Kai Bertrand is a native of Honolulu, Hawaii. She’s proud of her Hawaiian upbringing. The multicultural atmosphere of the islands provided a rich and meaningful resource for her story tell. Raised in a typical island community (everyone is a little bit of this and a little bit of that) Kai discovered at at early age that reading could transport you anywhere and everywhere. Her encounter with a traditional Hawaiian storyteller gave a burning desire to know more about ancient Hawaiian myths and legends. Her books are in some ways an attempt to carry on a dying art so well loved in her youth.
Although her strongest bonds are to the Hawaiian community, she ventured out into the world seeking experiences and adventure and has settled into the pace of a busy life in Seattle, Washington. She returns home occasionally to gain renewed inspiration for her writing. “It’s the distancing that has made me want to write and share the stories that so quickly bring my back to the islands.”
Her affinity for Hawaiian folklore, her own mystic calling, and story telling abilities have created an exciting recipe for success with her books.
“These are short exciting reads meant to be enjoyed on the beach, in front of a fireplace, or snuggled up in a down comforter on a cold and windy afternoon. They should be read in the same manner as comfort foods are eaten…in fact, it’s a perfect combination.
It’s my hope that my readers will be carried to these places and people, there to observe and speculate as if they were a neighborhood friend from just around the corner.”
Note from the author:
Hawaiian legends have fascinated me from before I started school. One of the first books I had as a child was about Kamapua’a. I loved it. I also loved the tradition of storytelling. I was privileged to hear a traditional storyteller only once, but that was all it took. I was hooked.
When I moved to the mainland, I realized I had left something behind, my culture. I noticed then that with progress and change, some things fall away. Unfortunately, some of the things that have fallen by the wayside are important aspects of the Hawaiian culture. One of them is storytelling. There are those keeping the art alive, but there must be more.
My fiction is by no means a faithful representation of the Hawaiian storytelling tradition, but it is my way of preserving something important and precious. I hope the books will encourage others who are fascinated with legends to appreciate the richness of Hawaiian legends and seek to learn them and pass them on to future generations.