Moving from Hawai‘i to Fresno in seventh grade changed Adrienne Robillard’s view of the world, herself, and her future. Being a new kid in a new school meant hours of time alone spent listening to cassette tapes and college radio, learning to play the guitar, and writing stories and lyrics. Joining a garage band in high school gave her a sense of belonging she’d never realized possible as she wrote songs with strangers who became treasured friends—one of whom she ended up marrying. Maps and Tapes follows Robillard from San Francisco to the UK, criss-crossing the US and Europe, feeling at home in a van on both sides of the road.
In Fresno, “I went from having friends and blending in to being a loner who kept getting asked, ‘What are you?’ because I was one of a few half-Asian students at Ahwahnee Middle School,” she recalls. “With my headphones on, I could ignore uncomfortable questions.” Later, music became her primary creative outlet and a way for her not to hide, but to connect.
In Maps and Tapes, Robillard interweaves lyrics written for her indie-rock bands between stories of first guitar lessons, young love, adventures in studying abroad, and gigging and touring with her bands. Her poignant prose paints a vivid portrait of the ways in which music soundtracked and shaped her teen and young adult years. Her callouts of favorite bands, albums, and songs will make readers want to cue up their own nostalgic playlists—good and loud, to be felt in the bones, the way the best music and memories should.
Adrienne Robillard is an English lecturer at Windward Community College. She grew up in Kailua, Hawai‘i, and Fresno, California. A graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, she earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. After college she worked in San Francisco as an office temp and marketing professional by day, playing in indie bands Secadora and Citizens Here and Abroad at night. She lives with her husband and their two children in Kailua on O‘ahu. In 2020 her first book, The ‘Ohana Grill Cookbook: Easy and Delicious Hawai‘i-Inspired Recipes from BBQ Chicken to Kalbi Short Ribs, was published by Ulysses Press.
A fragmented childhood filled with heartbreak and disappointment left Valdeane Uchima Odachi feeling lost at sea, at the mercy of unseen currents. In this moving collection of personal reflections and whimsical poetry, Navigating Change follows Odachi as she discovers moments of grace and synchronicity while struggling to reconcile her multiple roles as daughter, sister, wife, mother, teacher and caregiver. Her journey’s unanticipated reward is a renewed self-identity and the realization that she has always had everything she needs to live the life she wants.
Odachi unexpectedly took on the role of caregiver when her husband was suddenly diagnosed with complicated and frustrating medical problems. “Initially, I thought I would write a book for my children and to document the challenges of having an older spouse with health issues and dementia,” she says. But, upon reading her early drafts, “I found my writing was so focused on the unhappiness I experienced—I didn’t enjoy reading that version of my memoir.” Instead, Odachi chose to shift her mindset and her book’s focus to recognize the moments that changed her. The story of her life transformed as she wrote and wrestled with complex and layered emotions concerning events in her past and her life’s current path. “Writing both versions allowed me to process the ongoing grief and recognize the grace that occurs in my life,” she reflects.
In Odachi’s heartfelt vignettes, readers will recognize the pain of adolescence, the joy of motherhood and the conflict inherent in reconciling the role of caregiver with maintaining a sense of self.
Valdeane Uchima Odachi is a postsecondary academic counselor and educator who hated school as a child but now holds various credentials ranging from a Hawai‘i state license in massage therapy to a master of arts in teaching from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. Raised in Wahiawā, O‘ahu, she currently lives in Volcano, Hawai‘i Island, with her family and their two dogs, Bowie and Mika Shrimpface. She enjoys teaching the art of Zentangle®, organizing and removing clutter from her home and spending time with family. Navigating Change is her first book.
David M. Louie had been a civil trial lawyer in private practice for thirty-two years when he was named Hawai‘i’s attorney general by Governor Neil Abercrombie in 2010. What followed was an eye-opening education in the nature of government—how it works and how the sausage of government policy is made. His historic koa wood desk in Hawai‘i’s state capitol gave Louie a frontrow seat for viewing—and shaping—the inner workings of government. In this incisive, behind-the-scenes memoir, the country’s first Chinese American state attorney general recalls the landmark cases of his time in office—environmental issues, Native Hawaiian rights, Internet safety, same sex marriage, human trafficking and even the unlikely concert hoax known as the “Wonder Blunder.”
From the Desk of the Attorney General is Louie’s chronicle of his experiences as a public servant—the challenges faced, the insights gained, the lessons learned. His behind-the-scenes account of the way things really get done—how issues are addressed and decisions made, how goals are achieved and power wielded—provides an inside look at the role of the top lawyer in state government, the decision maker who operates at the intersection of law, politics and government.
This book is a customized version of the Professional Package, with increased print run, in hardcover with dustjacket.
From the Desk of the Attorney General is available via our online store and at local bookstores
Passionate and adventurous, Kathy Clarke has always believed in her own abilities and refused to let one day go by without being lived to its fullest. Maybe that’s what happens when you’re accidentally shot point-blank with a .22 rifle at age three and a half and you live to tell about it.
A challenging childhood prepared Clarke to accept life’s capriciousness. “It seemed like a really good idea at the time…” could be her life’s motto. “Good ideas” like dropping everything to strike out across the western plains in search of a meaningful relationship; acquiring a home menagerie consisting of multiple St. Bernards, a pissed-off cat, three turtles, a tortoise, a hamster named after a loser boyfriend and a housebroken baby goat; or building a career while raising seven children.
In lively and humorous prose, Clarke invites readers of My Life Is a Road Atlas along for the ride as she recalls her nomadic childhood, a roster of not-so-forgotten lovers and the controlled chaos of being a mother of seven “decent and imperfect human beings”—oh, yes, and that time that she got shot.
Compelled by the pandemic-induced Hawai‘i visitor industry shutdown to finally sit still, Clarke spent her time writing her memoirs, causing some anxiety to her children. “Memories are how life teaches you when you are not looking,” she muses. “In the next life, I hope I gain wisdom at a much younger age, considering how long it took me to acquire any this time around.” Readers may not wish for a wiser Clarke, who one can only imagine would have fewer “good ideas” to laugh and cry over.
Born in Utah and raised in Northern California, Kathy Clarke lived on Maui for eleven years before moving to Hawai‘i Island, her main residence for the past thirty-three years. Since 1980, Clarke has built a successful event and destination management company, operating on all Hawaiian islands. She has been a fixture on the local fundraising scene in her Waimea hometown, coordinating several cultural and community events for years. In addition to raising her seven children, Clarke has been a foster parent and involved in foster advocacy. She also enjoys sustainable gardening and cooking the literal fruits of her labors.
What began as a tribute to his late wife, Helene, developed into a chronicle of George Hayakawa’s life with her, and a family history recorded for posterity. Helene Yoshie is a tribute to its namesake, as well as Hayakawa’s way of honoring her patience, strength and compassion. It was through Helene’s help that Hayakawa reconnected with his familial roots in Japan. As the last of his family’s line, this chronicle of the Hayakawa history is also his way of carrying on their legacy.
This type of book can be created with the ‘Ohana Package or Professional Package. Helene Yoshie was published using our Professional Package + Distribution Services add-on.
Beyond the Lines offers a game plan for any leader to help an organization achieve and sustain success. In direct, simple terms, author Rusty Komori lays out a path for achievement and excellence in leadership, drawing from notable examples in sports history, as well as his own experience during more than two decades as a successful, championship-winning tennis coach.
Rusty Komori is a motivational speaker, leadership consultant, and tennis professional based in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. From 1994 through 2015, he was the head tennis coach at Punahou School, where his boys’ varsity teams won an unprecedented 22 consecutive state championships, a national record in all sports that still stands. His books are a component of his speaking engagements, providing lasting lessons and a reminder of Komori’s consulting services.
This book is a customized version of the Professional Package, with increased print run.
Beyond the Lines is available via our online store, local bookstores and via online booksellers.
You Know You’re Chinese When… offers a happy, humorous celebration of Chinese-American culture. With the help of his family, author Stephen Choy assembled a compendium of the customs, traditions, foods and quirky habits of everyday life, illustrated by his wife, Canossa. For those who grew up as he did, this lighthearted collection will recall the familiar tastes, sounds and objects of a lifetime.
“Time was when I disliked being so immersed in the practices that singled our family out—annual visits to the cemetery, eating with chopsticks, shopping in Chinatown. I just wanted to be ‘American!’” Choy recalls. “I suppose that was more in my self-conscious teen years. Well, here I am now in my 70s with a wife from Macau, many years a member of the Kung Sheong Doo Society, and very happily identifying as Chinese American.”
A clinical psychologist by trade—and still practicing full-time today—Choy is a trained observer of human behavior. “Sharing what is uniquely different about us with one another enriches our melting pot as a whole,” he says. “Attending college in Milwaukee and living in New York for ten years broadened my view of what being Chinese in America is all about. I’m not trying to define the whole Chinese-American experience. My book is meant to educate and entertain through the lens of my personal experience.”
This type of book is a customized project based on the Photo Legacy Package. Illustrations by his wife were provided by the author, as was a design concept for the book interior, created by his daughter. Our Legacy Isle team used this template and refined it for a commercial audience. In addition, our team advised the author on structuring the book and adding elements to give it more reader appeal.
You Know You’re Chinese When… is available via our online store, local bookstores and via online booksellers.
In the tradition of the Hawaiian ‘ohana, family history is passed on from generation to generation through the telling of stories. In pre-contact times, those stories were shared orally. Today, stories are preserved in writing. Na Lei Mālama Keiki, written by ‘ohana caregivers in the Na Lei Malama Keiki group at the Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center, Honolulu, is dedicated to the keiki for whom they care.
As part of the caregiver support group program, participants were asked to respond to simple writing prompts and share family histories and hopes for the future to preserve them for the the children in their care. Simple Q&A sections reveal the background and personalities of the writers, each of whom contributed several short items including essays, poems, drawings, photographs and family recipes. The project was intended to create a keepsake for the families and offer the children a link to their history to bridge the gap created by missing parental figures.
This type of book can be created with the Photo Legacy Package.
For more information on the Lili‘uokalani Trust program, visit their website.
In Can, No Can! Making Changes, Hawaiian-Style, longtime Hawai‘i state senator and world champion surfer Fred Hemmings offers a calabash full of ideas for the future of the Islands, including a sprinkling of “random thoughts” and yes-or-no options from a local boy’s perspective. “A dear friend, Chubby Mitchell, was a graceful surfer and a man of aloha,” Hemmings explains. “Whenever I’d get frustrated by something, he would look at me and say, ‘Freddie, if can, can. If no can, no can.’ All these years later, I surmise that this pragmatic outlook on life contributed significantly to the aloha of bygone days.”
The book is compilation of Hemmings’s essays, letters, legislation, statements to the press and news clips spanning the years, including hot-button items still as relevant today as they were then. Says Hemmings, “I always have believed that there are good solutions to Hawai‘i’s problems and that there’s usually a better way to do things. Unfortunately, we in the Islands get caught up in the dilemma expressed by, of all people, Albert Einstein, in the mid-20th century. To paraphrase Einstein, ‘Doing the same thing and expecting different results defines insanity.’ Maybe it is time to do some things differently in Hawai‘i.”
This book is a customized version of the Professional Package, with increased print run.
Can, No Can! Making Changes, Hawaiian-Style is available via our online store and at local bookstores
Born on the Big Island just after the turn of the century, T. David Woo enjoyed a unique perspective on Hawai‘i’s booming plantation era. The twelfth of sixteen children, whose father was one of the first Episcopalian ministers in Hawai‘i, he left home at the age of fourteen to attend St. John’s School in Shanghai, China. After earning his medical degree in 1935, he returned to his island of birth to become a “cowboy doctor” at Parker Ranch, physician for the Hakalau, Pepe‘ekeo, Honomū and Onomea Plantations, and co-founder of the Hilo Medical Group—providing medical care for thousands of ranch hands, plantation workers and many other Big Island residents.
This posthumously published memoir shares rich anecdotes in Woo’s own words, as well as archival photos and detailed maps of Hakalau’s ethnic camps collected by Woo’s children—Diane (Woo) Soo Hoo, David Woo Jr. and Alden Woo.
Dr. Woo, say his children, “was an administrator and a leader among his associates, serving tirelessly on boards of numerous organizations. He believed in service, donating many hours to helping and bettering lives. He was a true renaissance man, always trying different things, always learning new things, always entertaining new ideas, failures did not deter him. As we age, we have come to more fully understand his life and appreciate his optimism and positivity in serving his fellow man, community and family. He wrote this autobiography before he died on September 30, 1991, and on the twenty-fifth anniversary of his death, we are finally getting it published.”
This type of book can be created with the ‘Ohana Package or Professional Package. The client initially started with a Professional Package + Distribution services, but transitioned to a print-on-demand model in order to keep the title in print but without having to maintain inventory.
Plantation Doctor: A Memoir of Hawai‘iis available via Amazon.