Katherine Kama'ema'e Smith -- Captures Maui's West Side Stories

West Maui author Katherine Kama'ema'e Smith says she hones her writing skills much the same way she paints - by putting together little dabs of "color" to paint what she sees in her mind for her readers.

"Writing is like painting in my head and people find my descriptions very unique," Smith says. "I'm dyslexic in the way I attack the world and put it together. (As a result), my voice is my voice. I don't try to mimic anyone's style because everything I look at and do is a kaleidoscope that I put together."

Inspiration, meanwhile, comes from her surroundings, while accuracy in her work is based on extensive research into the Hawaiian Culture. All combined, she is then able to preserve its many stories.

Her first novel titled, "The Love Remains" was released in 2005 and is about a rarely documented 18th century Chiefess named Kale, her five husbands, and six children. It is an historical fiction that follows Kale's life in Honokahua -- the old name of the property located between West Maui's Kapalua and Mokule'ia Bays.

According to Smith, writing "The Love Remains" required a great amount of personal emotional capital. As a result, her reward is the book's regional success of over 3,000 copies sold and over 5 years "on the shelf" at the Honolua Store and Barnes & Noble.

Her next novel will paint the picture of Olowalu but more specifically Pu'uhonua -- the City of Refuge, which it was until 1790 when Captain Metcalfe retaliated against the Hawaiians for killing a sailor and stealing one of his boats. Known as the Olowalu Massacre, this incident is just one of the many fascinating West Maui events Smith will cover involving this culturally rich area.

Smith's interest into the island's culture includes 12 years of learning the Hawaiian language with Liko Rogers, a respected kumu (teacher) who recognizes Katherine more as a kapuna, or resource, than as a student.

"She is someone with a lot of knowledge and research about West Maui that she's willing to share. She supports immersion and is a community contributor. She volunteers on projects and even helps me in my classroom," Rogers says. "She's a lovely lady."

Smith and her husband, Harry, have lived on Maui's West Side at Kapalua since 1993. She is a member of the Hawaiian Choir at Kapalua Mission Church, a frequent guest speaker, creator of a Honokahua tour based on her first novel and is often contacted by readers she now considers friends. See also www.the loveremains.com.