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Hawaii Like You've
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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 Kapaa, 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. Old photographs are intriguing.

The heroes of his novels are young Hawaiian men trying to figure out how to surivive when Western capitalists and religion sweep over the islands in the late 18th to early 20th centuries. Hawaiians fell to the bottom of the plantation-dominated world on Hawaiian land and many still feel that way. Kalani Tana becomes a warrior for Kamehameha during the wars to unite the islands and joins a conspiracy to overthrow the god Ku (Splintered Paddle, Conquest, End of the Gods). John Tana is chased off his inherited farm by men with whips on horseback in the Great Mahele era. To escape a thug hired to kill him he sails to Honolulu and then to Kauai. Traditional religious beliefs do not blend well with Christianity. (Gods, Ghosts and Kahuna on Kauai.) Despite trying to survive by seeking legal help, he loses his farm. The overthrow of the monarchy gives him a last chance for justice. (Hawaiian Rebellions). In the 20th century, Grant Kingsley seeks justice when accused of ritual murders (Cult of Ku) and worries about the fate of the Hawaiian Joseph Kahahawai in the Masse cases (Crime & Punishment in Hawaii). Locals see that white people can kill locals and get away with it. The murder of striking Phillipino plantation workers and Grant's father seem related. (Terrorism in Paradise)

The Hawaiian islands are more than sandy beaches and stunning views. Ever since Captain Cook first stumbled upon the islands in 1778, native Hawaiians have struggled to adapt from their isolated lives to capitalism and 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 feel the frustrations and injustices of the complex story of the islands. Many know Michener's book: Hawaii, 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 reprinted. To understand the island history, the viewpoint of native Hawaiians, Bill is invaluable.

Two historical novels, Splintered Paddle and Conquest, are set in the tumultuous years of the late 18th century 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.

The newest Kalani Tana novel, End of the Gods, NOW IN PRINT!  1819: Hero Kalani left the islands after his wife was killed and sailed on whaling ships. While in Chinese waters, he learns about Buddhism. It is time to return to the islands and reunite with his son and daughter. He finds a different world run by newcomers that entice whalers: bars, gambling, and women. He reunites with his son who manages the farm but cannot find his daughter. The god Ku now dominates life. Violate one of the many kapu (taboos) and instant death strikes. Kalani joins the conspiracy to overthrow the gods which leads to civil war. Meanwhile, six thousand miles away, Christian missionaries set sail in 1820 to bring Jesus to the savages.

Articles

The Garden Island News has a series of articles about the Hanapepe Massacre of 1924. tgi.com.

The Garden Island News interview, Sept., 2018:

Garden Island News Interview Feb. 2016:

Kaua'i Traveler Magazine Article

Kaua'i Traveler Magazine - puts out a tri-yearly magazine in which it features interesting people and events for the island of Kaua'i. These magazines are placed in all of the fine resorts on Kauai. It is also sold at fine stores, and can be viewed online at myhawaiitraveler.com. The memoir Rainbows Over Kapa'a is featured in a six page article.  [Click Here] and skip forward to page 60.

Kaua'i People Article & Video

Kaua'i People - a weekly newsmagazine that featured Rainbows Over Kapa'a.  [Click Here]

SFGate

SFGate.com is the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper website. The column about Bill and his book are Here

Rotary Club Hanalei Bay

The Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay, Kaua'i, meets Thursdays at noon, St. Regis Hotel, Princeville. Bill's talk was featured in the newsletter. [Click Here]

Hawaii Book Blog

The Hawaii Book Blog reviews Hawaiian authors. Alan Alba of Hawaii Book Blog reviewed "Rainbows Over Kapa'a". [Click Here]

Kamehameha Schools IMUA newsletter Article - Fall 2010

In their Fall edition, IMUA, the Kamehameha Schools quarterly magazine, featured alumnus Bill Fernandez and his memoir "Rainbows Over Kapa'a".

  [Click Here]

Kauaibackstory.com writing contest - a winner!

Prize Winning Article: "Listening to Agnes" by Bill and Judie Fernandez, Fall 2010 - [Click Here]

Hawaii Book Blog Review - October 13, 2013:

The Garden Island Newspaper interview

CNHA Article