Kez Sharrow grew up in Brisbane, Australia. It has an average of 283 days of sunshine every year and was woeful preparation for every place she’s lived since.
In grade three, her first sci-fi story was published with smudged blue ink in the school newsletter. Kez is still trying to recapture that glory.
After high school, Kez went to Japan as an exchange student. She forgot how to speak English, but did learn to stomp her feet and yell as she whacked people over the head. It’s called kendo and should be prescribed for everyone dealing with cross-cultural stress.
University in Australia not only boosted her vitamin D and taught her to speak passable English, it also gave Kez the kind of friends you’d go into Mordor with. It may have been a water fight (that got a tad out of hand) that led to the suspicious bulge in the middle of Kez Sharrow’s forehead. Or the bulge could be a sign…
After Uni, Kez got on a plane for a short-term gig teaching English in northern China. When she walked into the classroom the first time, her students stood and applauded, probably in simple astonishment at her big nose and weird blue eyes. Kez fell in love with the friendly people and amazing dumplings, but not so much the climate. The winters were endless—and truly, they didn’t have Christmas!
Kez Sharrow’s “short-term in China” plan was upended by a tall American who took her on a two-day train ride to Hong Kong as a first date and ended up giving her a ring under the full moon at Star Sea Beach.
Hundreds of steamed dumplings later, they moved to the U.S. for graduate school, where Kez’s accent was corrupted beyond redemption. She also started writing stories.
The Makarian Tales were born soon after Kez’s first child. That year, she asked Jesus what he would like for Christmas, and began to write a story just for him. On long runs beside frozen fields deep in rural China, Makaria and its inhabitants unfolded in her mind. A dream of sea dragons jolted the stories out of her head and onto the page.
Jesus didn’t get his Christmas present that year. Kez moved to the city of stinky tofu, then to the city of hot dry noodles, added two more children to her hobbit-hole, and found her writing time decreased to decimals.
While Kez homeschooled her three amazing third culture kids her own story languished, a meandering monstrosity that lurked in her laptop, taunting her at odd times.
A friend in shining armor rescued the story by suggesting Kez divide it into parts. The first tale then came into focus as “Scattered Petals, Shadowed Sea.” It is currently losing weight in revision, wanting to make a good impression when it meets you, hopefully very soon.