Upcoming Event

I will be presenting a two-hour seminar at the Orange branch library on writing a query letter. The Dos, Don'ts and Dynamics of Writing the Perfect Query Letter will take place on Saturday, October 5 from 2-4 pm. This event is free and open to the public.
This practical, advice-filled class will cover the do's and don'ts of writing a query letter and includes resources on where to send your queries, how many queries to send, responding to literary agents, common rejections and what they mean, and what to know after you mail the query. Aspiring writers are encouraged to attend!                      

Upcoming Event

I'll be at Case Western University on Thursday, November 8 from 4:30 to 6 pm.

Science Fantasy: the New Mash-Up.
A Panel Discussion with Mark Dawidziak, Charles Oberndorf, and Mara Purnhagen.


Then it's on to The Lake Forest Country Club in Hudson, Ohio, so I can get my hands on an autographed copy of
THE LIES THAT BIND, the new book out from Lisa and Laura Roecker!

  • Current Music
    The Rifle's Spiral by the Shins
  • Tags

2012 Annual SCBWI Northern Ohio Conference


It's not too late to register for the 2012 Annual Conference! Check out the site for details:


I'll be there, along with the following amazing authors/agents/editors:

Michelle Poploff, Vice President & Executive Editor, Delacorte Press/Random House Children’s Books
Tina Wexler, Agent, International Creative Management
Quinlan Lee, Agent, Adams Literary Agency
Whitney Leader-Picone, Designer & Digital Publishing, Charlesbridge
Dandi Daley Mackall, Author
Cinda Williams Chima, Author
Michael Ferrari, Author
Christopher Canyon, Author/Illustrator (Presenting Saturday Only)
Liz Coley, Author
Jeannine Garsee, Author
Lindsay Ward, Author/Illustrator
Shelley Pearsall, Author (Presenting Saturday Only)

(no subject)

Brief review of One Hundred Candles in the Akron Beacon Journal:


The stress that Charlotte suffers as her parents fight is extremely realistic; so are her relationships with her best friend and her classmates, which would be an interesting story even without the supernatural aspect.

Had a great time at the Bruswick Library on Saturday!




  • Current Music
    Quick Canal by Atlas Sound

Event and Reviews


Saturday, July 21

11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

4th Annual MCDL Author Panel:

Generations and Genres

Join authors Tricia Springstubb, Mara Purnhagen, Cinda Williams Chima and Nancy Herriman as they discuss what it takes to be a successful writer of children's, teen and adult fiction.
Bring your questions and come prepared to learn!

Register 330-273-4150 or online.
3649 Center Road, Brunswick, Ohio

Review of Tagged from Talkapedia:


Review of Past Midnight from Kate McMurry and Marie August:


Review of One Hundred Candles from Books of Amber:


Upcoming Events

I have a few upcoming events:

Alternate Worlds Panel

on Monday, February 27th, 4:30 to 6:00 at Case Western

(Guilford Parlor on the first floor of Guilford House, 11112 Bellflower Road)

With Casey Daniels and Marc Sumerak

Young Adult Literature Panel

On Wednesday, March 14 at 7:00 pm in the Pritchard Room of the Hiram College Library.

The other members of the panel will include area writers Angela Johnson, Tricia Springstubb, and Jen Dutton with librarian Rollie Welch moderating.

SCBWI Critique Meet

on Saturday, April 21 at 10 am at the Chagrin Falls Library

(100 East Orange Street, Chagrin Falls, Ohio)

RSVP required

  • Current Music
    Hex Girlfriend by Neon Indian
  • Tags

December News

First, if you're looking for a fun holiday event, please check out this amazing fundraiser for Ohio City Writers:

on Tuesday, December 13, 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Great Lakes Brewing Co.   

Second, here are some recent (and some not-so-recent) reviews:
Past Midnight was the Teaser Tuesday pick from the YA Sisterhood: http://ya-sisterhood.blogspot.com/2011/10/teaser-tuesday-past-midnight-by-mara.html

The Book Cellar named Past Midnight as one of the Top Ten books to read during Halloween!
This book is filled with ghostly encounters, is super fun, and has great characters. It's the perfect read for after you watch that creepy movie and are freaked out!

Review of One Hundred Candles from Stuck in Books: http://www.stuckinbooks.com/2011/07/one-hundred-candles-by-mara-purnhagen.html
I really like the premise of this series. It’s different. Most paranormal books are about believers but this one is about a family that tries to disprove paranormal activity with science. But while so much of it can be explained away that way, some of it just can’t. It really adds a level of believability to this book. It’s got that “it could happen” factor.

Review of Beyond the Grave from Wordspeak: http://wordspeak0913.blogspot.com/2011/12/beyond-grave-mara-purnhagen-91.html
Each page left you wanting more and it was impossible to put down. I like when a book finishes a strong as it started.

October News

In two weeks, I'll be in Cincinnati for Books by the Banks!

Also, here are some recent reviews:

Review of One Hundred Candles from The Watson Kitchen: http://thewatsonshouse.blogspot.com/2011/09/review-thursday-one-hundred-candles-by.html
I love how easily I was drawn into the life of Charlotte Silver. There was never a dull moment. This book was a complete page turner and had me on the edge of my seat till the end. With the end leaving you hanging, I had to start book three, Beyond the Grave, right away! My Rating: 5/5 stars

Review of One Hundred Candles from Katie’s Amazing Book Reviews: http://katiesamazingbookreviews.blogspot.com/2011/09/one-hundred-candles-by-mara-purnhagen.html
I’m in love with the slight creep factor in these books! There are some intense moments where I was just a little scared...but not too scared. Purnhagen gets you scared but doesn't over do it. There was some awesome supernatural stuff going on in this one.

Review of Beyond the Grave from Writer’s Diary: http://marychrapliwy.blogspot.com/2011/09/beyond-te-grave-by-mara-purnhagen-solid.html
This well-constructed tale by Purnhagen drifts into back story seamlessly without drifting so off course as to disrupt the tale. That's not an easy task for any writer - it can disrupt a story beyond repair if it isn't well done. Fortunately Purnhagen does it well and those flashbacks work well to further develop the story. This book had me up way past my bedtime with its supernatural roller coaster ride.

A great review of Beyond the Grave from BurnBright.com: http://www.burnbright.com.au/lisa-reviews-mara-purnhagens-beyond-the-grave/

Review of One Hundred Candles from Elegantly Bound Books: http://thegreatyaescape.blogspot.com/2011/10/review-one-hundred-candles.html
The Past Midnight series is one of my favorite series right now because it's so fun to read and it includes all my favorite elements in a story.