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A Huge, Epic Tale About Hawaii

James Eldridge Author Interview

Islanders: The Pacific Chronicles (Book 1) follows a brother and sister who, while on a hike, develop magical abilities and make new friends. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

My brother and I knew we wanted to capture what it was like to explore the tropical forests, grassy hills, beaches and lava fields of the Hawaiian Islands so that was the core and heart of the story. Quickly we realized that so much of what we discovered as adventure when we were kids was a combination of our imaginations and the education about Hawaii we had received. My wife and daughter are very much Kilikina — a fascinating combination of both reserved and natural leaders. People are drawn to them and frequently they both wonder why, but the rest of us around them know. Kaimana is a combination of both my boys: more outgoing, impulsive and energetic. And finally, my brother and I had always longed for a huge, epic tale about Hawaii that involved the rich history, mythology and lore that we thought was so amazing, but we never could find it. So as adults, we decided to write it.

What were some of the emotional and moral guidelines you followed when developing your characters?

We wanted to capture the age, perspective and experiences as a pre-teen and teenager would. The book is intentionally less descriptive and detailed in its world-building and more observational and theatrical because that’s how most kids that age see the world. They’re engaging with it, not necessarily taking in every aspect of their surroundings to remember and describe it later as adults most likely would. Also I have ADHD so it was morally important to me that this is not a boring series. We are committed to being sincere and authentic with our portrayal of our home State while also taking many creative and exciting liberties that keep kids (and adults) with a wide array of attention spans fully engaged all the way through. We promise if you or your children read these books they will learn far more about Hawaii than you would expect, and have a blast the whole time.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The biggest theme in this book is a positive association with what it means to defend what is right and good. We believe if kids are entertained, made to laugh, emotionally connect with and understand the value of respecting and protecting indigenous plants, animals, ecosystems, history and mythology/legends, they will naturally do what all kids do when they love something: defend it. To abruptly shift gears, many people don’t realize Hawaii has an unique and powerful culture that values quick banter and jokes even in many of the most formal or serious settings. The Menehune, animals and sea creatures all have that local-style sense of humor and reflect Hawaii’s real-life culture. We want kids to come away having experienced some of what makes Hawaii so special. And lastly, a major theme throughout every book is that we promise you won’t know what is coming next almost the whole time. Try us. If we’re wrong, let us know and we will absolutely give you a refund. 

Can you tell us what the second book will be about and when it will be available for fans to purchase?

This is the first time this information will have been made public. Book 2, Kaimana (the older brother) steps into a critically supportive role and we will be first surprised then fascinated as an 11 year-old girl executes an incredible wartime leadership role defined by her compassion and command of a complicated large-scale military defense. It’s been wild to capture but I absolutely believe that is what would happen if my daughter was put in the same position. The bad guys are very bad, the good guys are good, but nothing comes easily and there are loads of surprises alongside many, many laughs. We’ve incorporated the native Hawaiian language, food, authentic historical armor and weapons (scaled down for animals) and military tactics. Several ancient Hawaiian myths are retold and integrated in a way that builds into a huge, epic, never-before-seen original tale. I’m also crushed to say: a character we met in book 1 won’t survive to the end of book 2. One thing to note: as a father of four with a fifth on the way, we will keep this and the subsequent books appropriate for all ages. If you enjoy Islanders and submit your email on our website, we’ll send you the first few chapters of Book 2 shortly!

Mākaha: The Pacific Chronicles (Book 2) will be made available on digital and softcover on May 15th, 2023 and is available for digital pre-order now at this link. Mahalo Literary Titan for your thorough and gracious review and excellent interview questions!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

When eleven-year-old Kilikina and her brother, fourteen-year-old Kaimana, are unknowingly given access to a hidden and legendary world in their native O’ahu in the Hawaiian islands, they are also gifted with an unexpected set of magical abilities. Soon, they find themselves on an adventure, one in which they experience the interconnectedness of the world around them and begin to learn firsthand about the islands’ vast history and traditions.
Guided by a quirky and silly duo from a mythical race of tiny people, the siblings soon learn they have been chosen to help protect their island and way of life from a great evil. Are they up to the challenge?

Islanders: The Pacific Chronicles 

On the lovely island of Oahu, Hawaii, siblings Kaimana and Kilikina embark on a hike up the mountain. But when a terrifying storm appears, the brother and sister find themselves changed beyond all belief. Fighting to understand their newfound abilities and the mysterious world into which they have stumbled, the siblings must work together to navigate a place of marvelous magic and mythology. Deadly threats work behind the scenes to undo the peace of the Hawaiian Islands, and the only hope for the future rests solidly on the shoulders of Kaimana and Kilikina and the friends that they have made.

The Pacific Chronicles Book 1: Islanders by James Eldridge is a wonderful journey to the Hawaiian Islands. The heritage and mythology of Hawaii permeate every single page, as the main plot of the story is perfectly complimented by the engaging cultural adventure woven throughout. From legends of the Menehune to the ancient protectors of the islands, the rich history of Hawaii is beautifully told in this light-hearted tale.

I loved the story of big brother Kaimana and his little sister Kilikina working together to explore a new dimension. I also loved Eleu and Molawa, the Menehune brothers, and their incredible antics. While threats are introduced, the main focus of this tale is the special bond between siblings and the true beauty of the Hawaiian Islands. Book one focuses mainly on why the Islands need to be protected, coming to a conclusion that sets the stage for many more adventures to come.

The Pacific Chronicles Book 1: Islanders is a captivating children’s fantasy novel that would be perfect for older elementary and middle-grade readers. A perfect story for all who love world culture, fantasy, and a story of familial friendship, the tale of Kaimana and Kilikina is only the beginning of what promises to be a truly remarkable adventure.

Pages: 158 | ASIN : B0BGQJL688

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