Chris McKinney was born in Honolulu and grew up in Kahaluu on the island of Oahu. He portrays the island experience from the inside, where children of mixed ethnicity grow up far from the clear water and pristine beaches of the rich visitors’ resorts.
Chris is the author of five novels, The Tattoo, The Queen of Tears, Bolohead Row, Mililani Mauka, and Boi No Good, and has written a feature film screenplay, Paradise Broken (nominated for best film at the Los Angeles Pacific Film Festival), and a short film, The Back Door, both of which premiered at the 2011 Hawaii International Film Festival. His latest book, The Red Headed Hawaiian, a memoir co-written with Dr. Rudolph Puana, is about a red-headed Hawaiian kid from Kahaluu who makes good.
In 2011, Chris was appointed Visiting Distinguished Writer at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, and in 2013, he participated in the HIFF Writer’s Accelerator Creative Lab and was one of three finalists awarded the opportunity to pitch his project in Los Angeles. Over the years, he has won one Elliot Cades Award and six Kapalapala Pookela Awards (three honorable mentions). He also has twelve years of teaching experience as an associate professor at Honolulu Community College.