Cynthia Kadohata has been writing since 1982. When she was twenty-five and completely directionless, she took a Greyhound bus trip up the West Coast, and then down through the South and Southwest. She met people she never would have met otherwise. It was during that bus trip, which lasted a month, that she rediscovered in the landscape the magic she'd known as a child. Though she had never considered writing fiction before, the next year she decided to begin. She sent one story out every month, and about forty-eight stories later, the New Yorker took one. She now lives in California. Kadohata's first novel, The Floating World , was a New York Times Notable Book of the year. Her first children's novel, Kita-Kira , won the 2005 Newbery Medal. Kadohata's website is Kira-Kira.us.