Book Clubs

Book Club Questions

Since the publication of The Dancing Girl and the Turtle, I’ve visited book clubs throughout California and across Amsterdam, too. I’ve started to notice a pattern in the questions a book club will ask. I thought I’d share them with you, though you’ll have to come up with your own answers. history Do you see […]

Author event Book marketing

A Book Blog Tour

Writers hate to market their books. To stand at a book fair and watch people scurry by. To pour your heart and soul into a blog post that only your mother ever reads. (Thanks, Mom.) But here I am anyway on a book blog tour. getting ready When my publisher first suggested the blog tour, […]

About Karen Kao California Shanghai

Martial Arts

This is me, age 14, on Judo Award Night. Notice that my brothers have already advanced to a yellow belt. I remain in white: the lowest possible level in judo. It seems to me that I got hurt a lot. I didn’t like throwing myself onto the mat. The award in my hand was probably […]

China Family ghosts Shanghai


When I dream about Shanghai, I see the Bund, the Pudong skyline, the plane trees of the old French Concession. People from every nation once strolled under those trees. Japanese, Brits, Russians, Americans, Portuguese, German, French and more. In my dreams, I hear their strange speech. I can taste their odd foodstuffs: pretzels from Germany, […]