My upcoming novella (not yet named) will once again take me back to the Island of Kauai on Hawaii. It joins, A Killer in Kilauea, as well as the third book in my Small Brand America series which focused on food/beverage companies based in Hawaii and had several based in Kauai.
Unlike a non-story based nonfiction book like Small Brand America III, or a short story like my popular A Killer in Kilauea, this new tale requires some real legwork. Since there is so much more character development than my short story, I really have to not only get to know the island like a local would, I need to get the subtleties down which truly represent how a Kauai resident talks, acts and spends their spare time.
The good news is I’ve got some great friends who are either currently Kauai residents or have been in the past.
They are helping me identify spots where my characters would hang out. They are also providing those small details which add realism to my story, even for those who have lived on Kauai their whole life. I even have one person recording telephone conversations with family members (with their permission) so I can pick up on personal interaction and the nuances of casual conversation.
What I hope to accomplish by all of this research is to provide a realistic story which treats my characters, and most importantly the State and people of Hawaii with respect. I understand the dynamic and skepticism which is often conveyed by a “Mainlander” using Hawaii as the backdrop in a story.
Believe it or not, the ultimate goal isn’t book sales and rankings. For me, the truest measure of satisfaction for me is a story which makes the people of Hawaii as proud about their depiction in the book as I am in writing it.
If I can deliver on that, I think the sales side of the business will take care of itself!