Lucas Kana hoped to be part of the first group of Lei Crime KW authors who launched their books last April. Unfortunately, Lucas couldn’t make the deadline so his book had to be put on hold for release. Seems he thought getting married was more important than finishing his novella on time. You gotta love a guy who has his priorities straight!
The good news about the missed deadline is, now that he’s released his story, he’s done it in two parts, Princess Eyes I and Princess Eyes II, giving us lots of material to sink into. Somehow he found some time between getting the book done, getting married and going on a whirlwind honeymoon to far flung reaches of the world, to answer a few questions about the Lei Crime experience.
Here is the blub for his Lei Crime novella Princess Eyes I:
Geeky Honolulu Lieutenant, Michael Stevens, teams up to investigate a series of homicides with Jenna Brooke, a streetwise psychologist for the FBI, which leads to the mysterious disappearance of a local beauty queen known as ‘Princess Eyes.’
Timeline: 10 years before Blood Orchids in a semi-alternate universe where Stevens starts out as a nerd.
And here’s the blurb for Princess Eyes II: Do serial killers really change their stripes?
One of the first cases Michael Stevens tackles quickly goes cold, and haunts him. Six years and nine bodies of beautiful women later, the young lieutenant and his Major Crimes Unit find a new lead in their hunt for The Groom.
That’s when things get tricky. Men start dying.
To further complicate matters, he must navigate the new found emotions he has for his temporary partner, Special Agent Jenna Brooke.
The answers are found in an old mystery surrounding the rape of a local beauty queen known as “Princess Eyes,” but can Stevens and his team get to the truth before the killer strikes again?
Me: Tell us how your story links to the Lei Crime Series. Characters, setting, specific event? Is there any crossover or meetings between your characters and any of the original characters?
Luke: We follow a very young Michael Stevens, a decade before he and Lei are ever introduced. This Stevens is leaps-and-bounds more cerebral than the original in order to add a bit of parody, but the heart of his character connects to the future well-rounded Stevens.
The second half of the equation, Stevens’ counterpart, is Jenna Brooke, a tough-as-nails FBI agent who kicks butt and takes names. Stevens is a certified genius, stiff as a board, while Brooke plays the good-natured simpleton with typically undermined street smarts, an odd pair.
Me: I love Stevens as a character, not just because he’s a great guy, but because of his relationship with Lei. He really adds the romance to the stories. What genres do you explore in your story?
Luke: I’m taking the procedural mystery into a comedic direction. Columbo, Bones and the Big Bang Theory come to mind as inspiration.
Me: Comedy! Cool. Part of the draw of the Lei Crime Series is the setting. You also set your story in Hawaii.
Luke: The story takes place on Oahu in order to show Stevens’ deep connection to the islands. Visitors and locals alike, when it comes to making a home out of paradise, either pack up the first chance they get (6 months – 1 year) or find a reason to stay forever.
Me: Is there a theme in Princes Eyes that you share in any of your other work?
Luke: Surrender. A major theme of both character arcs is forgiveness, the last stage of their development. For different reasons, neither Stevens nor Brooke find satisfaction in solving a case. Their peace comes in waves and fragments, and only while in the midst of their pursuit of justice. Since this is my first crime novel. I haven’t found a style yet.
ME: What made you decide to be a writer?
Luke: I read my first real novel, Fredrick Douglas, junior year of high school. A kind mean-hearted English teacher forced me to read in front of the class, which unnerved me. Until then I’d only done reports of books made to movies. I’ve been writing ever since. It’s like air. I’m also a photographer and write most while traveling.
Me: Like air. I like that. And your photography is amazing! Your talent and creativity come through in every frame. What are you working on next?
Luke: I’m currently working on The Blodget, a YA Fantasy in the vein of War and Peace and Lord of the Rings. Also a NA Comedy, True Romantic, along the lines of Roman Holiday and Coming to America, about a spoiled American heir, Broc Hardaway, who rebels against a media conscious marriage, heading to Rome in order to find a girl who can love him for who he really is, but he finds two.
I will look forward to seeing those works in print someday soon. In the meantime, Luke, thanks for taking the time to talk with me. Congratulations on your releases and I can’t wait to read them!