How did you come to be interested in the Lei Crime Kindle World?
Doing cooperative projects with other authors is always a fun endeavor. I am lucky enough to be part of an Author’s Group that includes Toby and I knew the quality of her work so when she invited me into her world, I jumped at the chance. It didn’t hurt that I loved her lead character – Lei Texeria.
Tell us how your story links to the Lei Crime Series. Characters.
I fell in love with the psychic wise woman Esther Ka’auai who helps Lei solve the mystery in Torch Ginger. I was drawn to her immediately and knew she was the one I wanted to write about. She has such a peaceful and wise soul, it speaks to me.
Although Esther’s Gift does have a romantic love interest, it is more a story about the depth of Esther’s character and how she deals with the challenges of life in her wise and gentle way. I love dealing with situations that may or may not be true, with the acceptance being in the heart of the believer.
The Lei Crime Series is set in Hawaii, but these novellas could be set anywhere. Tell us about where you set your story, and why.
Esther’s Gift could only be set in Hawaii on the island of Kauai because it is so steeped in the history and culture of the people. I felt that was a great part of the charm of the story. It is also based on the true to life events surrounding Hurricane Iniki.
Tell us a little about your main character. Why do you think readers will like her?
I almost think it is hard not to like Esther. She is perhaps what we all aspire to be. Wise beyond her own being, gifted in so many ways, and perhaps most importantly, she has a heart for loving and caring for others. She is a mother, grandmother, wife, sweetheart, and friend. I know for certain I would love to have Esther Ka’auai as a personal friend.
What major theme comes across the clearest in your story? Is this a theme found consistently in your other works?
Esther’s Gift is a story that deals with the challenges of life. Often it is not the challenge that defines a person, but how that person handles it, and that’s where I find my story. I believe there is a bit of magic in all of our lives, some people catch hold of it as Esther did. Some never do. Just as Esther has the ability for “knowing” – Ophelia Browne in Memory House has the ability to touch an object and feel the memories that have been left behind by a previous owner. I truly enjoy this type of standing on the edge of reality. It is close enough to be believable and magical enough to give us unending hope of what might be.
I started my career as an artist. One day a salesman asked me to ‘make up’ some copy for the back of the package I was designing. I discovered a love for painting pictures with words instead of brushes, and never looked back.
Do you have a background related to your writing? What makes you interesting outside of your books? Authors are often some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met!
Oh my gosh, I think my characters are way more interesting than I am. They have tons of exciting adventures and the funny thing is they often think just as I would in that exact same situation. I think the most interesting thing about me is that I am 100% genuine. What you see is exactly what you get – whether it is in one of my books, online, or in person. I treasure friendships, worship happily and love deeply. My happiest times are spending time with my husband and friends, going to church, and squirrelled away in my tiny little office working on another novel.
The Lei Crime Series uses mysteries to explore social issues of Hawaii. What social issues intrigue you, and why?
Issues involving children are something that tugs at my heart. I have children in many of my books. I find children and elderly people the absolute most honest. They say what is on their mind and speak the truth even when it is not in their favor.
What are you working on next, aside from the novella in the Lei Crime Series Kindle World?
I just completed a novel that will released in March of 2016 – it is titled Baby Girl and is based on the true story of a young mother who gave her child up for adoption. You’ve read many stories of the child seeking it’s birth mother, but this story is from the reverse side. It is so filled with the emotion of this young woman, I have reread the ending three times and cried every time (tears of joy).
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