We are what we choose to be. Fortunate kids learn this truth early on – from a parent, a mentor, a committed teacher, a friend. But not all are so fortunate as to have such guides. This is where stories can make a real difference. Vicarious exploration can offer opportunities to learn good things: What is character? What is friendship? What are values? What is courage? What is generosity? What is work ethic? These themes and more play out in my books. We are who we choose to be. We, and we alone, are the master of our ship.
As a writer, I’ve been called “Hawaii-centric.” I guess that’s true. Every book I have written is set in the islands, probably because of the love I have for them. My Hawaiian roots run deep, my family having arrived in Kailua-Kona in 1820. Though I grew up in a far more innocent time, my challenges were much the same as for any young person growing up today. Some of those challenges did not play out well. What went wrong … or right? Through fiction my readers and I discover hidden treasures.
There are few things as enjoyable to me as an invitation to stand in front of a group of wide-eyed young people to relive the foolishness of my youth and revel in the honesty of their welcome. To me, that’s just plain old good fortune. I tell stories of choices gone awry, and the value of common sense. I often talk about World War II, and how that huge event played out in the islands. And for those who love to write, I talk shop and share my writing insights. As work goes, it’s right up there at the top of the list.
I once had a number one hit. True. It was called “5 A.M.” and it sat at the top of charts … in the Philippines. Thank you, Manila! I’ve written over 100 songs, using my nickname, Sandy Salisbury. PoppyDisc wrote: “Sandy Salisbury’s sunshine pop credentials are immaculate.” Ha! I still play my guitar every day, write songs, and even record a few. But I’m most proud of having been a part of the classic group, The Millennium. Today, Little Johnny Coconut sometimes let’s me plunk around in his band. Life is good!