Thursday, May 19, 2011

First Book Stories: Wai-nani High Chiefess of Hawai’i-Her Epic Journey by Linda Ballou

First Book Stories continues today with travel writer and author, Linda Ballou. I hosted Linda at The Book Connection when she toured to promote the book she is going to talk about today.

Ano Ano (the seed) for Wai-nani High Chiefess of Hawai’i-Her Epic Journey took root in my heart thirty years ago when I lived on the north shore of Kauai. Since that time, I became a successful real estate sales person in Southern California, published numerous travel articles in national magazines and evolved as a human being. Self actualization on so many levels gave me the courage to tackle my long-buried dream of publishing the historical novel I’d quietly been working on all those years.
When I lived on Kauai, I became smitten with the great personage of Ka’ahumanu, a childless chiefess who was the favorite wife of Kamehameha the Great. This was in the late 70’s, a time when women were breaking the traditional mold. Ka’ahumanu faced down the all–powerful priests and ended the 2,000-year-old kapu system that called for harsh penalties for infractions and human sacrifice. Writing the story of this empowered woman, mostly overlooked by historians, became a beautiful obsession.
Readers of Wai-nani are amazed at the authentic detail and depth of my research. I went to most of the places described in my book, including the sacred Waipio Valley now closed to overnight stays. I hiked across the smoldering floor of Iki Crater in Volcano National Park, and spent hours in The Place of Refuge on the Big Island trying absorb the mana, or spiritual power, of the ancestors. I read old and new chronicles on Hawaiian history, spent hours at Bishop Museum and hired a Hawaiian scholar to read my manuscript. In short, I did everything in my power to stay true to the culture and re-create an authentic portal into a world you can’t get to any other way.

The changing landscape of the publishing world and the opportunities provided through the Internet made the realization of my dream possible. I hired a professional editor who worked hand in hand with Star Publishing to create a quality product. In May of 2008, Wai-nani was loosed upon the world. It was like giving birth to a baby elephant ten years over due!”

Now I am in my soaring sixties and the view from this lofty vantage is exhilarating. Bringing Wai-nani into the world forced me to blossom on many levels.

I came out from behind my computer to give talks and learned how to do radio interviews. With the help of my webmaster, I built a platform on the Internet with articles and photos. It has been a very heady and exciting ride. Empowered by these successes, I went on to publish my collection of travel tales, Lost Angel Walkabout: One Traveler’s Tales. Next, I will tackle Lost Angel at Home in Paradise. But, first, it’s time off to explore more of our incredible planet. Getting both of my books out of her drawer and into the hearts and minds of readers is a totally liberating experience.

A love triangle of extremes has proven to be a solid base for Linda Ballou’s writing. From her roots in Alaska she received strength, centeredness and respect for the awful power of nature. While living in Hawaii, she found nurturing, a spiritual awakening, sensuality, peace and her heroine for her historical novel, Wai-nani—High Chiefess of Hawaii. In proud California she obtained a degree in English Literature from Northridge University and a doctorate in urban savvy. She continues to enjoy opportunities here in Los Angeles for meeting exciting contacts and making new friends. Each week she shares a Great Outdoor Day in L.A. in her column on In Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales her travel collection filled with chills, spills, giggles and squeaks, she shares her most memorable travel adventures.

Find Linda at her website



Linda Ballou Talking to You

1 comment:

Pat McDermott said...

Linda, what an inspiring "blossoming" story! It almost sounds as if a grateful Ka’ahumanu pulled a few mystical strings to ensure your success. Enjoy your travels, and all the best with your writing.