books

New stories from the Grotto

OK, you may think a grotto is “a small picturesque cave,” possibly near the sea or a lake, and probably sprouting ferns or fountains. Maybe you’ve seen a grotto in a fancy garden, like the Grotta Azzurra at Capri or Le Nôtre’s at Versailles, and associate it with Old World intrigue or even religious shrines. […]

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Moana and more

I have been tuned into all things Hawai‘i this year, what with the release of my new books, both featuring Hawaiian subjects. So when I read that Disney’s Moana earned a spot behind Frozen as the second highest grossing Thanksgiving Day debut of all time, and held top rankings at the box office for several weeks, I was excited. Is Hawaiian culture finally going to get the attention it deserves?

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Indie publishing slakes a thirst for new voices

Indie author, IndieReader, indie lit—a new buzzword has clearly come into vogue in the book world. But what is “indie publishing,” anyway? For many, the term is synonymous with (and maybe less stigmatized than) “self-publishing”—an author’s do-it-yourself production of a work at his or her own expense. But for others, “indie publishing” stands in contrast to “traditional” publishing, often called “trad” or “legacy” publishing by doubters.

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More thoughts on hybrid publishing

It’s been two years since I last shared my thoughts on publishing as a hybrid author. And this month I took the plunge: I have two new books out, both published outside the traditional model. One is a children’s book, ‘Iwalani’s Tree, the other a book about hula, The Natives Are Restless. Digital Book World […]

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Books on reporting

I recently taught a class called “Crafting Truth,” in which I reviewed reporting techniques such as sharpening observation skills, conducting thorough research, interviewing for information and for profiles, organizing notes, and steering clear of ethical minefields. There are endless books out there on journalism and writing literary journalism, so I looked through my own shelves […]

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Summer Fun

Convention says that June, July, and August is a time for beach books and frothy fiction. Surely there will be a bumper crop of such books this summer, but let’s not forget titles that are already on the shelves. While I was in Hawai‘i in May, I read Shawna Yang Ryan’s lyrical Green Island, which […]

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Nick Ripatrazone’s “Thoughts for English Teachers”

I usually use this section of the Web site for guest posts by teachers, but I’m doing a little cheat here. Nick Ripatrazone recently wrote an essay called “55 Thoughts for English Teachers,” for The Millions, an online magazine offering coverage on books, arts, and culture since 2003. (The New York Times called it an “indispensable literary site.”)

Ripatrazone has written six books of fiction and poetry. Despite his delicious Italian name, he teaches English, and has for 10 years. In the essay he shares his inspiring reflections on the profession.

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