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Kaui Hemmings, author of The Descendants (July 1-15)

Author Chat

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Jul 1, 2008, 1:11pm Top

Join us here to talk to Kaui Hemmings, author of The Descendants. She'll be on LibraryThing to discuss her work and answer questions through July 15th.

Jul 1, 2008, 2:44pm Top

Hi all,
Feel free to ask me questions about books, writing, cooking, grocery stores, hip-hop, other authors, television and wine. I like to dish on all of the above.
Or just tell me what's going on...

Edited: Jul 1, 2008, 7:24pm Top

Grins. One hopes that Judge Sam King won't (incorrectly, I'm sure!) find any resemblance between himself and the main character in The Descendants.

Addendum: Oh my goodness. Having read the book's description, I'm finding Tom Gentry in him too!

Jul 2, 2008, 12:33pm Top

I know Judge King--no resemblance whatsoever. As for Tom Gentry--while his tragic accident resembles the fate of one of the characters he's not in there either.
But keep looking--I'm sure you'll see lots of familiar faces and places! I tend to borrow traits then stick them on different bodies.

Jul 2, 2008, 3:43pm Top

I've lived here for a long time; I'm sure I will.

I keep thinking somebody will start writing a series mystery that will do for Hawai'i what others have done for Boston, LA and NY, but so far no one has. There's certainly plenty of history here to explore.

I know you'd prefer sales, but...I just reserved a copy at HSL; I'm twelfth on the list!

Jul 2, 2008, 4:35pm Top

Cool. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, get other people to buy it:> It's in paperback so won't break the bank.

Jul 7, 2008, 10:12pm Top

I loved The Descendants; I thought the mix of family drama and humor in it was really well done. Are you working on a new novel?

Jul 8, 2008, 9:39am Top

I've read House of Thieves, and I really love it, particularly The minor war, which is one of my favorite short stories ever.
I just learned about The Descendents here, and I'm looking forward to read it.
Being french, I was wondering, if you (or agent, or publisher) ever tried to get you translated and published in France?

Jul 8, 2008, 2:19pm Top

Yes, I am working on a new one. A few, actually. I've been going back and forth between two novels, both of which are not set in Hawaii. One is called How to Party with an Infant, and it's set in San Francisco.
My blog is www.partywithaninfant.blogspot.com
it has the same kind of tone as the novel. I've been using my real experiences in the blog then translating them into fiction for the book.

Jul 8, 2008, 2:22pm Top

Thank you. You'll be happy to know then that The Descendants is an expansion of the the Minor Wars, so it was obviously one of my favorites, too.
I believe we tried to publish in France, but for now the novel has been sold in Italy, Poland, the U.K and Israel.

Jul 9, 2008, 4:22pm Top

I’m really enthusiast about The Descendants being an expansion of the the Minor Wars and look forward to read it.

I wish I had some smart questions to ask you about your work, but since I haven't read The Descendants yet and read House of Thieves quite a long time (remembering more the fact that I loved it than it’s actual content) this isn’t going to happen. So instead here is bunch of question about being a writer and a reader… Please feel free to answer only the ones you’re interested in.

As I already mention, I’m french, so I hope you’ll forgive me for misspelling and that you’ll understand what I mean despite the incorrect sentences/words I might use.

1- Is there anything you would like to change about the way you write? And anything you’re afraid of losing?

2- Does the idea of family and friends reading your book leads you to censor yourself?

3- If you were forced to write someone famous’s biography, who would you choose?

4- The few times I’ve tried writing stuff (letter, thoughts, I don’t know…) I felt writing was like trying to catch fishes from a river, with my bares hand, at night, with for only help the recollections of daylight. How would you metaphorically describe your relation to writing?

5- In Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks! humanity defeats the Martians by playing a yodeling song by Slim Whitman. If you were to try killing a bad, bad alien with a book, what would you read him?

6- What is the funniest book you’ve ever read?

7- Which singer are you the most admirative of the lyrics he wrote ? Ever thought about writing a hip-hop song yourself?

8- When you use your own experiences and memories to turn them into fiction, does it affect back those memories (by congealing them, blurring them?)

9- What percentage of a story already exist in your head when you start writing? What percentage of sentences?
Is there a book you loved, for which you haven’t found a “soulmate-reader“ yet ? (like you keep offering it around, and nobody has the reaction you where hoping for.)

10- Which are the 5 book you are the most thankful for, the ones that when you realize for a moment they could haven't been written, it makes you shiver ?

11- And more important, what is you favorite aisle in a grocery shop ? Which is the one you never go through ?

Jul 10, 2008, 5:43pm Top

Wow. Interesting questions.
For now I'll say that I love the cereal aisle and the ice cream aisle and I never go down the cleaning products aisle.

Jul 11, 2008, 6:26am Top

Thank you for your answer, I hope you’ll find time to answer more...

(I typed too quickly, there's obviously 2 very different questions in point number 9.)

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