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Cate Tiernan (born July 24, 1961) is the pen name of Gabrielle Charbonnet, an American author. She was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA in 1961. 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, she wrote her first children's books. She also participated in the editing of The Secret Circle by L.J. Smith during this period.
After 8 years in New York, She 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."
After 5 years in New Orleans, She 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."