Scenes of Kaua'i                                                                    

                                          

Hawaii Like You've
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Kapaa, HI 96746-1521

Captain   The Kauai Made Products seal is awarded to products unique to Kauai, using Kauai products and made on the island.

Kauai born and raised, Bill Fernandez writes memoirs and novels set in the islands as he enjoys the ocean breezes in the old house his mother bought with her pineapple earnings. His early years exploring the ocean, making kites, paddling tin canoes made from corrugated roofing, and shining GI shoes are brought to life in his memoirs: Rainbows Over Kapa'a, Kaua'i Kids in Peace and WW Two, Hawai'i in War and Peace. In 1939 Bill's parents built Roxy, a large movie theater in Kapa'a, a center of entertainment for the thousands of GIs who came to protect against a feared Japanese invasion after Pearl Harbor.

The heroes of his novels are young Hawaiian men trying to figure out and surivive when Western capitalists and religion sweep over the islands in the 19th and 20th centuries. Hawaiians find themselves at the bottom of the plantation-dominated world on Hawaiian land. The struggles begin when the young Hawaiian man, John Tana  is kicked off his inherited farm by rugged men with whips.

The Hawaiian islands are more than sandy beaches and stunning views. Ever since the Hawaiian Islands were first stumbled upon by Captain Cook, the native Hawaiians have struggled to adapt from their isolated lives to world politics of capitalism and expansion of Christianity. They learned quickly but succumbed to foreign diseases which left them powerless. Wooden clubs embedded with shark teeth were no match for metal weapons and ammunition. As you read the well researched stories, you will experience the frustrations and benefits of the complex history of the islands. Many know Michener's book: Hawaii, which was written in an era when historical materials in the Hawaiian language were not available and many early sources were out of print. In recent years the sources have been translated and re-printed. To understand the island history, the viewpoint of native Hawaiian Bill is invaluable.

The most recent novels, Splintered Paddle and Conquest, are set in the tumultuous years of the late 18th c. when Kamehameha the Great began fighting island chiefs to unite the islands. Kalani Tana is the reluctant hero, sent to train as a warrior to protect his mother and sisters from slavery. He learns how to use Western guns, is repulsed by human sacrifice, treachery, and is rewarded with farmland when made a "black land chief". But domestic bliss ends with a firey attack. His hunt for the secret killers leads to Captain Vancouver, spying for Kamehameha, and the battle of Nuuanu at an Oahu cliff's edge. The author makes good use of his hobby, historic military battles.

A third novel in this Kamehameha series is End of the Gods, expected to be in print by mid-2021. When Christian missionaries arrive in 1820 they find whalers, bars, half-naked people, and the religious temples (heiau) and icons lying in ruin.

About Bill

Bill Fernandez loves to talk about his barefoot days in Kapa'a, so please feel free to ask him about them!  People love kanikapila (singing) as he describes his special island world in a simpler time before television, when plantations ruled. Enjoy stories about hukilau, ocean adventures,rooster fights  the complicated multi-cultural world of the islands, delicious food, the movies, GIs,shamans, and storms. "E Komo Mai," come to his house. Read his stories. Mahalo and aloha!

His Life
When Bill was born, it was the heyday of the sugar plantations on Kauai. His part-Hawaiian parents operated a movie theater in thesmall, multi-racial town of Kapa'a. The town mirrored the rainbow society of Hawaii produced by the importation of foreign workers to work on the plantations. Everyone struggled, all shared. This small town boy became a judge in California.

Fishing, Bill Fernandez Hawaiian Author in Kapaa, HI

Barefoot and brown as a nut, Bill's family and friends were a mix of many colors, religions, and cultures. Kids in the neighborhood enjoyed Japanese noodle soup, Chinese char su pork, poi and kalua pig. His family ancestors include Native Hawaiian, French, Portugese, German, and Irish. Marriage brought in Japanese and Filippino. The Native Hawaiian aloha spirit means sharing in a loving way without expecting anything in return. It was an ideal world on an island of stunning beauty surrounded by a huge ocean. There was little money and no stores to spend it in, so he learned how to make do. His first surf board was an old ironing board. The war years brought many challenges, fear, racism, gas masks, rationing, and GI money for shining shoes and runnning errands. Pineapple picking taught him the need to get an education.

His Education & Work
Realizing the value of an education, his family sent him to the continental U.S. after he graduated from Kamehameha Schools for children of Native Hawaiian blood. Bill graduated from Stanford University with a law degree then settled in Sunnyvale, California, where he served as mayor. Bill soon was appointed a Superior Court Judge in Santa Clara County.

However, his success left a sense of emptiness within him. Native Hawaiians, who shared everything and never owned anything, were drowning in a new culture of capitalism and private property. His solution was to write novels depicting common Hawaiians' points of view as they struggled to adapt to changing times and politics. He recently started composing Hawaiian poetry in the form of oli (chants) even though he never spoke Hawaiian as he grew up. With his wife, Judith, he created talks explaining the Native Hawaiian history up to the modern Sovereignty movement. His oli and the slide show bring it all to life. People love his singing. 

Bill has served as president and member of the board of the Kaua'i Historical Society and was recently appointed by the governor to the Juvenile Justice State Advisory Commission. He also serves on the board of a family service agency on Kaua'i, Hale 'Opio and is on the board of the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce.

Bill presented lectures on Writing Memoirs, and Digital Marketing of Your Book at the Rose College, Oklahoma, Writers Conference in late Sept. 2013.

In June, 2019, Kamehameha Schools named him "A Most Distinguished Alumnus" at the annual June reunion. Bill is of the Class of '49 and was deeply honored by this.

Call or e-mail Bill Fernandez Hawaiian Author in Kapaa, Hawaii, for more information about his work as a Hawaiian author.