THE ART OF ESCAPING available now from Amberjack Publishing.

Seventeen-year-old Mattie has a hidden obsession: escapology. Emphasis on hidden. If anyone from school finds out, she’ll be abandoned to her haters. Facing a long and lonely summer, Mattie finally seeks out Miyu, the reclusive daughter of a world-renowned escape artist. Following in Houdini’s footsteps, Miyu helps Mattie secretly transform herself into an escapologist and performance artist.

When Will, a popular athlete from school, discovers Mattie’s act at an underground venue, Mattie fears her secret persona will be exposed. Instead of outing her, Will tells Mattie a secret not even his girlfriend knows. Through a blossoming friendship, the two must find a way to express their authentic selves.

Told through the perspectives of the witty main characters, this funny and fresh debut explores the power of stage personas and secret spaces, and speaks to the uncanny ways in which friendships transform us.


“An exciting and nuanced portrayal of the terror of vulnerability and the exalted freedom of authenticity.” — Kirkus, Starred Review

“This debut novel of friendship and personal liberation rings true and dares to look danger in the face and smile.” — Booklist

“Callahan’s first novel explores the impact of leading a double life and risking discovery at every turn. Through a tough-minded heroine, Callahan urges readers to think independently, take risks, and embrace their interests.” — Publishers Weekly

“In the end, metaphor blends with reality, text blends with interpretation, and Mattie, Will and those around them just might escape from the restraints that are holding them back from being their true selves.” — BookPages

Buy it at Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, or Amazon, or from your local bookstore.

Add the book to your Goodreads TBR shelf.


In 2008, while perusing the YA shelves at Borders (R.I.P.), my dear friend Troy H. Gardner turned to me and said, “We could do this.” I naively and arrogantly agreed with him and the MAD WORLD series was born. Part YA Contemporary and part Urban Fantasy, the series follows two kids who meet at an institution for troubled teens and, together, discover the world is super strange and more complex than they ever thought possible. You know, just regular growin’ up stuff…

The first three books in the series were e-published by a tiny little Canadian press roughly a zillion years ago, and served as a crash course in writing YA fic. In 2017, we self-published a re-release of the first book (WAKEFIELD) with a brand new cover designed by Troy H. Gardner himself, and followed it up in 2019 with a re-release of book two (TUNNELVILLE). We are currently working on a new edition of book three, along with the first edition of book four. Stay tuned.