Sisters in Crime/Hawai`i: Thank you for sharing with readers your short story, and for taking time to visit today, Bob. Can you please offer a brief insight into something humorous, poignant, or unusual in your life that led you to a career in writing?
BOB NEWELL: I can't point to any one thing. Writers have to write. It's part of who and what they are. I write because I can't not write. If you're a writer or some other type of artist, you'll know what I mean.
Sisters in Crime/Hawai`i: Why did you choose to collaborate with 12 other authors to participate in a short story anthology?
BOB NEWELL: Writing for anthologies is a lot of fun. It's a chance to join in providing the reader with a rich and varied experience. It's an opportunity as a writer to compare notes with other writers and see different ways of looking at things.
Sisters in Crime/Hawai`i: In The Kahala Caper, what is one phrase or scene that reflects something about you as a writer?
BOB NEWELL: The story wasn't written to be filled with layers of existential meaning, but I think if you look at the relationship between Jasmine and Jimmy, there's something deeper. What does it reflect about me as a writer? Putting that into words is difficult, and I'm not sure I even really know in a conscious way.
Sisters in Crime/Hawai`i: Can you tell us a bit about your current project?
BOB NEWELL: I have a few things going on. Top of the list is a novel with the working title "Courting Jane" which is most of the way through a second draft. It's a romance at heart but it has sci-fi elements and some of it is set in Honolulu. I hope to have it out by the end of 2014, but we'll see how it goes. I also have a couple of short stories that I'm getting ready to try to market. I'd like to write a few more Jimmy Chan stories but I won't get to that right away.
Sisters in Crime/Hawai`i: What's it like to be a writer in Hawai`i as opposed to the mainland or elsewhere?
BOB NEWELL: I have to say that it's definitely different. There is a vibrant community of writers here. That's true elsewhere, of course, but the attitudes and approaches are, well, Hawaiian. That means friendliness, mutual support, rejoicing in one another's successes rather than being jealous, a sense of family and taking care of one another, and of course gathering to write where there's plenty of food.
Most of us tend to write about Hawai`i or at least include Hawaiian settings in our work. I've got one novella in draft that explores a romance between a haole and a leader in the Hawaiian independence movement, and I have a project in the planning stage that reimagines Pride and Prejudice in the Kingdom of Hawai`i.
Bob Newell can be found at his Internet website, where he shares a variety of entertaining and educational material on a range of subjects, from checkers to tea to Talmud: