photo credit: Window in Hostel Celica, Ljubljana, Slovenia via photopin (license)
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  • The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in.
    —Harold Goddard

  • The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or publisher.

The Fire Horse Girl

My first book, The Fire Horse Girl, is about a teenage girl living in China in 1923 and determined to immigrate to America to escape her curse and find freedom. Jacket Copy: Jade Moon is a Fire Horse — the worst sign in the Chinese zodiac for girls, said to make them stubborn, reckless, and … Continue reading

photo credit: Window in Hostel Celica, Ljubljana, Slovenia via photopin (license)

Friday Fascinations

I love the word fascination. I feel like it’s on the right side of space between obsession and blasé. It promises more curiosity than knowledge, and taps into a deeper layer of concentration and focus. It’s exciting and hopeful and interesting.  These fascinations feed my thinking and writing. So, for Friday, Something fascinating – I watched more than … Continue reading


Reading Group Discussion Questions

I’ve had several requests recently for discussion questions for THE FIRE HORSE GIRL. Below is what I came up with. If you have any you had fun discussion in a classroom or at a book club, leave a comment below. Discussion Group Questions for FIRE HORSE GIRL What did you expect when you started FIRE … Continue reading


Unlocking Authentic Characters

Creating authentic characters can be one of the best building blocks for a story. If you create the right characters with plenty of potential conflict, it can help you build events that will be meaningful to the world and the characters who live in it. Below are three of my favorite techniques for developing complex … Continue reading

Back to school

First Pages

I am starting my third book. It can be hard to go back to the beginning of the process and start a whole new mess to clean up, so I collected all the drafts of the first page of Fire Horse Girl that I saved. Here a video of all the revisions that I could … Continue reading

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Seeing People, Not Differences

Originally posted on Nerdy Book Club:
When I first started writing The Fire Horse Girl, I obsessed over getting all the details right. The book opens on Chinese New Year, and I combed through every New Year tradition I could find and jammed most of them into the first chapter (don’t worry, Cheryl Klein, editor…

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What is a Fire Horse?

Originally posted on Kay Honeyman:
I was already writing about a girl traveling through Angel Island to America when I discovered the year of the Fire Horse. In much of the Western world, we use a linear measurement for time, the years parading forward into the future.  The Chinese use a cycle to measure their…


Welcome to the YA Scavenger Hunt

Hello! I am Kay Honeyman, your hostess for this leg of the hunt. On this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each participating YA author, you also get a secret number. Add up the numbers, and enter for a chance to win a major prize–one lucky winner will receive at least … Continue reading

scavenger hunt

Spring 2014 YA Scavenger Hunt Authors Announced

Spring 2014 YA Scavenger Hunt Authors Announced! Hello YA fans. It’s time once again for our Spring YA Scavenger Hunt. For those of you who’ve joined us before, welcome back! I am on the Blue Team! If you’re a newbie, you’re in for a treat! Twice a year we seek out fantastic YA authors with … Continue reading


Why I Write Realistic Fiction

I was at the Montgomery Book Festival last week on a “Just Keeping it Real” panel with Christina Mandelski, Stasia Ward Kehoe, and Jessica Warman (all fabulous and so much fun to spend the day with). Our books span the various genres under the umbrella of realistic fiction– mystery, romance, coming-of-age, historical. An audience member … Continue reading

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