Tag Archives: Kauai

KAUA’I ON MY MIND

I’m really on fire with my novel I hope to release later this year. It’s a buddy story featuring two landscape architects working for the Parks and Recreation Department in Kaua’i. They end up going on the journey of a lifetime as they explore what else is out there in the world for them beyond their current lives.

I am about 70 pages in. Even though I’ve not written anything like this before, I am really pleased with how my story is coming together and am enjoying the process of writing a novel.

I can’t wait to get this one out there!

In totally unrelated news, I’m also just starting another project I’m going to be working on at the same time also centered around Kaua’i. Local businessman Greg Schredder reached out to me via email. He started the Kōloa Rum Company which I featured in my book Small Brand America III. He was disappointed he wasn’t featured in the chapter dedicated to Kōloa.

After explaining the format and how it wasn’t conducive to providing a complete history we continued to exchange emails about our lives and things we are working on. He was so interesting I inquired if he would be interested in a brief biography I could put together which included his work inn establishing the Kōloa Rum Company.

I am pleased to say he is on board. In fact, we have our first phone interview today. This should be a really interesting process and another new chapter in my writing career: the first biography I have ever written.

Two Kaua’i projects going on at once? Three Kaua’i books in total when you add in A Killer in Kilauea, the short story I published last year. You would have to presume I have some history with Kaua’i with this kind of activity centered around one place, right?

Actually, I’ve never been there. I need to get there, though. Soon.

Hey, it’s for “work.”

MY JUGGLING ACT

No, I haven’t joined the circus. I’ve been busy writing. I am juggling three projects right now, though.

Here is an update on each:

My next Small Brand America Book – The next edition of this series focuses on bourbon. I figured I would go back to why I started writing… write about what interests me.

Bourbon certainly fits the bill.

I have seven companies already onboard to participate. My first two interviews are this week so I am rolling with this one. I am enthused about telling the stories of these small brands and the people behind them.

My Buddy Book – My first foray into fiction beyond short stories and children’s books focuses on two friends living on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. This one is starting to take shape and I really like the idea of transitioning into writing a real book with the character development and storytelling it represents. Right now I’m in the process of taking the outline I developed for the story and expanding upon it. Each chapter is getting a full page outline where I am filling in the details. I believe I should begin writing the actual story some time later this month.

Coffeehouse Jazz 2 – I’ve done just a little bit of work on my follow-up to this first book in this series. I’ve identified a handful of songs which will be included in the second offering. Still, this represents only a small amount of the actual work I will need to do to complete this one. Even though I’m light on content, I have already completed the cover design and I have to say it’s a dandy. My best cover work to date (I design my own covers for my eBooks). I’ve included a preview of the cover here so you can check it out. Look for Coffeehouse Jazz 2, the eBook, to hit the virtual shelves sometime the first half of next year.

So it’s true. I am doing some real juggling right now, but so far I’ve managed to not drop the ball on anything yet!

HELLO KAUAI

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!

I LOVE HAWAII EDITION

I love Hawaii. It’s beautiful. It’s fun. The weather is nice. The people are great. The food is awesome. There’s so much to do. You literally could go on and on.

I have visions of retiring to my favorite vacation destination. I even have a favorite website where I often search for homes and condos (check it out here).

Despite my absolute love for our 50th state, I realize I’m not alone. Probably 90% of the people who travel to Hawaii feel the same way.

I’ve got something they don’t though…

A crazy thing has happened to me with my writing and I have to be honest, it’s completely awesome. Though I can’t compare myself to him, I do have a story involving Jerry Seinfeld I can relate to. He often talks about my hometown of St. Louis. It started early in his run of TV show Seinfeld and he speaks to it each and every time he visits.

When Seinfeld just started, the show was struggling to find an audience. He notes the only place it was doing well was St. Louis. Each morning after the show aired everyone on the show would race to see the Neilson ratings for St. Louis. Despite the fact no one else seemed to be getting what they were doing, getting some decent numbers in St. Louis meant the world to him and the cast.

During the course of my brief time writing, I’ve done two books and a short story involving Hawaii: Leo the Coffee Drinking Cat Moves to Hawaii, Small Brand America III – Special Hawaii Edition and the short story A Killer in Kilauea

It’s been amazing how these books have helped me build a great base of readers there. I’ve even gotten some really great articles in a newspaper in Kauai. Check these out: Article #1 & Article #2.

Like Seinfeld and crew, I love to get my weekly sales reports. It’s amazing to see that I sell more books in Hawaii than anywhere else. Even more than my hometown of St. Louis. Almost everybody I know and work with lives here, yet I’m solidly selling more books in Hawaii. Let’s not forget St. Louis alone has almost twice as many people as the entire state of Hawaii. It’s amazing and humbling to me.

No better case can be made about the popularity of my work in Hawaii than the fact I’ve written six short stories (A Killler in Kilauea, The Bacon Killer, The Donut Shop Killer, The Legend of Bear Island, The Lincoln Stalker, and The Vampire of Cliff Cave) and The Killer in Kilauea has sold more than the other five combined!

It really doesn’t matter what happens with my writing career moving forward. If I’m a great success or I simply continue to plug along getting one reader at a time, my love for Hawaii is set. The readers of Hawaii have appreciated my work more so than anyone else and I love the state even more than ever.

The cool thing is, apparently Hawaii loves me back!

 

The following companies are profiled in Small Brand America III – Special Hawaii Edition:

Adoboloco (adoboloco.com) • Akamai Juice Company (akamaijuice.com) • Aloha Spice (alohaspice.com) • Anahola Granola (anaholagranola.com) • Aunty Liliko’i (auntylilikoi.com) • Da Secret Sauce (dasecretsauce.com) • Govinda’s Fresh Juice (govindasjuice.com) • Haliimaile Distilling Company (haliimailedistilling.com) • Hamakua Mushrooms (hamakuamushrooms.com) • Hawaii’s Special (hawaiisspecial.com) • Hula Daddy Kona Coffee (huladaddy.com) • Island Distillers (islanddistillers.com) • Kōloa Rum (koloarum.com) • Kona Natural Soap Company (konanaturalsoapcompany.com) • Maui Brewing Co. (mauibrewingco.com) • Maui Dog Treats (dogtreatsmaui.com) • Maui’s Winery (mauiwine.com) • Minato’s Hawaii (minatohawaiiangift.com) • Molokai Meli (realhawaiianhoney.com) • North Shore Goodies (northshoregoodies.net) • Original Hawaiian Chocolate (ohcf.us) • Sea Salts of Hawaii (seasaltsofhawaii.com) • Shaka Pops (shakapopsmaui.com) • Surfing Goat Dairy (surfinggoatdairy.com) • Tropical Dreams Ice Cream (tropicaldreamsicecream.com)