Hey Everyone! It is time to meet another of our fantastic authors!
Our Author Spotlight is shinning on….
Here is a bit about The Man Himself!
He is the author of recently released, Treachery Times Two and the whole Koa Kane Mystery series. Which has been the latest binge for myself.
If you haven’t read it yet, don’t worry, there aren’t any spoilers in the interview. But, you should totally head over to my review of the book here. Or if you wanna take the jump into the world of Koa Kane and the Hawaiian Mysteries, the books are easy to find on Amazon and you can scope them out on Goodreads too.
McCaw has been a very busy individual throughout his life! With a passion and love of puzzles, McCaw found a natural pull toward math early on. This led him to graduate from Georgetown University and earned a major in mathematics. Soon after achieving this, he was inspired to follow after his father in his next career choice. McCaw served in the United States Army as a Second Lieutenant – Thank You So Much for Your Service!
It turned out that there was still more for McCaw to do out there! While in service, he was given the opportunity to participate in a court case on the prosecution side. This opened up a whole new world! One that led him to the life-career of being a lawyer!
Now, after 40 years applying himself to court cases and the difficult puzzles that the job entails, Robert McCaw is applying both his experience of the justice system and the ability to create and solve his own puzzles within each of the books he writes. Plus, it is a perfect chance to blurb about a favorite subject of his! I mean honestly, who doesn’t love the chance to share all about a favorite topic? I think the fact McCaw is able to incorporate his personal obsession with the Hawaiian culture, language, and history into a novel – let alone a full series – is amazing and so much fun! His deep knowledge shines through in the books so beautifully.
The fourth installment of the Koa Kane Hawaiian Mystery is finally out for everyone to start reading! If you are new to the series, have no fear! You can absolutely read these books as independent reads. McCaw does a brilliant job at keeping his readers well-informed on what is and has happened in this world. I started with the fourth book and have since jumped back to the beginning to start in on the rest of the stories. These books are a lot of fun to read through and I think everyone else will enjoy the mysteries McCaw has brought to life. Let us see if you can solve the puzzle before the end is told!
Lets Dip into His Thoughts with some Q & A
Q. You kick off this novel with a legend of Pele, the goddess of volcanoes, and it led to me looking up and finding more Hawaiian and Polynesian myths and legends. My current favorite is about Nau and Paka with half of a flower that grows for them each in both the mountains and the beaches. Is there a myth or legend that you are in love with or one that is your current favorite?
A. The myth of Nau and Paka gives the plant that bears such half flowers its name—naupaka. I first heard this lovely story from a Hawaiian friend named Ellsworth. A Hawaiian named Ellsworth? Yes, indeed. My friend, you see, was the thirteenth of seventeen children in a family on Kauai and by the time he came along, his parents had exhausted their portfolio of names. Ellsworth’s father worked as a dockhand at the local port and, coincident with his son’s birth, he met up with a ship under the command of a “Captain Ellsworth.” The rest, they say, is history—or is it a myth? You can never tell when oldtimers start “talking story.”
Another Hawaiian legend about lovers—the story of ‘Ōhiʻa and Lehua—is one of my favorites. Upon meeting the handsome warrior ʻŌhiʻa, Pele was smitten and proposed marriage. Already betrothed to Lehua, ʻŌhiʻa refused the overture, infuriating the goddess of fire. Pele took revenge by turning ʻŌhiʻa into a twisted and gnarled tree. The gods then took pity upon the heartbroken Lehua, turning her into the ʻōhaʻi trees’ beautiful spiky red blossoms, thus reuniting the lovers for eternity.
ʻŌhiʻa trees feature in all the Koa Kāne mysteries, and I think about the myth often as I write about these beautiful evergreens.
Q. For all of us who are caught up in the world of the Hawaiian PD and the mysteries they have solved, do you see more mysteries in the Koa Kane Hawaiian series in the future?
A. Crime, like taxes, is endemic so readers might reasonably expect to see more of Koa in his pursuit of justice!
Q. Where in Hawaii would you say is a must-see spot to visit while there?
A. If I could visit only one place in the state of Hawaiʻi, it would be Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. There is something primordial about Park’s active volcanic landscape. Other locales ranking high on any list of must-see spots include the top of Maui’s Haleakala at sunrise or the summit of Mauna Kea at sunset on the Big Island of Hawaii. The Waipio Valley, also on the Big Island and reportedly populated with the ghosts of past Hawaiian rulers, is another awesome place with its lush foliage and dramatic black sand shoreline.
Q. I am fascinated with how Koa uses his past as a platform for his own quest of atonement and how it influences his view of justice. It really gives a depth to his character that is intense and solidifying. What was the inspiration for such a complex character and why make him a killer turned lawman?
A. Koa’s character did not emerge all at once. I’ve always been fascinated by the secrets buried in people’s lives. We all make mistakes; to err is human. What distinguishes people from one another is not just the nature of their misdeeds but how they respond to their errant ways. Some admit their transgressions and move on, but others pursue the nearly irresistible human need to cover up flaws and wrongdoing. I saw plenty of both during my legal career.
Moreover, in crafting a strong lead character, I wanted Koa’s darkest secret to drive his life’s work and thus it had to be something quite reprehensible. Killing another human being seemed to fit nicely. I also want his secret to enable his work, making him better at his job. What could be better training for a detective than covering up his own serious crime?
In developing this part of Koa’s character, I was aware of the risk of making him an unattractive bad guy. However, his youth, understandable anger over his father’s death, and the accidental nature of his crime allowed me to make his offense more comprehensible if not forgivable.
Q. I’ve heard that you are a big fan of puzzles! Are the mysteries you write similar to figuring out a puzzle of your own creation? Do you go into it knowing how you want it to pan out or does the mystery fall into place as you write?
A. The Koa Kāne mysteries are puzzles of my creation. I typically know where I will enter and exit the maze before I start writing. For me, the story has to be believable and dotted with clues along the way that suggest but don’t reveal the outcome. Achieving that balance often requires writing and rewriting, just like constructing a good puzzle. As with much in life, it’s the journey that counts!
Q. Is there anything you would like to tell any of the aspiring writers out there?
A. Write what you know. Own your material.
Till next time you guys!