Carolyn Martin

Carolyn Martin is the author of several acclaimed novels for young people published under the names C. K. Kelly Martin and Cara Martin including a middle grade sci-fi, multiple contemporary YAs, a sci-fi duology, a horror and an emotionally-charged ghost story. Four of these books received starred reviews, two were shortlisted for the Canadian Library Association’s Young Adult Book Award and her most recent novel, Shantallow, was longlisted for the 2020 Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic and was an Ottawa Book Awards fiction finalist.

A graduate of the Film Studies program at Toronto’s York University, Carolyn’s worked a collection of quirky jobs over the space of 3500 miles—at multiple pubs and video stores, an electricity company, a division of the Irish post office, a dotcom startup that didn’t survive the 90’s, a London toyshop, and an advertising analytics company. Carolyn currently resides in Ottawa with her husband and has also called the Greater Toronto Area and Dublin, Ireland home. To this day she remains deathly afraid of the Child Catcher from the film adaptation of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

“With its sparring prose, inclusive cast and difficult themes, Cara Martin’s Shantallow is crackling YA. It addresses themes of revenge porn, abuse, drugs and sex, but at its heart is a message all young people should hear: there’s life after transgression, and while it may not include forgiveness, personal amends can be made, behaviour changed and community rediscovered.”
— Ottawa Book Award jury statement (Ottawa Book Awards English fiction finalist) .

A vivid infusion of 1980s culture gives this near-future dystopia an offbeat, Philip K. Dick aura . . .The cultural homage is nostalgic fun, from Care Bears to MacGyver. But for delivering that uniquely ’80s flavor, nothing beats music. Fans of the Smiths, Depeche Mode, Scritti Politti—this one’s for you.

— Kirkus Reviews on Yesterday.

Martin obviously understands intrigue and knows how to construct a story that leaves readers wanting more with each passing chapter. She also manages to cover difficult and nuanced topics of sexuality and race, as well as environmental destruction and international warfare, with a light touch . . . This companion piece to Yesterday is very much worth seeking out.

— CM Magazine: Canadian Review of Materials on Tomorrow, ***½ /4 Highly recommended.

Additional information about Martin’s published works is available on the websites and

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