A Sense of Place and Change in Hawaii

I'm delighted to welcome author Dan Dembiczakto my blog today. He lives in the Pacific Northwest, and his first novel, Imperfect Paradise,  is set in that beautiful place I so long to visit, the Hawaiian Islands. It's a place I'd love to see for its scenery. But, from what Dan writes in this post, perhaps I should be looking at its character too, and imagining how it might change me.

Here's a book blurb to entice you to take this story with you on your summer vacation...to Hawaii, or wherever else you're reading this season. And below it, you'll learn how BORING can turn into a star.

About Imperfect Paradise:

IMPERFECT PARADISE by Dan Dembiczak is a story about internal awakenings and delivers a powerful message about hope, happiness, and finding your place in the world. It tells the compelling story of thirty-two-year-old Sarah Chizeck, who was raised to believe that a woman’s main focus is to get married and start a family, and she put everything on hold to accomplish this goal.

When she finally marries her boyfriend of five years, Michael—a smart, successful and charismatic dream—her family is ecstatic; but is Sarah? Did she put her career and personal interests on hold to pursue marriage? When she goes to Hawaii for her honeymoon, the raw beauty of where she is and who she is surrounded by drudges up passions, and she is both pleased and alarmed by the sensory experiences she encounters.

Terrified by her attraction to a handsome young concierge, Sarah is forced to confront her buried emotions and she ultimately comes to surprising revelations about her upbringing, marriage, and future.

A classic romance with a contemporary twist, it is sure to appeal to fans of modern, liberating fiction.

Intrigued? I know I am. And here's your chance to meet the author. Thank you for visiting my blog Dan, and what can you tell us about writing your first novel?

The idea for writing my first novel, Imperfect Paradise, was born on my very first trip to the Hawaiian Islands.  I was taking my usual morning run on the beach, awaiting a rush of inspiration for a new story: the story of a honeymoon gone completely sideways popped up. I’d always associated Hawaii with honeymoons.  It’s the place people disappeared to for weeks to drink rum and lay by lavish pools with waterfalls.  Hawaii hadn’t really been on my radar much in my twenties as I was more interested in urban settings.  I liked places that had an edge -- that stimulated my senses and inspired artistic expression.  Give me San Francisco.  Give me New York.  Or LA.  But a tropical island?  BORING.  Yet when I finally saved enough money for a real vacation at age thirty, I found myself on the Garden Island.  

I’d chosen Kauai because it seemed less popular so, you know, I was still holding onto my edge and everything.  By the end of the first full day in the utter lushness, my edges began to melt away.  And it wasn’t just the mai tais!  There’s something about being surrounded by so much intense natural beauty that impels you to happiness.  I slowed down and started to smile more.  The gentle strum of the ukulele was actually a refreshing change from all the punk and indie rock I listened to at home.  It didn’t entirely make sense to me at the time, but I fell hard for Hawaii and I was in it for the long haul.  As soon as I returned to my third story walk-up in Seattle, I subscribed to a Hawaiian magazine and started plotting the next trip: the even more remote island of Moloka`i.  This was followed by a pre-wedding scouting trip on the Big Island (which has become “my” island).  As the years went on, marriage led to home buying and moving out of the urban core.  My Hawaiian Airlines credit card is one of my closest friends (I tried to buy a car with it!).  I’ve read countless books on the history of the Hawaiian Kingdom, studied the Hawaiian language, and taken online courses to better understand the cultural landscape.  In doing so, I cultivated a sense of calm I never knew prior to that first trip.  I guess it’s the medicine I needed to wash away the knee-jerk cynicism of Gen X youth and start appreciating what was outside the realm of “cool.”  Now it’s been almost ten years since that first trip and I’m happy to be a less anxious, less disaffected and more connected person.  People often ask me if Imperfect Paradise had taken place in a different location, would Sarah’s story turn out differently.  Absolutely.  Place has the power to change people, and in my opinion should always be a main character in a story.  Hawaii will likely be a star in many of my future works, and definitely remain a main character in my life. 

Dan Dembiczak is a Seattle native who began writing stories as soon as he could spell. He earned a BA in creative writing from the University of Washington and has worked extensively in local theater as a playwright, actor, director, and producer. Eight of his plays were produced in Seattle, including the popular four-part Capitol Hill High series, and a number of his articles and short stories have appeared in publications in Seattle and Los Angeles.

Dembiczak has traveled extensively to the Hawaiian islands, particularly the Big Island, where he was married in 2008. He primarily resides in Seattle with his husband, dog, and chickens, and is currently working on his second nove.

Where to find him:
Follow Dan on Twitter @ImperParadise
Visit his website: http://www.dandembiczak.com

and where to find the book 



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