Kay Honeyman grew up in Fort Worth, Texas and attended Baylor University, graduating with a Bachelors and Masters in English Language and Literature. Her first novel, The Fire Horse Girl, comes out in January 2013. It is being published by Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic. She currently teaches middle school and lives in Dallas, Texas.
I was born in Fort Worth, Texas. My father was a CPA and my mother stayed home and ran everything from birthday parties, to back-to-school shopping, to my middle school talent show. My parents are nothing like the parents that end up in my writing. If I put parents like mine into stories, the main character would never make it into the world without a warm coat, a strong work ethic, sturdy moral values, and an agreement that they would ‘call if anything happens.’ Thus ending the story around chapter two. My sister Sarah is in a lot of my stories. She’s the smart characters.
I love stories. I have been reading books for as long as I can remember. Even before I could read all the words, I knew there was something magical about the pages between bound covers. I would scan through the giant leather-bound books in our den, my finger searching for words that I knew, picking out whatever pieces of the story I could find.
When I wasn’t looking at books, I played school, lining up my stuffed and animals and teaching them to read and write. They made good progress, so I decided to make it a career. I love teaching. The only thing better than a spark of learning shooting though you, making your eyes a little wider and your skin tingle with excitement is to see that spark shoot through one of your students.
I went to Baylor University where I majored in English and French and then went on to graduate school in English Language and Literature. My favorite classes were about Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, and Modern British novels. I am, at my core, very nerdy. I met my husband there. After graduation we moved to Dallas.
In 2007, my husband and I started the process of adopting a child from China. After years filling out paperwork and waiting, our case worker suggested that we look at older children. She sent us a picture of a three-year-old little boy, staring straight into the camera named Jian. He was perfect. His paperwork described him as slightly stubborn. Even better, it takes a little stubbornness to survive in our family. We went to China in 2010 to bring home our son. He has brought such joy and richness to our life. In 2012 we were matched with our second child – Lily.
In the midst of waiting I took writing classes. You do a lot of things to take your mind off the fact that your child is halfway around the world. I started a story about a girl who was also coming to America – Jade Moon. Like my son, Jade Moon would have one foot in two cultures; she would struggle with who people wanted her to be and who she was. She would leave everything behind for the whisper of a promise here. And, she was stubborn.
I love live theater especially Shakespeare in the Park and musicals. I have a lifelong love of Jane Austen novels. Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion are my favorite, but I still get a little mad when people say bad things about Northanger Abbey or Sense and Sensibility. I watch too much reality TV and too few movies. I read…a lot. I love maps in theory, but not in practice. I didn’t discover how much I loved guacamole until I was 30, and now I am trying to make up for lost time. I love to garden.
But, most of all, I love a good story.
If you want to know more, you can check out a few interviews and posts I’ve done:
Guest Posts on Writing:
How to Deal with Revision and Beta Reader Critiques at Chuck Sambuchino’s Writer’s Digest Blog
Inspired Openings at Adventures in YA and Children’s Publishing