An Oral History Interview

Conversations with Auntie Carol:
Seven Oral History Interviews with

Caroline Kuliaikanu’ukapu Wilcox DeLima Farias
Researched, Conducted, Compiled & Narrated
by
Jeanne Burrows-Johnson
[A sample of our conversation on Maui is below]

Meet Caroline Kuliaikanu’ukapu Wilcox DeLima Farias

It seems as though I have been absent more than present on the Internet during the last two years…what have I been doing?

~  Yen for Murder (the fourth award-winning Natalie Seachrist Hawaiian Mystery) was edited and awaits publishing…
I redesigned my websites, JeanneBurrows-Johnson.com (with Island recipes and tales of historic Tucson), and ImaginingsWordpower.com (addressing branding and professional development).
 
A professional page was added to Facebook.
I continued research for Conversations with Auntie Carol and expanded the introduction, discoursive endnotes, references, and annotated glossary.

The interviews are observations on childhood, family, and events reflecting the inner spirit of Auntie Carol [1923 to 2001]. She was a descendant of alii, Hawaiian nobility. As readers and listeners will observe, Carol was close to her family and proud of the prominent roles they played in the history of Hawai’i. She was the grandniece of Col. Robert W. K. Wilcox, a major politician and a revolutionary who strove to restore Queen Liliuokalani to the throne of a sovereign Kingdom of Hawai’i. Carol was also the second cousin of Johanna N. Wilcox, the first woman registered to vote in the U.S. Territory of  Hawai’i. Auntie Carol’s personal story includes performing hula awana at the Moana Hotel on the beach at Waikīkī on December 6, 1941, the day before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and other parts of O’ahu that brought the United States into World War II. 

Carol was one of the first people to welcome me to Honolulu in 1973, when I performed at a Daughters of the British Empire tea to celebrate the birthday of Scottish poet Robert Burns. She asked me to teach her daughter Lorna Scottish Highland Dancing. In 1975, Carol’s family helped plan my wedding and I was honored when she performed hula awana at the reception. Lorna soon danced at the Waimea Hawaiian Highland Games and the Hilo International Festival.

In 1981, I returned to college. After obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in history, I continued studies in Asian and American history and worked as a graduate teaching assistant in the World Civilizations program of the University of Hawai’i. As I learned more about Hawaiian history, I gained a deeper appreciation of the many aspects of Carol’s life. We remained in touch when I accompanied my husband to Newport, Rhode Island, where he taught classes at the U.S. Naval Education and Training Center and I began my career as a free-lance writer and marketing consultant.

When I returned to Hawai’i, Carol shared the many changes that had occurred in her life. Three of the sisters of Johanna Wilcox had moved into Carol’s home in Kāne’ohe. This was a time of mixed joys and sorrows for the family. For although her aunties rejoiced in being united in Carol’s home, by 1990 the last of them had passed, as well as Carol’s beloved husband Freddy. After attending her birthday celebration in 1992, we discussed her desire to have me help organize the heirlooms and books she had inherited from her elder relatives. I soon realized our work could serve as the foundation for a book highlighting several generations of the Maui Wilcox women. Carol concurred. 

Most of the topics we explored in the recorded interviews addressed her early life in ‘Ulupalakua, Maui, and her second cousins known as the Wilcox Sisters. Our most poignant conversation was on the grounds of land her family had owned in Kalepolepo, Maui, where listeners delight in the sounds of the ocean, wind rustling through kiawe trees and bird song. The following is a sample from the interviews on this trip. I hope you’ll enjoy it and understand why I feel it is important to share Carol’s stories with readers and listeners of today and the tomorrows that will follow. Perhaps you will also catch a glimpse of the rainbows that brightened many of her days!

A Sample from Conversations with Auntie Carol: During A Trip to Maui

Wishing you the best in your creative endeavors,
Jeanne Burrows-Johnson, author, consultant, motivational speaker

To learn more about the award-winning Natalie Seachrist Hawaiian Mysteries, including Murders of Conveyance [Winner, Fiction Adventure-Drama, 2019 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards] and other projects, please drop in at my author’s website JeanneBurrows-Johnson.com. You’ll even find Island Recipes that might inspire your culinary creativity. For more ideas to strengthen your Wordpower© and branding, please visit: Imaginings Wordpower and Design Consultation.

Follow Me:
Amazon, Arizona Authors Association, Apple Books
Audible, Authors Den, Barnes and Noble, Blogarama, Book Bub
Cozy Mysteries-Unlimited, Facebook, Good Reads, Hometown Reads

Book sellers may contact book distributors such as:
Baker & Taylor, Follett, IPG, Ingram, Mackin, Midpoint, TitleWave

SUCCESSFUL COVER ART

SUCCESSFUL TEAMWORK YIELDS WINNING ART!

Successful cover art is the product of teamwork. In November 2018, Murder on Mokulua Drive [the second Natalie Seachrist Hawaiian mystery] won several awards. Notably, it won Second Place for Published Fiction in the 2018 Arizona Literary Excellence Contest. This was due in large part to the superb editing of Viki Gillespie, who has helped to refine each of the books in the series. Like Prospect for Murder, MOMD also won First Place for Cover Art Design in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards, where it was also a Finalist in the Cozy Mystery Category.

 Let’s examine how the winning cover art for this series has been achieved…

TEAMWORK
Regardless of what you do in life, one of the major keys to your success is teamwork. Even when you are the primary producer of a product, you will be relying on the merchandise, talents, and skills of others. If you are an artist, you utilize a variety of products to create your art, and usually employ a framer to present your finished work to the world. Authors, whether self-published or working with a publisher, are likewise dependent on the output of others to finalize their creations. First, capturing their thoughts depends on a variety of manual and electronic tools. Succinct editing services are also required. Then there is the issue of layout, fortunately provided to me (along with overall publishing skills) by Geoff Habiger of Artemesia Publishing. Of course, he cannot complete his work without the final art designs brought to fruition by fine and graphic artist Yasamine June.

MY APPROACH TO ARTISTIC PROJECTS
While I possess some skill as a design consultant and can produce certain graphic art elements for marketing materials and my websites, I lack the tactile skills to produce truly refined artistic images. So where do I begin art projects? First there is the overall concept, generally driven by text I have already composed. For a book cover, the first consideration is determining the images that will evoke the essence of the story I need to highlight.

Fortunately, when I began writing the series, I composed timelines, chapter synopses, and descriptions of settings and characters. Even a cursory review of these elements reveals a list of those that may be appropriate to a book cover and supportive marketing materials. While some authors create new art for each of their works, I chose to present certain images with consistency including Miss Una, Natalie’s silent but fleet-footed feline companion and images like palm trees and ocean waters reflecting Hawai`i. In addition, I have conceived a recurring gold frame based on Hawaiian heirloom jewelry. I also utilize pagination folio art that I designed, and a gold hibiscus flower that Yasamine has refined. At the point that I have a list of elements that might be good for book jacket art, I begin roughing out a tentative layout in a graphic art software program.

ARTISTIC DEVELOPMENT
As I examine my list of suitable artistic elements, I manually draw a few pictures that fit the requisite portrait layout of a book cover—knowing that the final product can easily be converted to a square layout for an audio book. So where did the award-winning cover of Murder on Mokulua Drive begin?

First of all, Natalie’s life has shifted from a high rise in Waikīkī to a cottage in the beach community of Lanikai on the windward side of the island of O`ahu. Next was consideration of the fact that the murder in this story occurs at night. What does this add up to? A nighttime beach scene which includes the Mokulua islets, the moon, a palm tree, footprints in the sand, and Miss Una. Additionally, although I will not be completing the design, I try to allow space for the insertion of Titling in my signature Peignot font so that there will be no overlapping of images and text. Here is the initial layout I sent to Yasamine which was a rough copy and paste of elements I found evocative.

How did Yasamine’s magic polish this concept?

Since this is the second book in the NS mysteries, I had been through the publishing process for the series once. Additionally, I was able to draw on my experience as art director for the well-received multi-author anthology, Under Sonoran Skies, Prose and Poetry of the High Desert. For that project, I featured a picture I shot of the desert at sunset from my back lānai.

Whatever your artistic needs may be, I urge you to be involved in the process, even if you are unable to finalize the images yourself. The input you provide to a professional artist will ensure a product that reflects your own work and the goals you may be setting for future projects…Here’s a look at the before and after images for Murders of Conveyance, which was released in early 2019! As I edit this in April of 2021, I can happily report that this third book in the Natalie Seachrist Hawaiian Mysteries was a finalist for art and WINNER FOR FICTION ADVENTURE-DRAMA IN THE 2019 NEW MEXICO ARIZONA BOOK AWARDS!

As noted, the award winning book covers for the Natalie Seachrist Hawaiian Mysteries [as well as that for the forthcoming Conversations with Auntie Carol] were designed by Yasamine June. Her many talents include: Creative Direction; Fine art; Graphic Design; Illustration; Photography; Typography; and Videography. You can learn more about her at YasamineJune.com/about.


Wishing you the best in your creative endeavors,
Jeanne Burrows-Johnson, author, consultant, and motivational speaker

Further discussion of art is available at the following blog posts:
Authors Design Dilemmas 1, April 2015
Confronted by a Fantasia of Fonts, May 2015
Rainbows of Color, May 2015
Winning Logos & Slogans, October 2015
Quality Book Production, February 2016
Harmonizing Branding Elements, August 2016
Book Promotion and Evolving Art, January 2017
Balancing Text and Space, February 2018
Successful Cover Art, December 2018

To learn more about the award-winning Natalie Seachrist Hawaiian Mysteries, including Murders of Conveyance [Winner, Fiction Adventure-Drama, 2019 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards] and other projects, please drop in at my author’s website JeanneBurrows-Johnson.com. You’ll even find Island Recipes that might inspire your culinary creativity.

For more ideas to strengthen your Wordpower© and branding, please visit: Imaginings Wordpower and Design Consultation.

Follow Me:
Amazon, Arizona Authors Association, Apple Books
Audible, Authors Den, Barnes and Noble, Blogarama, Book Bub
Cozy Mysteries-Unlimited, Facebook, Good Reads, Hometown Reads

Book sellers may contact book distributors such as:
Baker & Taylor, Follett, IPG, Ingram, Mackin, Midpoint, TitleWave