Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Profile: The Surfing Sleuth

Burl Burlingame of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin recently profiled and interviewed Chip Hughes, author of the Kai Cooke surfing detective series of mystery books. His most recent book, Wipeout!, published in January 2007 by Island Heritage, was the 2nd mystery in this series after Murder on Moloka'i.

According to his website, Kai Cooke is a licensed private investigator in the state of Hawai‘i. Kai’s sand-toned business card displays a hanging ten surfer and says “Confidential Investigations – All Islands.”

Wipeout by Chip HughesSome highlights from the interview:

Q: Why use surfing as a way to set up a mystery?

A: Surfing is Hawaii's gift to the world. It made sense, then, that a mystery series attempting to capture the local flavor of Hawaii would has a surfer-PI. I thought first of having him be a sailor, but it just didn't click.

Q: How do you build a book?

A: I start with plot ideas hastily written out, then a detailed outline and character profiles, like blueprints for a building. I always know how the book will end before I begin. In some ways you write a mystery backward, starting with the solution and then developing the problem.

Q: Will Kai eventually go off riding into the sunset, or Sunset Beach?

A: Yes, I see Kai, the consummate loner who is always unlucky in love, eventually getting weary of his failed relationships. One day he's going to want to settle down. But when that happens it will bring the end of the series.

Read the entire profile and interview on StarBulletin.com here.

Visit the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books often where we provide readers and collectors of mysteries with the best and most current information about their favorite mystery authors, books, and series.

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