Monday, January 31, 2011

Christine Sunderland's Hana-lani

We're happy to have Christine Sunderland with us today talking about her book Hana-lani. To learn more about Christine and her book, read on!

Title: Hana-lani
Publisher: OakTara

Cover blurb:Only opening their hearts will keep them from plunging into the dark abyss. Old Nani-lei lives in Hana-lani, her family home in rural Hawaii. She looks after her grandson Henry, 52, and his daughter Lucy, 6, who have returned to Maui from Berkeley after the death of Maria, Henry's wife. Henry and Maria, both professors, had been working on A History of Ethics, and now the grieving Henry struggles to finish it.
City girl Meredith Campbell, 36, fast-paced, self-centered, and beautiful, believes her body will ensure her happiness. After losing her job and finding her lover unfaithful, she flies to Maui, sure he will follow…but her plane crashes near Hana-lani.
As their worlds collide in a natural world both beautiful and dangerous, Henry will be forced to act on his words, and Meredith will come face-to-face with her own life choices.
A poignant journey that unravels T.S. Eliot’s “permanent questions”—what is goodness, truth, and love?

1) How did this story come to you?
I have had the wonderful opportunity to visit Hana, Maui and the Hawaiian Islands and have been impressed with their culture of family, faith, and history. I have also been troubled by the general trend in American culture away from family, faith, and history. I wanted to write a "good read," fast-paced but with serious themes, and thought this setting would be a perfect location. Douglas R. Cobb of called it "sexy, sweet, and touching… beautifully written…" so I think I did!

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Once Hana-lani was fleshed out and edited with the help of local readers and editors, I sent it to my publisher, OakTara (who published my first three novels, Pilgrimage, Offerings, Inheritance, set in Western Europe) and they loved Hana-lani. We went into final edits in November and it was available on Amazon in early December 2010.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
First, I'm the daughter of a Presbyterian pastor, left the church in my college days, and returned as an enthusiastic Anglo-Catholic. Second, I never planned to become a writer and didn't begin writing novels until I was fifty and had time to reflect on life. Third, it took six years of submissions to agents and publishers and only one acceptance (OakTara), which to me, is clear evidence of miracles.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I enjoy writing my blog, which is a travel journal when away and a spiritual journal at home. I've just finished the first draft of a fifth novel, The Magdalen Mystery, set in the present about a quest to find the real Mary Magdalene in Rome and Provence, about discerning historical truth. After that, if my fingers still work, I'll pick something from my idea list and jump into the sixth novel.

5) Parting comments?
I love words, and I've found being older (sixty-three) gives me more life experience to draw upon when I write. I have many folks read my drafts and I study authors I admire (P.D. James). I have found that workshops and local writers clubs essential to improving my craft.
Thanks so much for having me visit. I appreciate the opportunity.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?;; Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Authorsden, Scribd, and many others…


  1. Your book sounds great! It's amazing Christine that it took so long to get around ot putting your idea's down on paper. I hope you continue to do so.

    danceealert at aol dot com

  2. This sounds like a great book! I hope to be able to read it soon. Pleae enter me.

    I'm a subscriber and follow through gfc.

    dancealert at aol dot com

  3. i like the family, faith, and history are being brought into the Hawaii novel. i would love to go there sometime. mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com

  4. Wonderful place to set a book and love that history and ethics spiral around in this book.
    Please enter me in this contest. I will be looking forward to her new book also. I am a long time e-mail subcriber.


  5. Thanks, Brenda and Marianne,
    Yes, I have to say I came to writing novels through the "back door". And since I have the years of family and faith as well as a love of history it all came together, set in places we often visit (my husband loves to travel)!

  6. Thanks, Carol,
    I love the expression history and ethics spiralling (sp?) around the book and the setting - nice. It was a joy to write this one!

  7. already a subscriber.
    Love to win thanks

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  8. Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  9. email subscriber

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net