Cate Tiernan

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Cate Tiernan (born July 24, 1961) is the pen name of Gabrielle Charbonnet, an American author.

Writing as Cate Tiernan, she is best known for her Sweep series, which follows the Wiccan adventures of a cast of high school students.[1] The stories are sold as the Wicca series in the UK, Belgium,The Netherlands and Australia, and as White Magic (Magie Blanche) in Italy and France.

Under her own name, she is chiefly known for children's books in the Princess, American Gold Gymnasts, and Disney Girls series.[2]

In 2008 and 2009, Charbonnet collaborated with author James Patterson on two "young adult" novels, Sundays at Tiffany's[3] and Witch & Wizard.[4]



Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA in 1961, Charbonnet grew up with her brother in a "family-friendly" environment, "but with a ready acceptance of eccentricity and the darker side of life."[5] She began her college education at New York University studying writing and Russian language and literature, then transferred to Loyola University in New Orleans, where she graduated with a degree in Russian. She began her career as an assistant to the head of the Juvenile Audio and Video department at Random House in New York. There, "surrounded by children’s books and editors and people who read as much as I did", she wrote her first children's books.[5] She also participated in the editing of The Secret Circle by L.J. Smith during this period.[6]

After 8 years in New York, Charbonnet and her husband moved back to New Orleans, where they began a family (2 daughters) and she embarked on her Sweep series. While not a Wiccan herself ("...even Wicca is too organized a religion for me") she asserts that she "can really relate to Wicca", and appreciates its "woman-centeredness and its essentially female identity."[6]

After 5 years in New Orleans, Charbonnet moved to Durham, North Carolina, where she now lives with her husband Paul, 2 daughters, 2 stepsons, a poodle, and "an unfortunate number of cats."[7]


Charbonnet has written about 75 books under her own name, her pseudonym Cate Tiernan, and miscellaneous other pen names as a ghost writer.[8]

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