is too engulfed in her own grief to see that she has a surviving child. A child who needs her. A grief she experiences because she is a mother. She was Brodie’s mother too.

And so Beautiful Monster becomes a study not simply of an eating disorder, but of a family mourning the loss of one of its own. A mother struggling to surface from the murky depths of depression and near madness. A father valiantly trying to be a husband, a mother and a carer. And a girl struggling to survive beyond the shadow of her brother’s death and ultimately her own failure to save him.

I live in awe of Kate McCaffrey. Truly I do. Her first book Destroying Avalon,  quite literally destroyed me. Few authors are able to capture a teenage voice as convincingly and inexorably as Kate McCaffrey.

More than once I found myself needing to put this novel down and remind myself to breathe. Beautiful Monster is one of those rare novels that will leave you feeling like you have been punched in the gut, not once but twice. I have no doubt it will take your breath away.

Thanks to The Book Gryffin


It only takes a few blood-stained seconds for Tessa’s life to change forever. She wants her old life back. She wants her mum and dad the way they were. She wants her brother.

If it wasn’t for Ned, she’d be all alone. He’s her greatest support and staunchest ally. He’s privy to her deepest secrets, comforts her at night when she cries, holds her and makes her feel loved – when it feels like everyone else has gone. And he knows how to make things okay again. If Tessa can only be perfect, things will get better. The perfect daughter, the perfect marks, the perfect body. But there is a fine line between being in control and being controlled.

Wow where do I start?

Always tackling the important topics for young adults such as cyber-bullying (Destroying Avalon) and drugs use (In Ecstasy), Kate McCaffrey has done it again with Beautiful Monster, focusing on a young girl struggling through her teenage years who has developed an eating disorder following the devastating death of her younger brother.

Beautiful Monster not only deals with the primary issue of body image and eating disorders but also the grief of losing a loved one. As her parents suffer with their own pain, Tessa manages to slip through the cracks, hiding her own pain as she strives to reach her goal weight.

Told in three parts, two years separating each, we accompany Tess as she loses her brother, endeavours to be perfect and keep control over all aspects of her life, copes with her parents, hides her illness, suffers denial and isolates herself from her friends. Then, as her her secret is discovered, we see the aftermath of her treatment and the possibility of a relapse as old foes once again come to light.

Just like her previous books, Beautiful Monster is something every teenage girl should read.