Interview with author of One Shark, No Swim, Lehua Parker!

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Denise Alicea

This blog was created by Denise in September 2008 to blog about writing, book reviews, and technology. Slowly, but surely this blog expanded to what it has become now, a central for book reviews of all kinds interviews, contests, and of course promotional venue for authors, etc











One Shark, No Swim

Lehua Parker



Facebook: Lehua Parker, author

Twitter: @LehuaParker

Book Blurb:

There’s something bugging adopted Zader Westin, something more troubling than his water allergies whereone drop on his skin burns like hot lava. It’s bigger than his new obsession with knives, designing the new murals for the pavilion with Mr. Halpert, or dealing with Char Siu’s Lauele Girlz scotch tape makeover. Zader can’t stop thinking about a dream, the dream that might not have been a dream where Lē‘ia called him brother then jumped into the ocean and turned into a shark.

Zader’s got a lot of questions, not the least being why he’s hungry all the time, restless at night, and why he feels a constant itch on the back of his neck. It’s making him feel like teri chicken on a pūpū platter, but Zader doesn’t want to think about chicken, not with his growing compulsion to slip it down his throat—raw.

With Jay busy at surf camp and Uncle Kahana pretending nothing’s happening, Zader’s left alone to figure things out, including why someone—something—is stalking him before it’s too late.

Summer in Lauele Town, Hawaii just got a little more interesting.




Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!

I’m originally from Hawaii, but have been living in exile on the mainland (what islanders call the continental United States) for far longer than I like to admit. After growing up in suburbs and on the beaches, I now live in the country with horses, chickens, sheep, cats, and dogs. Sometimes I truly feel like a fish out of water.


Tell us about your book? How did it get started?

One Shark, No Swim is the second book in the Niuhi Shark Saga. The genesis for the series goes back to second grade when I watched a film called Legends of Hawaii. It was about ancient Hawaiian villagers who kept disappearing and it was feared they were eaten by a large shark. There’s a moment in the movie when they rip the cloak off the shoulders of a young man to reveal a gapping shark’s mouth where his back should be! Since then I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the idea that his parents kept this secret hidden his entire life and that he was eating people he knew. All the answers to the why, how, and what if questions I asked myself eventually turned into the Niuhi Shark Saga.


How do you create your characters?

Usually, I start with a plot idea or event, like a human boy who doesn’t know he’s really a shark. From there I start asking myself questions which leads to characters. Though this circular process characters’ quirks, motivations, and reasons for being part of the story emerge. I don’t think of actors or models or even of people I know when I create characters, although I know many authors that do.


What inspires you and got you started writing?

I’ve always loved stories, so writing was a natural extension of movies, books, and plays. I actually took a 25 year hiatus from creative writing after college when I focused on starting a career and raising a family. One day I was watching the snow fall and thought, “I’d rather be in Hawaii…”


Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write?

I do most of my writing in my office which is also the catch-all room of the house. It’s a disaster. There are piles of things to sort through, papers and notes everywhere, assorted cameras and equipment, and books on top of books. The saving grace is that I have my computer and monitors set up so I only see them and block out the rest of the room. I’m most productive when the house is quiet and the room is dark, which often means I write into the wee hours. I usually have a Diet Coke on ice or herbal iced tea in a glass next to me.


How do you get your ideas for writing?

I’m a discovery writer and only loosely outline things before I start, so little pieces of what I hear and see tend to creep into my work. My kids often recognize snatches of conversations we’ve had coming out of my characters’ mouths.


What do you like to read?

I’m an omnivore and a binge eater when it comes to reading. I’ll go through periods where I’ll read several novels back to back pausing only to make sure the kids are still alive. Some of my favorite authors are Diana Gabaldon, Johnny Worthen, Kiana Davenport, Tyler Miranda, and Stephen King, but I am constantly finding new and amazing authors.


What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

 Write about what you enjoy because you’re going to be spending a lot of time writing and talking more about the subject as you promote your book! Find the joy in the process because it’s never ending.


Anything else you’d like to share?

On readers will find free discussion guides, word searches, companion stories, and links to more information about Hawaiian history, culture, and sharks.

Thanks for hosting me, Denise.


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