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Kathleen Fine: Girl on Trial

Kathleen Fine launches her debut YA mystery/thriller, Girl on Trial

Interview with Kathleen Fine + Book & Author Info + Author Pet Corner!

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Kathleen Fine — Girl on Trial

Kathleen Fine

Does doing one bad thing make you a bad person?

Sixteen-year-old Emily Keller, known by the media as Keller the Killer, is accused of causing the deaths of four family members, including young children. Emily is one of the youngest females to be accused of a crime so heinous, making this the nation’s biggest trial of the year. But what really happened that fateful night―and who’s responsible―is anything but straightforward.

Living in a trailer park in Baltimore with her twin brother and alcoholic mother, Emily’s life hasn’t been easy. She’s had to grow up fast, and like any teen, has made questionable decisions in a desperate attempt to fit in with her peers. Will her mistakes amount to a guilty verdict and a life in prison? It’s up to the jury to decide.

For readers who enjoy Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll, 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, and One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus.

Purchase Girl on Trial by clicking any of the following links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ComCat Books

Kathleen Fine, author of Girl on Trial

Girl on Trial centers on sixteen-year-old Emily Keller, accused of killing a family of four. What drew you to writing a YA with such a terrible crime at the center and tell us how your past informed your writing?

I am an avid crime and thriller reader, so I definitely wanted to incorporate my love of those things into my novel.

I’ve had the premise of this novel in my head for the past fifteen years or so. I started to experiment with alcohol at an early age and so understand firsthand the effects that peer pressure can have on a teenage girl. When I think back to those years, I sometimes wonder: what if?

What if I had made this choice or that decision? There were so many terrible outcomes that could have occurred in my life. I wanted to write this novel to show my readers a “what if.”  Also as social media is a huge aspect of teenager’s self-esteem and decision making today, this novel will help demonstrate the harm in following the crowd.


What kind of research did you have to do for Girl on Trial

I had to research a lot of Maryland laws and so spoke to a prosecutor in the Homicide division of the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office.

I also had to research the procedures of manslaughter trials, specifically for a young adult being tried as an adult. 


As your debut novel, Girl on Trial, is being prepared for publication, what aspect of the process has been your favorite or most surprising? What are you looking forward to?

I would say my favorite two parts are being involved in choosing the book cover design and being involved in choosing the narrator for the audio book since I am an avid audio book listener!

Those two things made me pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming! I am also looking forward to holding a hard copy of my novel in my hands!


You enjoy traveling to the Outer Banks, an area that fascinates me. How did that become a favorite destination?

I have been traveling to the Outer Banks since I was three years old and it is one of my favorite places in the world. I love the peace and quiet of the beaches and the ability to spend quality time with my family. I especially love to go there off season!

What are you working on now?

I just finished completing my third round of edits for my second novel, The Chesapeake House which is a Crime/Thriller. Here is a little blurb about it:

A kidnapping, an affair, and a murder….

The Chesapeake House, A Home for People with Abilities, is in disarray when their house manager goes missing. So, when Dolores goes on a hunt to find her, what she discovers is more than she anticipated for…

The Chesapeake House is a brilliant take on finding family in the most unexpected places and reveals that even people with disabilities can do amazing things… 

Think Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies and The Husband’s Secret meets The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by: Mark Haddon. 


Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Writers:

Don’t give up and persistence is key! Remember you have to love and be passionate about the story you write because you will be reading and editing it at least a hundred times!

Great Advice!

Author Pet Corner!

Kathleen Fine




We welcomed Mabel Whoville Fine into our family in September of 2020 after our beloved cocker spaniel, Henry Whoville Fine, passed away in July.

Mabel is an adorable Sussex Spaniel and is just like one of our children!


Kathleen Fine

Kathleen Fine

Kathleen Fine received her Master’s in Reading Education from Towson University and Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from University of Maryland, College Park.

She is a member of the Maryland Writers Association, International Thriller Writers, and Author’s Guild.

When she’s not writing and selling real estate, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling to the Outer Banks, and of course, reading anything she can get her hands on.

She currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland with her husband, three children, and Sussex Spaniel.

Her short stories have been published in Litro Magazine, Pen in Hand, The Maryland Writer’s Association Anthology, and in The Indignor Playhouse Anthology. Girl on Trial is her debut novel.   

To learn more about Kathleen, click on any of the following links: WebsiteFacebook, BookBub, Instagram, Goodreads, TikTok, X.

Elena Taylor/Elena Hartwell

Eddie Shoes

Elena Hartwell

Author and developmental editor.

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