The Kaua'i Made Products seal is awarded to products unique to Kaua'i, using Kaua'i products and made on the island. Kaua'i born and raised, Bill Fernandez writes memoirs and novels set in the islands and featuring native Hawaiian heroes while sitting in the house his mother bought with her pineapple cannery earnings in the 1920s.
Hawaiian Author Based in Kapaa, Kauai, Hawaii
Are you ready to fall in love all over again with Hawaii? Whether you're a history buff or just someone who's interested in a good story, you'll love Bill Fernandez's novels set in the historic Hawaiian Kingdom in the 19th century and during the 20th century Territory years. His memoirs reveal a unique childhood adventures exploring the ocean in front of his home.
Bill Fernandez Hawaiian Author weaves nativeHawaiian history into his memoirs and exciting novels.Life was simple when he grew up in Kapaa, on Kauai. Each book is well researched for accuracy. Add any of his well-written works to your collection. Some of his works include gorgeous as well as old pictures of his family and Hawaiian scenery.
Bill brings the story of Hawai'i alive in his history talks Bill not only writes memoirs and novels, he loves to "talk story" about his books and growing up on Kaua'i. He opens his talks with a Hawaiian chant, shows a slide show, and entertains with his stories. Contact Bill or his wife, Judie to arrange one. No charge.
Rainbows Over Kapaa,From Poi to Pineapple,Hawaiian Sovereignty, Kaua'i Kids inPeace and WW Two, Hawaii in War and Peace, Cult of Ku and Crime & Punishment in Hawai'i, Grant Kingsley novels; John Tana - An Adventure Novel of Old Hawai'i - each talk is free of charge. DVDs of the some of the talks are available at the Kauai History Society website for $20 each.
"I saw a side of Kaua'i tourists never notice," said one person.
"Bill's voice is so deep and beautiful, I loved his singing, and his chanting gave me goosebumps."
Bill served as President of the Board of the Kaua'i Historical Society which included several celebrations of local cultures during the Centennial Year. He also serves on the boards of a social service agency on Kaua'i, Hale 'Opio and the Kaua'i Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce. The governor appointed him to the Hawai'i Juvenile Justice State Advisory Commission.
Forbes Magazine designated Kapa'a as "Among the 15 Prettiest Towns in America" in Sept, 2013. In 2016, The National Geographic Traveler identified Kaua'i as one of the top places to visit.
A Word from the Author
I was lucky to be born on a tiny dot in the Pacific Ocean called Kaua'i, Hawaii when the islands were a territory of the United States. I graduated from Kamehameha Schools and Stanford University and Law School, then practiced law and became a judge in California. I'm back home living in my mother's old house by the ocean. My wife, Judie, and I have a lot of fun creating the books and talks.
I love history, particularly military history, which depicts the struggles of people againstoppression. I am half-Hawaiian. My novels deal with slavery, human sacrifice, and the conflicts between the Hawaiian culture and the new Western culture, told from the commoner Hawaiian point of view.
My memoirs begin with the pre-war years and include the story of the family movie theater, Pearl Harbor and the military occupation of the islands during the war years, and post-war events up to the day I entered college in 1949. (Rainbows Over Kapa'a, Kaua'i Kids in Peace and WW Two, and Hawai'i in War and Peace). Many old photographs bring it all to life as you learn how to make a tin canoe, challenge the sugar cane trains on the bridges, carry a gas mask to school, shine the shoes of GIs, and become aware of world events that affect our lives.
Kaua'i Kids in Peace and WW Twoexplores my world from age four to 14 when I spent most of my time in or around the ocean. There were no stores to buy toys and no money to pay for them, so my friends and I made our toys: a tin canoe, a spear for fishing, kites using poi for paste, for example. Part II contrasts that freedom with the military occupation and worries of my Japanese American friends and family after Pearl Harbor. But kids often view life differently: making friends with the GIs, shining shoes, sneaking past barbed wire to catch fish at night. I dedicate Part Two to the courage of the Japanese Americans fighting for America despite racism against them. President Obama awarded them the Congressional Gold Medal for their brave service to America.
Hawai'i in War and Peacecontinues my memoirs.In 1944 at age 14 my family sent me to the Honolulu boarding school for children of Hawaiian ancestry, Kamehameha. There I learned military discipline, witnessed racism between the GIs and locals in town, and followed world events. In 1948 a family driving trip around the continental U.S. opened my eyes to another way of life and to more racism which made me uncertain of my place. My parents wanted me to attend Stanford University. I wanted to stay on Kaua'i and be a fisherman.
I have started two novel series: Grant Kingsley and John Tana.
The Grant Kingsley series:
Cult of Ku, a murder mystery novel is set in 1920 Honolulu. A war hero, Grant Kingsley, is accused of murdering his grandmother in a grisly, human sacrificial style. He tries to clear his name as more murders strike prominent Honolulu leaders. Notes left at the scenes say the killer will strike again, signed "Ku". The trail leads to the criminal underground of the city, water adventures with new Hawaiian friends, a kahuna, unionization struggles, and a Euro-Asian scholar.
Second Grant Kingsley novel:
Crime & Punishment in Hawai'i. In 1930s Honolulu, two real-life criminal cases grip the islands: Massie/Fortescue. A Navy Lt.'s wife, Thalia Massie, accuses five local men of raping her: a Japanese, a Chinese, two Hawaiians and one mixed race. The undercurrent of racism against the minority working class can no longer be ignored, especially when the trial ends in a hung jury. Violent racism of many of the white navy men against locals makes headlines across the country. Police arrest the rape victim's mother, husband, and two navy men when they find a body in their car, one of the rape defendants: Joseph Kahahawai. The novel's hero Grant Kingsley faces his own emotions for revenge after bootleggers attack his family when he seeks the killer of his friend. The two criminal cases worry his twelve-year-old son and his local friends. Is justice only for the white elite? Can locals be killed without penalty?
The John Tana series is set in the time of the Kingdom of Hawai'i, the 19th century.
John Tana, An Adventure Novel of Old Hawai'i, begins in mid-1800s Maui, as the new land division law, The Great Mahele, is used by a sugar baron to kick the hero off his Native Hawaiian kuleana farmland. Seventeen-years-old, an orphan, and until now unaware of the crush Western capitalism and religion are having on Hawaiians, John struggles to understand and adapt. When he paddles to Lahaina to find family, sailors and whalers harass him and try to shanghai him. He meets a beautiful young cousin, Leinani, but learns the new religion forbids a romance. He is forced to flee from Maui when the sugar baron's henchman tries to kill him. He sails to Oahu. There, life is more complicated. John meets a future king, a French girl, a lua master, a Hawaiian lawyer who defends a Chinese man in a murder trial, and realizes how his future opportunities are limited. When the henchman discovers him a life-or-death fight forces him to once again sail to another island to escape. He hopes a rural life on Kaua'i will bring peace to him.
Gods, Ghosts, and Kahuna on Kauaicontinues John's story on the island of Kauai where he hopes to find a peaceful life. Sugar barons are gaining control of land and water, Chinese are imported to replace Hawaiian laborers, John finds work as a security guard, and marries Mahealani. The island is ghostly: clouds amidst mountain peaks, pounding surf, waterfalls, and a deep belief in the spirit world which people cling to despite baptism. When someone is pulled underwater by an octopus, fears of a curse create tensions between John and his wife's family. Firm in his Christianity, John tries to convince them to turn away from superstition. While swimming he is tested. He hunts a boar feared by the family and is frightened by a small doll. A death occurs and he is blamed. This tropical world is frightening.
In 2015, an Arcadia Images of America book was published about my hometown: Kapa'a.Written along with a few of the town residents, my wife, Judith, and I contributed to it by writing the introduction to the book and the chapter on the War Years 1941-1945. It is a fund-raiser for the local Senior Center in Kapa'a and is filled with old photographs going back more than 100 years.
In 2014 the Native Hawaiian Sovereigntyissue made the headlines. In an effort to explain the history of it up to modern times, I gave a talk, Hawaiian Sovereignty, for the Kaua'i Historical Society. Beginning with a chant and accompanied by a PowerPoint slide show, the audience of over 250 people seemed to appreciate hearing the entire history. One woman said afterward she deeply appreciated it because she did not know the history and why Hawaiians were upset. Now she understands and feels sympathy for their situation. The local community television station occasionally plays the dvd of it which is also available at the historical society.
When I look back on those highschool years when I wanted nothing more than to be a fisherman, I marvel at my life's journey. I ended up at Stanford where I attended law school, practiced law in the Bay Area, and served as a judge. All in all, it was a very wise decision to listen to my parents and attend college, an opportunity they never had. I learned so much about the world and people. Now I am back home, near the ocean and breezes, trying to write about it all, and feel blessed.
Me ke aloha pumehana - May you be surrounded by love.