A Brief “Question and Answer” Session

So many people out there write blog post after blog post to get the word out about their books, music, artwork, etc. I recently read a wonderfully insightful article on how to tailor blog posts to your audience. I would love to promote my book but what I want most is to let the world know about the content of my book. In this post, I am going to attempt to answer a couple of questions I’ve gotten about The Last Navigator and my inspiration for writing it. If you have questions of your own, please contact me or comment on this post and I will make sure to answer your questions in a timely and thoughtful manner. I’ll even include them on my blog! You can ask questions specific to The Last Navigator or general questions about whatever you like. I will consider any and all questions, so ask away!

Q: Why did you decide to title your book “The Last Navigator”?

The Navigators are a group of people who use natural elements, such as the stars, the planets, and the movement of the waves and clouds, to find their way in the ocean. I first learned of the Navigators while participating in a graduate school course in Hawai’i several years ago. It was a two week course and it was pretty intense. While visiting the School of Social Work at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, we learned of the Navigators, and of Nainoa Thompson, one of the few remaining true navigators. We learned of the Hokule’a, the Polynesian canoe used to make a historical journey across the Pacific, from Hawai’i to Tahiti, and other Polynesian islands. What I got out of the course was a love for the Native Hawaiian culture and traditions that I never even dreamed possible. I had found the place where my heart longed to be, and I won’t be truly content until I am back there again.

Picture of the Hokule'a

The Hokule’a as I found it while visiting Hawai’i in 2010. It is a genuine piece of Hawaiian and Polynesian history and it was an honor to be able to see it in person.

The title, The Last Navigator, was inspired by the Polynesian Navigators and, although it is not about them, the Navigators in my book do use the stars to find their way. I pulled from elements of the Polynesian Navigator traditions to write The Last Navigator and develop my characters.

Q: What shaped your writing in The Last Navigator?

My writing was shaped by societal and personal life themes that I see happening around me. Themes such as the empowerment of women and the hardships of single parent households are evident in the book. The storyline and many of the characters were shaped by these themes and others. The main character in The Last Navigator, Lani, is a young female whale who dreams of being more than average. She wants to make a difference—and she does. In developing her character, I wanted to empower young women to follow their dreams and not simply conform to the norms of this world. Lani is shaped by her life experiences and her relationships with other characters, such as, Mother, and Kilo, and even the zany character of Manny, the sea turtle. She learns through trials and overcoming obstacles that she can indeed reach for the stars and achieve great things. My hope is that in reading The Last Navigator, some part of Lani’s character will resonate with each reader. Whether that resonance is found in her search for life’s meaning, or her desire to go against the grain, I hope she will touch the hearts of readers young and old.

The Last Navigator is coming soon to a Kindle device near you! Look for it in the Amazon Kindle Store in the next few weeks.

Until next time…

J. G. McNease


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