Cal Armistead


Cal has been a writer since age 9, when she submitted her first book, The Poor Macaroni Named Joany to a publisher. Sadly, this literary gem did not make it to print. But Cal continued pursuing her lifelong passion, and wrote copiously for radio, newspapers and magazines (Cal has been published in The Chicago Tribune, Shape Magazine, Body & Soul MagazineChristian Science Monitor, Chicken Soup for Every Mom’s Soul and others). Her debut young adult novel, BEING HENRY DAVID, was published by Albert Whitman & Co. in March, 2013. Cal holds an MFA in creative writing from the Stonecoast program at the University of Southern Maine, is a voice-over actress, sings semi-professionally, and lives in a Boston suburb with her amazing husband and a dog named Layla.

28 responses to “Cal Armistead

  1. lauralyn theodore

    Cal – just saw you’re coming to Andersons . . and read about your book. I’m so thrilled for you! I’m honored to know you!

    • Cal

      Thanks, Lauralyn! Maybe we’ll see you when we’re in Naperville?? 🙂

      • Angel

        Hi Cal! Not sure if you’re going to see this but I’m a 15 year old girl that read your book Being Henry David last year and I absolutely loved it. It’s one of my favorites and ever since I finished the last sentence, I’ve been wondering if there was going to be a sequel because I feel that there is so much more to know, such as: what happens to Jack and Nessa, how Hailey responded to the whole “fake identity thing”, the rest of Daniel’s family, etc. Maybe I just don’t want the book to end. Haha but yeah, will there be a part two to that awesome story?

      • Cal

        Hi Angel! I’m so glad you enjoyed Being Henry David! Right now, I’m working on another book–it’s not a sequel, but a completely different story. (One that I think you’d really enjoy anyway!) I’ve had a lot of people ask about a sequel, and if enough people ask, I’d be happy to write one. In the meantime however, I tried to make sure I left hints about how it would turn out. Jack and Nessa are with people who will make sure they’ll be safe, Hailey is the kind of person who would give Hank/Danny another chance, and there’s hope that Danny’s family will heal, once Danny gets home. Who knows, maybe somebody will write fan fiction about BHD??!! That would be fun. 🙂

  2. Abby

    Hey, I want to thank you for inspiring me to keep writing. I had stopped for a few months, then a good friend made me read Being Henry David, and i started up again. And on a side note, if you haven’t already, please read John Green’s Paper Towns.

  3. Cal, I posted a Blog post at about last evenings Author’s Event at the Fitchburg Public Library. It would be helpful if I knew your email address. We have also listed your book in the Flutter Store on our Website. Your book is sold on Amazon and I am an Amazon Associate and an environmental writer with two children’s books published and available on Amazon or in the Flutter Store.

    Best regards,
    Mary Ellen Ryall

  4. Azaan Moledina

    Hi Mrs. Armistead,
    I am a 13 year old boy who just finished reading Being Henry David and was wondering if there would be a sequel to tie all the loose ends that i felt needed to be tied up. I really enjoyed this book and hope to see a sequel soon!

    Thanks again,
    Azaan Moledina

  5. Nina

    I happened to stumble across your book on a flee market and bought it out of curiosity, not knowing anything about the author. After having finished reading I was very pleasantly surprised and I can now say that Being Henry David is by far one of my favorite books. I’m almost finished reading it for the second time and this time I have a copy of Walden next to me for the full experience. Really looking forward to any future follow-ups.

    • Cal

      Wow–thanks so much for writing–you really made my day! How cool is it that you found my book at a flea market? When you write a book, you never know where it might end up or where people might encounter it. I’m just glad it found its way into your hands! 🙂

  6. Hailey Anderson

    Hey Cal! My name is Hailey and I just visited walden pond while reading Being Henry David and I really enjoyed it! It was cool to read about a place I got to actually visit. I like to read a lot and never have I come across a character with my name!! I thought that was really cool. I hope you keep writing I’ll be looking for more of your works!

    • Cal

      Hi Hailey–apologies for not responding sooner to your comment! As you could tell from the book, Hailey is one of my favorite names. I’m so glad you had a chance to visit Walden while you were reading it–that is SO cool! I go there a lot, so it was fun to write about it. Yes, I’m still writing…two books that should be in the world soon…and I recently started my fourth. I hope you’ll read them when they come out!

  7. Haley B.

    Hey Mrs. Armistead,
    I’m a student at Cosby High School in Cosby Tennessee. We were assigned your book as an optional assignment of test retake. One option for the project was to contact you! I was extremely interested in your book! I didn’t want it to ever end. I had a few questions about the book. 1.) Does Danny’s family recover and continue to stay together? 2.) Does Danny keep contact with Thomas? 3.) Do Danny and Hailey work things out to be a couple? Thank you so much for such a great, interesting book!

    • Cal

      Haley, thanks so much for writing–I’m glad you read it and that you liked it! As for your questions, I’ll see if I can answer them for you.
      1. I think that yes, Danny’s family recovers and stays together. One of the reasons why they were struggling was because nobody could talk about the death of Cole, and they really needed to get that out into the open so they could heal. I think Danny’s adventure will help–once they’re reunited, I really think they’ll do their best to talk things through and have a stronger bond.
      2. YES! I feel sure Danny and Thomas are now lifelong friends. 🙂
      3. I think this is a big yes, too. I think Danny goes back home to finish school and work things through with his family, and helps Rosie. But then in the summer, I imagine him going back to Concord to find a job with Thomas perhaps, and start dating Hailey for real. Now that he knows his identity, he doesn’t have to hold back anymore. I hope this helps!

  8. Lena

    Hey I was just wondering if cal armistead is still alive

  9. TZaccagnini

    Ms. Armistead,

    After reading your book (and loving it), I decided to use it with my English III (American Lit) classes while we cover Transcendentalism. The kids are enjoying it! I would like to invite you to be a guest speaker via Skype (after we finish the novel) if you are interested? If so, please let me know how I may make arrangements.

    Thank you!
    Tricia Zaccagnini
    Buckeye Local High School
    Rayland, OH

  10. As of right now I am reading your book for my English III class and just to let you know I really do not like reading and I never have. But after starting your book I haven’t been able to set it down it is definitely the best book I have ever read by far. The plot in the book is amazing and I will be looking forward to reading some of your other books when they are released. Thanks for writing such a good book and especially one to be used now in school to do a whole semester on just because of the book it has been the best semester ever!!!

    Colton Kemp
    Medina County Career Center
    Medina, OH

    • Cal

      Wow, wow, wow–thank you so much for this comment. It means more to me than you know. I’ve completed two novels and am working on two more, but sometimes the road to publication has potholes and speed bumps. I’ve hit some recently, so your words were much needed today! All the best to you and your class, and thanks for the good words!
      All the best,

  11. Ereka Harshman

    I just read your book Being Henry David. It was great; I couldn’t put it down! I am anxiously awaiting another book from you.

  12. Jesus Carmona

    A funny story to how i got your book “Being benry David”. My teacher had us do a project on a book and so what she did was scatter books all over desks. We went desk by desk and looked at the books. Once i got to your it looked interesting, i read the back of the book and sounded like it was good. I really do not like reading so i waited to last minute. I read the book in two days. It has to be the best book i have read. I wonder if you are going to do a secong book to this?

  13. Cal

    Apologies for taking so long to comment! Thank you so much for your message. I’m so glad to hear you chose my book…and then ended up really liking it. I don’t have plans to do a sequel, but I have 3 other books in the works. Thanks again for reading my book, and for taking the time to write!

  14. Caitlyn Schwingler

    Cal, are you aware of any audio versions of BHD? I am a special education teacher. Our English 10 classes are reading BHD. Some of my students require audio text due to their disabilities, and I would like them to be able to participate independently. I’ve scrounged the internet but have not been able to find anything! Thanks.

    • Cal

      Thank you SO MUCH for this request. I’ve been wanting to have an audio version of BHD ever since it came out, but my publisher had no plans to create one. In response to your message however, I reached out one more time to ask where things stand, and was told enough time has passed that the audio rights can be reverted back to me, to do with as I wish. Great news! I have a lot of connections in the local radio/production world and have already reached out to see what might need to be done to make an audio book a reality. Your message helped inspire this project, and I couldn’t be more grateful! I will certainly keep you updated in regard to availability of the audio book. Thanks again! All the best, Cal

  15. Philipp

    Dear Mrs. Armistead
    First I’d like to say that BHD is a really great book! The storyline grabbed me and I did really enjoy reading BHD. But the reason why I’m here is that we read the book in school and now we have to do a presentation about BHD and you.
    So I thought that I could try and ask you some questions, so here we go:
    1. Why did you write BHD and where did you get the inspiration?
    2. How long did you have to write it?
    3. Which were the major problems while writing BHD?
    4.Did you expect that even students from Switzerland would read it?
    And it would be nice if you could tell me some interesting facts in general about you, your books and maybe some nice background informations.

    Thank you for your response
    greetings from Switzerland
    Yours faithfully Philipp

    • Cal

      Hi Philipp–
      Thanks so much for writing! I’m so glad to hear you liked the book. I’m also thrilled to know you’re reading it in school, and of course I will answer your questions.
      1. I wrote BHD partly because I lived for a little while in Concord, MA, and have spent a great deal of time in and around Walden Pond. It’s such a special place that it felt natural just to write about it.
      2. From start to finish, it took me about 3 years to write it. I usually write one full (messy) draft, then go back to edit and rewrite and polish. That takes time.
      3. Major problems? Hm…just getting it to feel “right,” I guess! The scenes, the word selection, the characters, the plot…there are so many elements in a book–it’s never an easy task to write one.
      4. No! I never was that ambitious! How are you reading it? I’m not aware of a translation there–are you reading it in English? I’m so excited to hear that people in other countries are reading and enjoying BHD!

      Most of my general background information is on this site–I can’t really add to it, except to say that I’m ALWAYS writing. Right now, I just finished up a book for kids age 8-12, have 2 young adult books that need a little more polish before being sent out into the world, and 2 books for adults. (One is a collaboration with 3 other writers, which is a huge challenge!)

      I hope this answers your questions–let me know if there’s anything else you need!

      All the best,

      • Mianne Erne

        Dear Ms Armistead,
        how funny – while preparing next week’s lessons, I stumbled upon this thread: Philipp must be my former student. Yes, I have assigned your book in English class (which I teach as a foreign language) – our school is similar to a highschool in America. I myself must have come across Being Henry David on a book table at a bookstore while I was on vacation in the States. What I liked, and why I chose to read it in class, is not only the intertextuality with Walden (what a great way to introduce H.D.Thoreau to a young readership!), but also all the cultural references that my students aren’t familiar with: especially male bonding on camping trips, and the famous long trails.
        This year’s class is the third to read your book, and I haven’t heard a negative reaction yet!
        All the best with your future books,

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